Metanoia: The meaning of Biblical repentance
Repentance in the New Testament uses the Greek word metanoia (μετανοέω). It is a strong desire that goes with a radical decision to turn away from sin and unto Christ. In the Old Testament, is nacham which means to feel sorry for sin.
It is a compound word from the Greek meta- + noein (Metanoein; μετάνοια), according to Mirriam-Webster. It is an after-thought best described as “conversion” and “reformation.”
Paul Washer describes metanoia as a verb of motion and mental activity. For J. I. Packer, repentance is a “fruit of faith,” inseparable from “saving faith.” It is turning to Christ as Lord and Savior.
In short, metanoia is not just saying sorry, nor is it penance, but it is a radical change of mind towards choosing or deciding.
a strong desire that goes with a radical decision to turn away from sin & unto Christ.
1. Repentance seeks the mind of Christ
Before one’s conversion through Christ, a sinner’s mind is hostile towards God. It refuses to submit (Romans 1:21; 8:7). When we receive Christ, our soul regenerates. The light of Jesus illuminates our minds, and we see things of God.
“I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.“
2. Repentance is our response to God’s love
As our response to God’s love, we choose to pursue a holy and pleasing life. We hate what God hates and love what God loves. As a result, our minds and heart are excited to pursue the “mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what the will of God is, what is right and acceptable and perfect.
3. Repentance is a daily
The “Gospel of ABC” is shallow when repentance is set aside as a one-time experience. It is a continuing activity that begins with the mind, the reason we must desire the “mind of Christ.” We will always be a work in progress on earth.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.“
4. We “Bear Fruit” as evidence of faith and repentance
The evidence of faith is we continue to grow in repentance. You cannot bear fruit without Jesus. Likewise, a sinful lifestyle leads to bad fruit. Our part is to respond to God’s call to bear fruit and live life to the fullest.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.“
WE HATE WHAT GOD HATES AND LOVE WHAT GOD LOVES.
5. Don’t expect a perfect “one-time” repentance
Porn, transgender, gay lifestyle, homosexual or lesbian relationships, and adultery have no place in Christian life. We must repent of it (change our mind) when it occurs in our minds. Being tempted is not yet sin.
Therefore, repentance is not one time experience but a born-again journey. Ask Jesus to give you a heart that seeks “holiness and fear God.” Holy fear is inspired by love and reverence for Jesus and His sacrifice.
“For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins…“
6. Repentance is part of true faith
Repentance is both a gift and command that comes with faith. Jesus spoke about repentance as a requirement for salvation. In Martin Luther’s 95 Thesis, his introduction was the call of Jesus to a “lifetime of repentance.” (Matt. 4:17)
“… God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance.“