I am so thankful that God is patient with me. God gives me every opportunity to radically change my mind (aka repentance) about so many things. Changing my mind and acting differently is not a one time thing. I have to face the reality of a bankrupt culture every day. I have to focus. The good news is God is in a good mood. God is patient.
Many understand the term repentance to mean “a turning from sin.” Regretting missing God’s goal (aka sin) and turning from it is related to repentance, but it is not the precise meaning of the word.
In the Bible, the word repent means “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions. In summarizing his ministry, Paul declares,
“I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds” (Acts 26:20).
So let’s go deeper:
- The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action.
- What, then, is the connection between repentance and salvation? To repent, in relation to salvation, is to change your mind regarding sin and Jesus the Messiah.
- In Peter’s sermon on the day of Pentecost, he concludes with a call for the people to repent.
- Repent from what?
- Peter is calling the people who rejected Jesus to change their minds about missing God’s goal and to change their minds about the Messiah Himself, recognizing that He is indeed “Master and the Messiah”.
- Peter is calling the people to change their minds, to abhor their past rejection of the Messiah, and to embrace faith in Him as both Messiah and Savior.
- Repentance involves recognizing that you have thought wrongly in the past and determining to think aright in the future. The repentant person has “second thoughts” about the mindset he formally embraced.
There is a change of disposition and a new way of thinking about God, about missing God’s goal, about holiness, and about doing God’s will. True repentance is prompted by “godly sorrow,” and it “leads to salvation”.
- 2 Peter 3:9 —The Master is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
- Isaiah 65:2 — 2 “I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
- Romans 2:4 — 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
- Revelation 2:21 — 21 ‘I gave her time to repent, and she does not want to repent of her immorality.