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REPENTANCE

John the Baptist preached: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 3:2).

Jesus also preached: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near" (Matthew 4:17).

In Luke 5:32 we find these words Jesus said, "I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance."

And in Luke 13:3 and 5 we read, "I tell you, no, but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish."

The word translated 'repent' is the Greek word, 'Metanoeo' and it literally means 'to change one's mind'.

Repentance is therefore an inward change not just a change in behaviour. 

Jesus was constantly calling people to repentance, as we see from the Scriptures quoted above as well as other verses in the Gospels.

He called people to experience a change of mind so they could see God for Who He is; so they could see Him as true and worthy of their worship and obedience. 

When this inward change happens, it will be seen in outward behaviour: "Bear fruit in keeping with repentance" (Luke 3:8).

We all need to repent. There is not one single person on this earth who can experience God without repentance. 

This call still goes out today and we, who have heeded the call, need to tell others about it.

We need to tell them about Jesus, and how He suffered and died and how He was raised again on the third day. We need to proclaim repentance and forgiveness of sins in His Name (Luke 24:46-47).

John Piper puts it this way: "Repent. Be changed deep within. Replace all God-dishonouring, Christ-belittling perceptions and dispositions and purposes with God-treasuring, Christ-exalting ones." (1)

As you can see from Piper's words, repentance isn't a once off occurance. It is something that needs to happen every time the Holy Spirit makes us aware of a perception or disposition or purpose in us that dishonours and belittles God.

When we become aware of any of these things in us, we need to repent - change our mind - and adopt the perception or disposition of purpose from God's Word that treasures and exalts Him.

We need to do what Romans 12:2 instructs us to do: "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect."

True transformation comes from repentance - the renewing of our mind so we see God as true and worthy of our worship and obedience. 

 

 

(1) What Jesus demands from the world - John Piper.