The first step in our Look at Repentance is to look at some of the Facts of Repentance.
The Greek word translated as the noun “repentance” is “metanoia” (#3341). It literally means “a change of mind: as it appears in one who repents of a purpose he has formed or of something he has done (Hebrews 12:17)” (Thayer).
There are several things to make note of as we consider “repentance”:
1) First, more on the definition:
a) Thayer continues, “especially the change of mind of those who have begun to abhor their errors and misdeeds, and have determined to enter upon a better course of life, so that it embraces both a recognition of sin and sorrow for it and hearty amendment, the tokens and effects of which are good deeds”
b) Vine says, “Metanoia” (#3341) means “after-thought, change of mind, repentance”; it corresponds in meaning to the verb, “metanoeō” (#3340), which literally means “to perceive afterwards (meta, after, implying change; and noeō , to perceive; nous, the mind, the seat of moral reflection)”
2) It is given to individuals by God:
(Acts 5:31) “Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
(Acts 11:18) “When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.”
(Also see Romans 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:25)
3) It has certain identifiable fruits to prove “repentance”:
(Matthew 3:8) “Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:”
(Luke 3:8) “Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
4) It has as its object – God
(Acts 20:21) “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(Acts 26:20) “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”
5) In the New Testament, “repentance” chiefly has reference to “repentance from sin, and this change of mind involved both a turning from sin and a turning to God.” (See the parable of the Prodigal Son.)
6) God’s Goodness leads to Repentance:
(Romans 2:4) “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
7) Godly Sorrow works Repentance:
(2 Corinthians 7:10) “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation …”
Question: How does Godly Sorrow come?
You must be quickened, or made alive; because you are spiritually dead in sins and trespasses (Ephesians 2:1; John 6:63).
A quickened soul is led to face the Law of God (Romans 7:4-14); the perfect Law reveals sin in the sinner (Romans 3:19-23). (Also see Luke 18:13-14.)
You must come to see you are a sinner and are under the curse of the wages of sin (Romans 6:23a), which is spiritual death (1 Corinthians 1:21; Romans 5:12).
Therefore, your only hope is in Christ, the Substitute, the Sacrifice, the Savior. (See Isaiah 53:1-12; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-21; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 2:24; Galatians 3:13).
But you must have been quickened (or made alive) by the Spirit of God to have eyes to see and ears to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17).
This comes in the Regeneration Process (from quickening to birth; see John 3:3-8), which issues in confession by mouth (Romans 10:9-10) and baptism by deed (1 Peter 3:21).
This confession is synonymous with “believing” (trusting and obeying). Believing is the Result and not the requirement of knowledge of Salvation in Christ.
The Requirement is the Atonement of Christ on the Cross, whereby he did Reconcile us to the Father; Redeemed us and declared us Righteous in His Perfection (His Righteousness).
Christ did not make it “possible” or merely “available.” No! He completed the transaction. (See Isaiah 53:10-11; Romans 3:24-25; 5:1-21; 1 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:7; Hebrews 9:12-28; 10:1-22.)
The Holy Spirit of God is the only One assigned to reprove (convince) the world of sin; and of righteousness; and of judgment:
“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8)
“Of sin, because they believe not on me;” (John 16:9)
“Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;” (John 16:10)
“Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.” (John 16:11)