tNM 3: Repentance
In this paper we examine what real repentance is, how many will repent, and who it is that gives repentance. Do we repent on our own or does God give us the power to repent?
nm51» The New Testament of the Bible speaks of repentance. People are warned to repent for the kingdom of heaven is near (Matt 3:2). People are asked to repent and be baptized or converted (Acts 2:38, 3:19). The repentance the Bible is talking about here is a changed mind. To repent is to change your mind. The Greek word which was translated into our English "repent" is metanoeo, which means "to have another mind," or "to change your mind," or to think anew. When the Bible says to repent it speaks to those with the old mind, that evil mind of the old age. To repent is to change your mind. The way those with the old mind change their mind is to receive the New Mind. To repent then is to change minds. To repent is to change from the old mind with the evil spirit to the New Mind with the good Spirit.
All To Repent
nm52» God wants all to come to repentance (2Pet 3:9). In other words, God wants all to have a changed mind. In the paper entitled, "All Saved" [NM 13], we show how all the creation will be freed from the old mind and old cosmos and given life in the new cosmos. The life in the new cosmos will be with the New Mind, the changed mind from the old evil mind.
Repentance Is a Gift From God
nm53» It is God who gives us a changed mind (Acts 5:31, 11:18) (2 Tim 2:25). Paul confirms this, "Or do you despise the riches of his goodness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance" (Rom 2:4). Paul's own changed mind came through God's power, not Paul's power (Acts 9:1-18).
Result of Repentance
nm54» The result of a changed mind is a new attitude towards God. Paul taught that people "should repent and turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance" (Acts 26:20). Paul did earnestly testify "both to Jews and Greeks repentance toward God and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" (Acts 20:21). Jesus taught, "repent and believe in the gospel" (Mark 1:15). Those with a changed mind believe in the good news of Christ (the gospel), they have turned to God, they do works worthy of their changed mind, they have faith toward Christ, etc.
nm55» Repentance is also for the sending away ("remission") of sins (Luke 24:47). When you repent you are converted toward the blotting out of sins (Acts 3:19). And it is this repentance that leads to salvation (2Cor 7:10).
How Does God Give Repentance?
nm56» As Rom 8:7-9 shows us, it is through God's Spirit that mankind's attitude changes from the way of death towards the way of life. This Spirit of God is a gift from God (Acts 2:38; Rom 5:5) (2 Cor 1:22, 5:5) (1Thess 4:8). With this gift of the Spirit we receive the fruits or effects of this Spirit. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace..." (Gal 5:22). It is through God's free gift of the Spirit of God that mankind's mind changes from the old mind to the New Mind. In this age the gift of this New Mind is given to those who were predestinated before the world began to receive the New Mind in the old age (see "Predestination Paper" [NM 8]).