REPENT: G3340, metanoeō, met-an-o-eh'-o
From G3326 and G3539; to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction): - repent.
The main message of Jesus Christ during His ministry and especially for us today is REPENT! This should also be the main message of the Church. Unfortunately, this message does not appear to be mentioned in the pulpits much anymore. Perhaps that is the reason many people do not even know what it means!
I suspect that if you asked most people what the word REPENT means they will tell you it means to regret or feel sorry about past sins. Most people think asking God for forgiveness is REPENTING, but most people are wrong!
The Greek word for REPENT is “metanoeo” and it is actually a combination of two Greek words.
G3226: meta, met-ah'
A primary preposition (often used adverbially); properly denoting accompaniment;
G3539, noieō, noy-eh'-o
From G3563; to exercise the mind (observe), that is, (figuratively) to comprehend, heed: - consider, perceive, think, understand.
REPENT, in the Greek, literally means to: CHANGE YOUR MIND or to CHANGE THE WAY YOU PERCEIVE, THINK, AND UNDERSTAND! More specifically, it means to begin perceiving, thinking, and understanding like God…and to STOP perceiving, thinking, and understanding like the world.
Isa 46:8 Remember ye these things, and groan: REPENT, ye that have gone astray, return in your heart;
Isa 46:9 and remember the former things that were of old: for I am God, and there is none other beside me,
Isa 46:10 telling beforehand the latter events before they come to pass, and they are accomplished together: and I said, all my counsel shall stand, and I will do all things that I have planned:
Jesus said to REPENT: “FOR THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND!” We are now nearly two-thousand years closer to the return of Jesus Christ. Shouldn’t we all be paying much more attention to REPENTANCE? Shouldn’t we open our hearts and minds to a new understanding of God’s plans for us and HIS world?
If we really want to understand true repentance, we must study the examples of real repentance in the Bible. True repentance isn’t just about regretting, or feeling sorry about, our past actions… true repentance is proactively finding out God’s specific plan for our life, and completely forgetting about our old worldly desires and plans. We should no longer be satisfied with fulfilling our own desires and ambitions. We should be diligently seeking to understand the heart of God, and then we should diligently pursue God’s specific desire and calling for our life. The Apostle Paul clearly defines his own repentance in his epistle to the Philippians:
Php 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
The Apostle Paul was a Pharisee and he studied under Gamaliel, a rabbi that was famous and admired during the time of Jesus Christ. I suspect that the young Saul of Tarsus (Paul the Apostle) wanted to follow in Gamaliel’s footsteps and become a great rabbi and teacher of the law. However, when Saul crosses paths with the risen Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus, his goals and plans changed radically!
Paul’s letter to the Philippians was probably written close to the final years of his Christian ministry and close to the end of his life. Paul mentions that he is ready to go to be with the Lord. Paul does not dwell on his accomplishments or his resume, he does not dwell on his worldly success as a Pharisee, nor does he dwell on his spiritual success as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. In his letter to the Church of Philippia, we see an Apostle who has seen the risen Christ in all His glory, he has been beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, and been imprisoned for the gospel’s sake. However, Paul mainly writes about the Philippians and their fellowship with him, and he writes about their consistent and reliable support of him (specifically via their envoy Epaphroditus) and their support of Paul’s preaching of the gospel and his evangelism of the gentiles.
It is odd that Paul does not accept contributions from the comparably wealthy Corinthians but accepts the Philippians (Macedonians) liberal support for his ministry, while he also mentioned their deep poverty in 2 Corinthians 8:2.
2Co 8:1 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;
2Co 8:2 How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
Why does the Apostle treat the Philippians with such respect? I suspect Paul treated the Philippians differently because they demonstrated a much higher level of spiritual maturity than their counterparts in ancient Corinth and they shared his heavenly vision. The Corinthians appeared to be focused on differences in theology, and different spiritual “gifts”, and their own individual worldly interests, while the Philippians appeared to have a much, much greater vision, which was shared by the Apostle Paul…namely the advancement of the Lord Jesus Christ’s heavenly agenda!
Php 2:19 If it is the Lord's will, I hope that I will be able to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be encouraged by news about you.
Php 2:20 He is the only one who shares my feelings and who really cares about you.
Php 2:21 Everyone else is concerned only with their own affairs, not with the cause of Jesus Christ. Good News Bible
The Apostle Paul is nearing the end of his ministry on earth, and he is about to be put on trial for his life. To his dismay, he has discovered that the majority of “Christians” appear more interested in their own comfort, advancement, and individual worldly affairs than in the advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people will gladly receive the promise of eternal life, and the gift of salvation and righteousness, but few want to share in the suffering and hardship that so often accompanies the preaching and spread of the “good news”.
We see over and over again in the Bible that the great men and women of God “radically” change their behavior, their outlook, and the whole direction of their lives, regardless of the consequences to their own plans, or even if it endangers their physical health and wellbeing. The great saints of God experienced radical repentance!
The Apostle Paul speaks of the spiritual lightning bolt that changed his own life and how it changed the lives of all the saints before him. This vision will also radically change our own life, if we will let it.
Heb 11:8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.
Heb 11:9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:
Heb 11:10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Abraham left his home town and wandered as a stranger in a strange country because by faith he was looking for a HEAVENLY CITY, where the Most High God rules and reigns forever and ever. Paul tells us that Moses shared the same vision and left all the treasures of Egypt in order to obtain his vision.
Heb 11:26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Heb 11:27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.
This vision of the New Jerusalem needs to be much stronger and clearer to the Church in these last days. As God’s vision of His City begins to crystalize in our thoughts and our imaginations, all of our worldly plans will begin to lose their luster and their hold on our lives. Satan’s temptations of worldly fame, wealth, and power become pale and worthless things.
Heb 12:22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Heb 12:23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
Heb 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.
The heavenly vision had such an impact on the saint of old, they were not only able to endure tremendous hardship, but they were able to accomplish miraculous victories over the enemies of God.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Heb 11:35 Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:
Heb 11:36 And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment:
Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
Heb 11:38 (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Heb 11:39 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise:
Heb 11:40 God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.
I suspect that in the not too distant future, all the saints of God will need this same heavenly vision to endure the trials and sufferings that lie just ahead.
Php 3:8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
Php 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Php 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Php 3:11 If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
It appears to me that we can only know the power of his resurrection by first knowing the fellowship of his sufferings. Therefore, we need to spend more and more time reading our Bibles, and meditating on the glory that awaits the Church of Jesus Christ at the final resurrection of the saints. We dare not take for granted that we will share in His heavenly glory if we refuse to share in His earthly sufferings for the elect’s sakes.
2Ti 2:10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
2Ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2Ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us:
2Ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.