March 23, 2017 | Repentance

“Do you despise the riches of His kindness, restraint, and patience, not recognizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?”
[Romans 2:4 HCSB]
Recently I taught on repentance, spending time in the greatest repentant song ever penned – Psalm 51. Two of my friends have done a great job summarizing both the Old and New Testament terms mainly used to capture the idea of repentance. Their insights were very helpful to me, and will no doubt bless you as well.
While teaching at Frisco Bible Church, Doug Greenwold of Preserving Bible Times spoke about the Old Testament term שׁוּב shub (shoob):
The Hebrew view of repentance involved a complete change in worldview. Shub is not just resolving to abstain from a particular sin, but abandoning everything you thought you knew about God and sin and embracing the covenant YHWH.
On, Bob Wilkin of Grace Evangelical Society described the context and use of μετάνοια metanoia – the Greek term that means to change one’s mind and think completely differently:
There are only three passages in the Epistles, and none in the Book of Revelation, which condition eternal salvation upon repentance. In those three passages repentance refers to a change of mind about Christ and the Gospel. Thus, repentance in those contexts is used as a synonym for faith.
There are a number of passages in the Epistles and Revelation which condition temporal salvation from God’s discipline or judgment upon repentance. In those passages repentance refers to a change of mind about one’s sinful behavior. People, both believers and unbelievers, must turn from their sins in order to escape the negative consequences which sin brings. The passing pleasures of sin (Heb 11:25) are far outweighed by the pain which is its constant companion (Heb 12:3-11; Jas 1:15).
My prayer is that God’s grace leads us to daily repentance, taking our sinful thoughts and actions captive so they can be traded for joyful abandonment to our Savior. As Robert Robinson wrote in 1757:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount, I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin,
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin;
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well.
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothèd then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.