Jesus challenges me to radically change my way of thinking. Repentance (the original Greek means radically changing my thinking) is of central importance because missing God’s goal (sin) brings God’s judgment. Fellowship with God is only possible through full and sincere repentance (radically changing my thinking) and acting differently.
Jesus is clear about this.
Jesus says to me: “Radically change your thinking, for the Kingdom of God is at hand. I’m the King. I’m in control, not you.”
God, through his servants, calls me to change my mind as the only way to escape the judgment and receive the forgiveness and restoration which he offers. Jesus is clear that He is the Way. Jesus is the Truth. Jesus is Life.
The only way I can get to God is through Jesus.
- Remember the story of the woman caught in the act of adultery. At the end, straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She answered, “No one, Master!” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you either. Go. From now on don’t miss God’s goal (aka sin) any more.”
- Jesus has a message for religious elites. “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but those who miss God’s goal (aka sinners) to radically change their thinking (aka repentance).” | Luke 5:32
- I’ve missed God’s goal for my life. I am not in right standing with God.
- Jesus is calling me. As a sinner, Jesus came for me.
- Jesus wants me to radically change my thinking. Jesus wants me to be different. Jesus wants me to achieve God’s goal for my life. That is why He came.
“Repentance” refers to an event in which I attain a divinely provided new understanding of my behavior and feel compelled to change that behavior and begin a new relationship with God.
- While the Greek language can represent the concept of repentance as an independent action, the New Testament writers demanded that appropriate actions follow the event of repentance.
- But when John saw many of the religious elites coming for baptism, he said to them, “You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruit in keeping with changing your thinking (aka repentance); and do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham for our father’; for I say to you that from these stones God is able to raise up children to Abraham. The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. | Matthew 3:7-10
- Paul said to King Agrippa, “I did not prove disobedient to the heavenly vision, but kept declaring both to those of Damascus first, and also at Jerusalem and then throughout all the region of Judea, and even to the Gentiles, that they should change their thinking (aka repent) and turn to God, performing deeds appropriate to radically thinking about things differently (aka repentance).” | Acts 26:19-20
- “The Master’s slave must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them a radically new way of thinking (aka repentance) leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” | 2 Timothy 2:24–26