True Repentance, Changing Minds
It is the goodness of God that leads us to true repentance - changing one's mind.
Repentance is a continuous process, because we all miss the mark - falling short of the glory of God. That is why we need a Savior, because He filled the void. That Savior is Christ Jesus.
Through the finished work of the Cross, He leads us into the fellowship of the love of God.
Christ Jesus gives us the opportunity to return to the original plan of God set down in Genesis when he created Adam and Eve, but better.
Repentance is defined as deep sorrow, compunction, contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing, or regret for any past action
Repentance in Hebrew is made up of two words, verbs (action, as in doing something)
shuv - to return
nicham - to feel sorrow
Repentance in the Greek, is metanoia and it is a little more clear about what true repentance is and how it should work.
Metanoia - after / behind one's mind
is made up of two words
meta - after / with
noia - to perceive, to think, the result of perceiving or observing
According to Wikipedia, the etymology on repentance, the preposition in this compound word combines the two meanings of time and change, which may denote, 'after' and 'different', so that the whole compound means, ' to think differently after'.
It stresses that Metanoia fundamentally means that it is primarily an after - thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, "change of mind or conduct" or "change of consciousness".
The bible calls us to turn to God, renouncing our wicked ways and living for Him through Christ Jesus. Repentance is supposed to be stressed through us feeling sorrow and regret and making the promise or resolve not to live in sin or sinfully.
But repentance goes further than what we have been taught about it!
On the surface we all think it is about confessing our sins, feeling contrition and the resolve to at least try not to do what is sinful again. New believers repent at conversion, when they accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.
They confess their past sins or sinful behavior and ask Jesus to wash them through His blood.
Yet the lust for those sinful actions typically continue to trip us up because - tah dah, we have not changed our minds about it!
When we turn from sin, we must replace it with Jesus. Our focus is no longer the sin but the Lord, but many of us still empower the sin in which we find ourselves linked to because we give it the power.
Repentance includes changing your mind! About forgiveness! About who you are in Christ Jesus! The power of Jesus over any sin! The love of God concerning us! And the truth about what power Jesus gave us when He washed us and we became 'new creatures'.
True repentance, changing minds...starts with the acceptance of Christ Jesus!
Steps of Repentance
Prayer (talking to God), calling on Jesus and the Holy Spirit then the following...
- Acknowledgement, Confession
- Regret, Contrition,
- Restitution, changing one's conduct / behavior and changing one's mind / heart
These steps can be done by anyone, yet we know that it does not stick unless one knows the love of God through Christ Jesus and changes their mind about what we give power over us.
The bible talks about a clean house once swept clean of devils but left empty only to attract the banished devil and more demons, just because that house was not filled with the things of God like Jesus, His teachings and all of God's promises, which we can only get when we read the bible - the inspired words of God.
Remember that the word became flesh, dwelt among us and He is known as Jesus, Emmanuel - God with us!
Side note, we know people who continually sin or do sinful things, it is because they give the sin (missing the mark of God's high calling) / action power over them in their heart and mind, so true repentance of changing one's mind is not achieved, therefore they return to the behavior like the bible says, 'dogs returning to their vomit'.
That is why we need a Savior! Jesus bridged the gap. Which is why He is Lord!