Lesson 16 –  True Repentance

A recent survey found that half of all who claim to have been “saved” go back on their conversion within a year. Clearly they did
not understand repentance, let alone when and how salvation is granted. Does true biblical repentance simply mean to be sorry
for sin, or is there much more to this essential act in a Believer’s life?

Can an unrepentant person enter the Kingdom of Yahweh?

b. Repenting of sin is necessary for salvation. Sin stands in the way of salvation, Isaiah 59:2; 64:7; Luke 13:27. Yahweh will not allow an unrepentant sinner to sit on one of His thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28). Yahshua instructed in Matthew 18:3, “Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Conversion or change begins with repentance. Sin leads only to death. James 5:20 explains,, “Let him know, that he which converts the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” In Luke 13:3 Yahshua said, “Except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.”

True repentance means...

e. Repentance in the New Testament comes from a couple of Greek words: The verb metanoeo means not just to forsake sin but to change one’s entire apprehension regarding it. The noun metanoia means a dynamic change in attitude toward sin itself and its cause—not just its consequences. Constant, deliberate vigilance must be taken to steer clear of all sinful influences and temptations (see Job 31:1). Read Col. 3:1-11 and 2Cor. 7:8-12. Note carefully: It is not simply “sorrow” that leads to repentance, but sorrow that is “righteous,” for there is a sorrow that is “of the world,” Ezekiel 18:21-23, 30-31.

The natural individual automatically resists repentance because

d. Yahshua said that those who love the world, and specifically its riches, cannot serve Yahweh, Luke 16:13; 1John 2:15. Their hearts are not in harmony with Him, but are in sync with the desires of the natural man, John 15:19. Like oil and water, the two cannot mix, Philippians 3:18-19; James 4:4. And Proverbs 12:14 explains that the ways of the world lead to death.

Repentance is just for those who have committed serious sin.

b. Acts 17:30 tells us, “And the times of this ignorance Elohim winked at; but now commands all men everywhere to repent.” In Luke 5:32 Yahshua said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” See also 1John 1:9. Because everyone has sinned, all need to repent and turn from sin, Romans 3:23. Note also that Yahweh has patience for the ignorant, but once they begin to understand the Truth, they must follow His command to repent and change.

What leads to true repentance?

a. Many claiming to be religious only apologize for their sins at best. Telling Yahweh you are sorry for your sin but not turning away from your sinful behavior is not repentance. Paul reveals the consequences of such: “For righteous sorrow works repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death,” 2Cor. 7:10. The sincerely repentant man of Yahweh loathes his sins and resolves never to repeat them (see Luke 15:11-32). The prodigal son in Yahshua’s parable truly repented and returned to seek his father’s mercy, ways, and rules. Paul’s “sorrow of the world” terminology is a selfish sorrow of him who is sorry because he got caught or because his actions made him look bad. In contrast, “righteous sorrow” is sorrow directed toward Yahweh. In righteous sorrow one is devastated because one’s sins violated a holy Elohim (Ps. 51:4). Additionally, one is devastated because of the price Yahshua had to pay to remove our sins. In “righteous sorrow” one is more concerned with Yahweh than with self

Genuine repentance results in...

c. Yahweh promises that all the sins of the truly repentant person will be forgiven and forgotten. “But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says Yahweh Elohim: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?” (Ezekiel 18:22-23; Acts 3:19).

Yahweh’s offers of mercy accompany His calls to repentance.

a. Yahweh’s mercy comes with a requirement—our genuine contrition. Joel 2:12-13 is clear that Yahweh has abundant mercy for the truly repentant., “Therefore also now, says Yahweh, turn even to me with all your heart, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning: And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto Yahweh your Elohim: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil.” Isaiah 55:7 substantiates this, saying, “He will abundantly pardon.” See Jeremiah 3:12-14. True repentance has a wonderfully cleansing and healing effect.

Once we repent, nothing we do afterward has a bearing on our salvation.

b. Hebrews 4:6 tells us that once one has been enlightened with truth and has received the Holy Spirit, and then falls away (completely rejecting everything), it is impossible to be renewed again unto repentance. This teaching is echoed in 2Peter 2:20. Repentance deals with sins that are past, Romans 3:23-25.

Select the individual(s) who demonstrated true repentance.

c., d. David’s heart-rending confession and his Psalm 51 masterpiece of repentance is a tribute to the person the Bible calls a man after Yahweh’s own heart. David’s sincerity is clear from his immediate and open confession when approached about his sins by Nathan the prophet. He did not shift blame or offer excuses, but just confessed an open honest, “I have sinned.” In Psalm 51 he says his sin was against Yahweh. Paul’s true repentance is evident by the fact that he sought Yahweh’s will once his sins of persecuting believers were dramatically pointed out to him. He fasted for three days, Acts 9:6, then was immersed, 9:18. Contrast this with the “repentance” of King Saul (1Sam 24:16-22); of King Ahab (1Kings 21:25-29), and of Judas (Matt. 27:3-5), where we see a false “sorrow of the world” (2Cor. 7:8-11).

Subsequent actions confirm true repentance.

a. In Acts 26:20 is the admonishment to turn to Yahweh and do works worthy of repentance. This means a repentant and baptized person is obedient to His laws, including the Sabbath and Feast commands, Prov. 10:8; see also Matthew 3:8. Repentance is followed by a dramatic and permanent change in behavior. In false repentance a person may attempt to turn from sin but not toward Yahweh. In false repentance the sinner is still alive to the world but dead to Messiah (Eph. 2:1-3; 1Jn.2:15-17). The sincere individual puts Yahweh before all things.

Repentance is preparation for

c. Acts 2:38 says sins are remitted and the Holy Spirit is given upon repentance and immersion. A life in Messiah that looks forward to an everlasting life is what all can have who sincerely repent, Acts 11:18.

A repentant individual (choose all that apply):

e. The converted believer has a spiritual mind and heart that reflect the character and qualities of Yahweh. Romans 12:2 instructs, “And be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of Elohim.”

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