Sin, Repentance, God’s Love and The Gospel (Part 2)

During the process of understanding “sin”, (see part 1) God’s grace of “repentance” will be working upon the mind and the heart. It’s important to note here as a reminder, that it is the choice of the hearer to reject or receive this grace.

First off, in trying to simply understand “Repentance” (which is the action or process of repenting) we need to look at the word “repent” and it’s definition. In the New Testament (Greek), basically it has a two-fold meaning. The first is, “to think differently, or afterwards-reconsider”. As we see here, this definition has to do with “thinking”, IE the mind. Thinking differently and reconsidering, both have to do with “change”, making a decision to “turn”.

This first meaning of the word “Repent”, is the key to understanding “Repentance”. Without this, the second meaning has no effect.
After a person understands their “sin”, there must be a thought process going on to want to “do differently”, “turn” or “change”. This is one form of God’s grace being bestowed upon them. Jeremiah explained this well, “turn thou me, and I shall be turned;…
Surely after that I turned, I repented;”… (Jer.31:18-19)

This is also a major intersection for the hearer. They must want to change. They don’t necessarily realize it, but this grace is bringing them to a major decision, a major choice in life.

The second part to this meaning of the word, “Repent” has to do with the heart. It’s not a mental or thinking issue, but a moral one. It has to do with the conscience, right and wrong. The definition here is, “to feel compunction”. This understanding is key. This is the part of “Repent” that some don’t like to hear about or bring up.

Compunction means, “to prick hard, sting”. There is an example in the book of Acts. “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart,”… (Acts 2:37). It also means, “Anxiety arising from awareness of guilt (of conscience), distress of mind over an anticipated action or result”. If you have time, you can also look up the meaning to the words, “Pungent” and “Penitence” they also add to this meaning.

This is the conviction part of “Repentance”. Without this process, there can be no true salvation. This starts after their desire “to change” or “think differently”. It continues all the way through The Gospel as you explain it to them.

As you begin to share Christ and what he did on the cross to forgive them their sins, “Godly sorrow” begins to work repentance that leads them to their salvation (see 2Cor.7:10). This “sorrow”, this “contrition”, comes straight from God’s own heart. (What was the heart of God going through when his Son went to the cross and died there?)

True repentance can only take place after they see their sinfulness and how it put Christ, God’s only Son on the cross to bear all their sins, and not only theirs, but the sins of all mankind.

To be continued later in “Part 3”

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2 Responses to “Sin, Repentance, God’s Love and The Gospel (Part 2)”

  1. Scotti Says:

    Thanks for writing this…it’s very thoughout and helpful.

    May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you always,
    Scotti

  2. rjperalta Says:

    Scotti,
    You’re welcome. I’m blessed that you were blessed.
    And may He be with you,
    Thanks,
    Richard

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