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2. Fundamentals vs. New Age -> Repentance vs New Age Repentance -> Fundamental Definition

Fundamental Definition of Repentance

Repentance is the sine qua non (without which it cannot be) of regeneration and a Christian life. Without repentance within our hearts God cannot commit Himself to us in any way. His Nature or Character cannot permit it. John 2:24. He exclusively knows the intentions of our hearts. Acts 1:24 and 15:8.

Repentance is the pivot upon which all relationships of God to man rest. Indeed, repentance is the essence (essential quality) of man's understanding and relationship of God.

Fundamental (that which makes it what it is) Repentance -- the word means a change of mind. It is a REJECTION OF SELF AND TURNING TO GOD, turning to God from your perceived lost condition in sin. It is a change of intention, not just a change in knowledge or an action in itself. When a person's mind is God illuminated as to his condition of sin (not acts only) before Almighty Holy God, and his heart cries IN REJECTION OF SELF to God PLEADING for forgiveness and an acceptable condition, this is repentance.

By a change of mind or intention toward God, the Bible means a very specific change of intention toward God.  Esau "was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears" (Heb 12:17).  Truly Esau was dreadfully sorry that he had forsaken his birthright and very likely the blessing that went with it.    But he didn't regard his birthright being from God, neither did he have it all to do over.  The scriptures say, "He found no place of repentance."  He had no sorrow for the God he offended, nor had any rejection of himself in any way.

Shall you or all mankind today, like Esau, not regard the Birthright provided to all mankind today, in just such a manner?

What scripture means by repentance is NOT ANY SORROW OR CHANGE OF MIND.  It is a specific sorrow and a specific change of mind.  It is one thing to be sorry and have a "change of mind" because of the consequences or punishment of one's actions, it is quite another to feel a sorrow for offending the person at the other end of your behavior, Lord Christ Himself suffering even for you in His Love,   This latter sorrow is the repentance sought by God.  It is NOT a change of mind or what YOU believe, trust, and accept.  It is a heart felt, Holy Spirit revealed, understanding never before experienced.   What is your experience?  And is it your continuous heart felt experience toward God your Father and Son each and every moment of every second of every 24 hour day.

The command given, and the Gospel provided in 1 Cor 15, 2-4, by our Lord, and instructed to receive in Mark 1:15 is to repent and commit, both (present active imperative), to continuously by your choice by command.  This is not a one time command.  It MUST be continuous, never ending, by command.

Any worldly person may be sorry for being caught or receiving punishment, but it is a truly a different mind that feels the great sorrow and pain that the Person on the other end of his actions must have felt and is truly sorrowful for that consequence..  This is what scriptural repentance is "toward God" (Acts 20:21).

Scriptural Repentance Involves Three Spiritual Perceptions by the Repentant Person

The person is not just sorry for his just punishment and wishes to escape just punishment; he has   
(1) a "total change of mind, (sorrow and intention)" toward the feelings of God grieved by our own selfish natures, so clearly perceived to be in existence.  This is true repentance. 
Also, obviously, a person  with such a change of mind must also, necessarily, have for the first time a sense of the grief and sorrow for this.  Pleading to God for forgiveness, with promising his own life to serve Him for Eternity. He perceives for the first time in such reality, the,

(2) Love of God intended toward him.  
 His Love is "how" God reacted  with such sorrow and grief Himself. 
Also, obviously, a person with such a change of mind must also, necessarily, have for the first time a sense of the,

(3) Holiness of God intended toward him
, which is "why" God is offended in the first place. Without at least an intention of Holiness within our hearts our preeminently Holy Creator cannot deal with us. 

True repentance is perceiving the sensitivites and Attributes (Love, Truth, Holiness, and Wisdom) of God; how God is hurt by our sin, how God's Love as been hurt by you, and how God is not only hurt but offended that you would be the way you have been.

So when we say "repentance is a change of sorrow and intention toward God," all of this change of mind is included.  It is not (1) a worldly sorrow of consequences, nor an effort to compensate to escape the consequences.  This will save no one. That is a natural, sorrow of the "flesh" selfish nature of man, and falsely taught by so-called teachers of God.   Also, it is not (2) a change in beliefs about historical facts or teachings concerning Christ and the Bible.  This is nothing more than an intellectual affirmatiion.  This will save no one.

Repentance is the first heart change within man that is not self-oriented, self-centered.  It is God oriented, toward God Himself being hurt and offended.  It is the first self-less mental change of a man, a "total change of sorrow and intention toward God being offended and hurt."

"Oh, I'm sorry I hurt and offended you, Oh, dear God, forgive me, please forgive me.  I didn't know.  I didn't know.  Please, please forgive me.   I didn't know I was hurting you. I didn't know.   I want to be pleasing to you the rest of my life............I promise I will serve you for Eternity."

This conscious change of a person's intentions toward God is such an existential change in his previously self-centered existence that few people fail to remember this event in their life.  God Himself seems to be revealed to them, the first time.   It is an epochal event to them and they indelibly remember this the rest of their lives. 

Repentance is a heartfelt sorrow for the affect the behavior had, having hurt God, having offended God Himself, as we spiritually perceive God's Love and Holiness for the first time.  This is repentance, a change of sorrow and intention, toward God (Acts 20:21).

We are commanded to act upon the spiritual enlightenment given to every person by the Holy Spirit , by changing for the first time in our lives by:
(1) our deliberate sorrow, grief, and changed intention directed toward God, and
(2) by our deliberate "committing to Him" also directed toward God. "Be repenting (present active imperative--a command for the person to act upon)  ye, and be believing ("committing," to commit, present active imperative--a command for the person to act upon) in (ev) the gospel (1 Cor 15:2-4)" (Mark 1:15). 

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