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Greek Word Study on μετανοέω, metanoeo, 'to repent'
Greek Word Study on μετάνοια, metanoia, 'repentance'

Repentance Index || Repent after believing || How to Repent

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Introduction 6.5

If you are a Christian who has struggled with sin in your Christian walk, making the same mistakes over and over again, then this study on how to repent is of the utmost importance to you. The more you become like Jesus, the less sin will be a problem in your life. This process of repentance will take you through that transformation - but be warned: it is no quick fix. True repentance is a slow ongoing process, dealing with each sin in your life as God reveals them to you. Total and utter destruction of each sin is what is required.
This bible study gives the fifth of nine steps to repentance, and teaches us that we must forsake our sins to obtain forgiveness. This is action which should follow confession and Godly sorrow helps with the crucifixion of "our old man" (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22), the death of our spiritual "self" (Galatians 2:20), and requires serious and deliberate intention on our behalf. It will prepare for the growth of "the new man" (Ephesians 4:24) in us, which is the spirit of Christ: "put on the Lord Jesus Christ." (Romans 13:14), building us up in faith and love. A true repentance will break your spiritual chain and set you free. It will set in motion "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:2) which will set you free from the law of sin and death.

#6.5 Forsake our Sins for Forgiveness

14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

PROVERBS 28:13 (Solomon)
13 He who covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.

ISAIAH 1:16-18
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil.
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.
18 Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

9 By this therefore shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged; and this is all the fruit to take away his sin; when he makes all the stones of the altar as chalkstones that are beaten in pieces, the groves and images shall not stand up.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

ISAIAH 59:20
20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, says the LORD.

3 It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do to them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.

EZEKIEL 33:14-16
14 Again, when I say to the wicked, You shall surely die; if he turns from his sin, and does that which is lawful and right;
15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again what he had stolen, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live and not die.
16 None of his sins that he has committed shall be mentioned to him: he has done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.

EZEKIEL 18:21-22
21 If the wicked will turn from all his sins which he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, and not die.
22 All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned to him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

Note 1: This requires that we forsake sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. The scriptures show that thoughts are sin:

(Proverbs 15:26) "The thoughts of the wicked are an abomination to the LORD."
(Proverbs 24:9) "The thought of foolishness is sin."
(Isaiah 59:7) "Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity."
(Acts 8:22) "Pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you."

God has given instructions for sinful thoughts to be forsaken:

(Isaiah 55:7) "Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon."
(Jeremiah 4:14) "O Jerusalem, wash your heart from wickedness, that you may be saved. How long shall your vain thoughts lodge within you?"

Thoughts come from our spiritual heart (Mark 7:21 See Note 2), and that is what God judges:

(1 Samuel 16:7) "man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart."
(Proverbs 23:7) "For as he thinks in his heart (Lit. soul), so is he."

Jesus said:

(Matthew 5:28) "whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart."
And the apostle John wrote:
(1 John 3:15) "Whoever hates his brother is a murderer: and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."

From these scriptures we can see that God will judge the spiritual heart of a person, so how do we overcome sinful thoughts?

(1) Commit your ways to God:

(Proverbs 16:3) "Commit your works to the LORD, and your thoughts shall be established."

(2) Have your mind transformed:

(Romans 12:2) "And do not be 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 God."

(3) Operate in Godly love:

(1 Corinthians 13:4-5) "Love suffers long, and is kind; charity envies not; charity vaunts not itself, is not puffed up,
Does not behave itself unseemly, does not seek her own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil."

(4) Cast down imaginations:

(2 Corinthians 10:5) "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

Note 2: Concerning the words that we speak, Jesus said:

(Matthew 12:36-37) "But I say to you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account of it in the day of judgment.
For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned."

So where do our words came from? They come from the heart:

(Matthew 12:34) "out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks."
(Matthew 15:18) "But those things which proceed out of the mouth come out from the heart; and they defile the man."

So when God judges us for our words, he is really judging our heart.
It is also written that God will judge us for our deeds:

(2 Corinthians 5:10) "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad."
(Revelation 20:11-13) "And I saw a great white throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

So where do our deeds come from? They also come from the heart:

(Matthew 15:19) "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
(Mark 7:21-23) For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,
22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness:
23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

So when God judges us for our deeds, he is again judging our spiritual heart.

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