Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 17 Number 6 June 2015
Page 13

Back to Repentance

Chad Ezelle

Before you read another word, I think I need to make something clear. You’re about to be tempted to apply what you’re about to read to somebody else. If you’re like me and pretty much all other humans, you’re going to think of someone else’s sin. Their mistakes. How they’ve hurt you. How they are the ones who need to repent, but this is for you. It’s about your sin. Your mistakes. How you’ve hurt people. How you’ve neglected to serve people. How you are the one who needs to repent.

Think of your own sin first. In Jesus’ words, concentrate on the beam in your own eye before you get the sawdust out of someone else’s eye (Matthew 7). The words you’re about to read are for you. It’s about your deficiencies. Your hardheadedness. Your need for change.

It’s personal – or at least it should be. It should be offensive for you. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you quit reading after a few words. You might be upset. You could be angry. You might lose your interest in the direction I’m heading. I hope that isn’t the case, but I’m sure it could be if you really understand that I’m talking to you – not someone else.

Now that we have that out of the way, think for a few moments about repentance and your need for it. I don’t like to go back and talk about original languages that much because those aren’t the languages we speak anymore. I don’t know Greek or Hebrew, and I really don’t think I even know anyone fluent in those languages. Yet, sometimes it’s necessary for us to take a look at the original language to get a clearer idea of what the Bible writers were trying to tell us.

“Metanoeo” = “Repent”

According to the people who know a lot more about the Greek language than I do, “metanoeo” is a compound word (“meta” + “noeo”). “Meta” has the idea of change (think of words we understand, like “metamorphosis”). “Noeo” deals with the mind, thoughts and purposes.

Therefore, “metanoeo” means to experience a change in one’s mind, thoughts or purposes. Biblically, those are issues that deal with the heart, and if we follow that line of thinking to the end, the change of heart (“metanoeo”) must produce a change in behavior (Matthew 15:19; Luke 6:45). As our purposes change, the direction of our lives should change. Before we get too deeply into the idea of repentance, I want to make a quick note about it.

Typically, we talk about repentance as one of those things we do to become a Christian. We think of it normally as it is just a part of the “plan.” Tthat mindset is selling repentance a little short. Let me be really clear about this: Repentance is not a one-time act. It’s not just something one does to become a Christian; it’s something one does to grow as a Christian. Further, I think you’d have to admit that if our lives aren’t marked by constant repentance, we’re not really following after Jesus at all. Not that He was constantly finding need for repentance in His life, but we surely are. We have to continually realize the wrong in our lives, experience the godly sorrow that comes as a result of it, and change the course of our lives so it matches up better with His.

A life of repentance means that we’re constantly altering the course of our lives to be more of what God wants us to be. It’s not just a part of our “plan.” It should be part of our day. Take a quick moment to question and examine yourself. Do you recognize areas in your life where you could use some repentance? Specifically, what would repentance look like for you?

Is There Any Crying in Manhood?

Dean Kelly

Lord, please teach me how to cry,
Like “Jesus Wept” for His dear friend,
In sympathy for all those standing by,
Though He knew it was not the end.

Lord, let my heart be touched by grief,
May tears of sorrow stain my face,
May I not be afraid to find relief,
Through the tears that leave their trace.

Lord, let my heart be touched by love so great,
May I not fear to feel the tears,
May I be able to anticipate,
Love that lasts throughout the years.

Lord, help my heart to tender be,
Not hardened to the world around,
So I am touched by the things I see,
And a caring soul within me found.

Is there any crying for a man?
Am I weak if tears do flow?
No, I am stronger if I can,
Let my caring sometimes show.

Lord, please teach me how to cry,
To shed my tears, with manhood kept,
Teach me how, and when, and also why,
To be like Jesus when He wept.

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