This is the false gospel that has been preached for decades now.
The biblical word "repent" is a translation of the Greek word "metanoia," which is a compound word: meta + noia: meta = with; noia = mind
The English word "repent" traces its etymology from the late 13th century to the Old French of a prior century. So, we can see that it is a relatively modern term having mainly religious connotations.
The King James Version of the New Testament uses the word "repent" 24 times in 22 verses.
(Please sit down, because what I am about to tell you may knock you down.)
No where in those 22 veres is the statement "repent of your sins."
That particular concept is alluded to in Revelation only once, three times in Acts, and four times in the Gospel of Luke. That computes to only one third of the times the word is used--and none directly stating the theory.
Yet, the idea of repenting of our sins is the major thought promulgated by Christians. It seems to be inextricably tied into John 3:16 where we are told that we must be born again, yet John never uses the word "repent" either in his gospel or in his three epistles.
Isn't that interesting? The apostle of love had nothing to say about repentance from sin? Didn't he know Jesus intimately?
Where do we get these ideas?
I followed the same line of thinking for years, because that is what I was taught. It was what I heard repeated by many. I am and was a student of the Bible. I read prolifically and across theological streams; but, I missed this in the same way I've missed so many other important aspects of God's dealing with man.
For instance, I also taught that "you must be born again." I thought it was true in the way that I understood it. However, reading the entire passage in the Gospel of John, and using just a modicum of logic obtained from other passages, I realized that Jesus was not giving us a moral obligation or adding to the Ten Commandments. He simply stated a fact.
"You must be able to breathe underwater if you want to swim with the fish" is a statement of fact. It is not a command to develop gills. It is not in our power to do so. The "how to accomplish" that is something else entirely.
So it is with being born again.
You cannot, by any stretch of the imagination, get yourself born again. Not in the natural, and certainly not in the spiritual. Something must be done for you.
Neither can you quit sinning. (Jer. 13:23) Any attempt to try to stop sinning will only increase the problem. (What you resist persists.) Paul goes to great lengths to show us how trying to squash sin through rules and regulations only increases the sin. (Rom. 5, 6,7)
is a misnomer. It is the wrong way to use the word "repent." We don't "repent of" anything. We can only simply repent. Period.
It means to change the mind. Change your mind.
"Repent and believe the gospel." (Mark 1:15) Change your mind and believe the gospel. Stop disbelieving, and believe.
What is the gospel? "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19)
How can you repent of that which is not yours?
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