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Am I Really Repenting?

Updated: Apr 3

What is repentance? Does it mean just saying sorry or feeling bad for your sin? Or is repentance more than we thought? Let's look to the scriptures and see what we can discover.

The word repentance in the Bible actually means "the act of changing one's mind." So, we can see here that repentance is more than just feeling sorrowful for your sin, but an action of changing one's mind, and thus changing one's behavior. Two Greek words in the New Testament give us clues to help us better define repentance.

  1. metamelomai-shows a change of mind accompanied with regret for sin

  2. metanoeo- to change your mind and action after receiving knowledge of wrong-doing

True repentance will produce awareness of sin and wrong-doing, a change of attitude and mind, and most importantly a change of action that follows. All throughout the Bible, we can see God's call to repentance, from the prophets of old, to John the Baptist and Jesus in the New Testament.

John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus, and his message was simple. In Matthew 3:1-2, the Bible says, "In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” He preached repentance urging people to change their minds and actions before Jesus came on the scene.

Jesus continued this message and more by saying, "...Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand." (Matthew 4:17) and also "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15)

The action of changing our minds and hearts is so important to God. His heart is that all men would repent and turn to Him. In 2 Peter 3:9, the Bible says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. "

In summary, to repent is much more than just feeling sorrowful for sin. Repentance takes a willingness to change your mind and to change your actions. It is difficult, but God gives us the grace of His Holy Spirit to help us in our time of weakness and need.

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