1. Looking at the idea of repentance in all of its forms, and how it is used in the Bible; we find the following:
A. REPENTED occurs thirty times.
B. REPENTANCE twenty-six times.
C. REPENTETH five times.
D. REPENTEST, REPENTING, and REPENTINGS one time each.
E. In all, one hundred and six times.
F. REPENT is used with reference to God sixteen times, and with reference to man twenty-six times.
G. It is used to indicate sorrow eleven times, a change of mind or purpose fourteen times, and includes the idea of reformation of life eighteen times.
H. REPENTED is used with reference to God thirteen times, and with reference to man seventeen times.
I. It is used to indicate sorrow twice, a change of purpose once, and extends to reformation of life twenty-three times.
J. REPENTANCE is used with reference to God twice, and with reference to man twenty-four times.
K. REPENTETH is used with reference to God three times, and with reference to man twice.
L. Twice it indicates sorrow, once a change of mind, and twice includes a change or reformation of life.
M. REPENTING and REPENTEST are each used once with reference to God to indicate a change in purpose.
N. REPENTINGS is once used with reference to God to indicate sorrow.
O. With reference to God the word is sometimes used in a NEGATIVE sense as, "God is not a man that he should repent." Num. 23:19; "The Lord hath sworn and will not repent." Psa. 110:4; Heb. 7:21.
P. Sometimes it is used with reference to God AFFIRMATIVELY; as, "It repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth". "It repenteth me that I have made them." Gen. 6:6,7.
Q. At other times, it is used with reference to God CONDITIONALLY; as, "If that nation against whom I have pronounced turn from their evil, I will repent of the evil I thought to do unto them...If it do evil in my sight, that it obey not my voice, then I will repent of the good wherewith I said I would benefit them." Jer. 18:8-10.
R. Again, it is sometimes used in PETITION or SUPPLICATION to God; as, "Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against they people." Exo. 32:12.
S. In all the forms in which the word is used it refers to God thirty-seven times, and with reference to man sixty-nine times.
T. It is used to indicate sorrow or regret twenty-eight times, a change of mind or will twenty-five times, and a change of mind resulting in reformation of life fifty-three times.
U. We are not concerned or interested in the use of the term as applied to God; its application to man is that which more directly concerns us, and to it we will now confine our examination.
I. WHEN USED IN THE NEW TESTAMENT AS A COMMAND TO THE ALIEN IN ORDER TO THE REMISSION OF SINS, IT ALWAYS INDICATES SUCH A CHANGE OF MIND AS PRODUCES A CHANGE OR REFORMATION OF LIFE.
A. When so used, it is invariably a translation of the Greek word "Metanoio".
B. When used to mean only sorrow or regret, it is always from the Greek "Metamelomai". This is a different word, though improperly rendered the same in English.
C. Had these words been properly translated, we think it likely that much of the confusion on the subject of repentance would have been prevented.
D. REGRET is certainly a much more fitting representative of Metamelomai than repentance.
E. A striking example of the difference in the meaning of the word REPENT when derived from these different Greek words will be found in 2 Cor. 7: 8-11, by comparing the KJV and the ASV.
1. The KJV says: "For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not REPENT (Metamelomai, regret), though I did REPENT (Metamelomai, regret), for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to REPENTANCE (Metanoian, reformation): for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in noth- ing; for godly sorrow worketh REPENTANCE (Menanoia, reformation) to salvation not to be REPENTED (Metameleton, regretted) of."
F. Surely, nothing could be more apparent than the difference in the use which Paul makes of these two Greek words, though both are rendered REPENT in the KJV. (It has been corrected in the NKJV).
G. Paul wrote the Corinthians a letter which made them sorry, and he regretted it, but he ceased to regret it when he saw that their sorrow worked in them repentance; i.e. a change of mind that culminated in their change of life.
II. REPENTANCE CONSISTS OF FOUR THINGS:
A. An intellectual change, caused by the force of the truth and the testimony submitted.
B. Coupled with a change of heart, brought about by the changed understanding.
C. Along with the change of the will, affected by the change of the heart.
D. Culminating in a change of conduct, as a result of the change of will.
III. THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENT IN REPENTANCE:
A. The essential element of repentance in all cases is a change of the will.
1. One acting against his will is of the same opinion still.
B. Genuine repentance consists always in a full and unreserved submission of the will of the sinner to the will of God.
C. This change is effected by means of godly sorrow in the heart, and always leads to reformation of life.
D. It is manifest therefore that repentance is the result of faith, as faith itself is the result of testimony. Rom. 10:17.
E. No testimony, no faith, no faith, no repentance; no repentance, no reformation; and no reformation, no salvation.
F. The truth understood, begets in the understanding of the sinner a consciousness of his sin, a conviction that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of sinners.
G. This conviction under favorable circumstances, penetrates the heart, and fills it with godly sorrow; and this sorrow leads to repentance.
IV. THREE CASES OF REPENTANCE:
A. PEOPLE OF NINEVAH: Jonah 3:5-10. Here is their repentance:
1. First, Jonah preached the message which God gave him to say to them.
2. Second, The people believed the message Jonah brought from God.
3. Third, They turned from their evil way. Jesus called this repentance: Matt 12:41.
B. JEWS ON PENTECOST:
1. First, Peter preached.
2. Second, The people believed, were cut to the heart.
3. Third, the were told to REPENT or change their conduct or ways. Acts 2:14-38.
a. Three thousand souls obeyed that day.
C. THE CORINTHIANS:
1. First, Paul wrote them a letter.
2. Second, They read it and believed it.
3. Third, They were made sorry in a godly sorrow, and their godly sorrow worked in them repentance.
All men must everywhere repent or they will perish. Lk. 13: 3,5; Acts 17;30.
By Jim Sasser
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