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

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Introduction 6.1

We have already shown the need for any Christian to repent after becoming a believer in Jesus (See #4), and that it is a co-operative process between God and man (See #5), and now we are going to look at what we do to repent. Only by God's grace is repentance granted to us, because "the goodness of God leads you to repentance" (Romans 2:4), but when it is offered we must do our part: "God commands all men everywhere to repent" (Acts 17:30). This bible study gives the first of nine steps to repentance, and explains why we must believe in Jesus Christ for forgiveness. It could have been ten steps, or twelve, or more by breaking it down into smaller elements, but the essence of what is needed is here. This first step is what should motivate you to repent. 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. 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. 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.

#6.1 Believe in Jesus Christ For Forgiveness

ACTS 10:43
43 To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name everyone believing in him1 shall receive forgiveness of sins.

ACTS 13:38-39 (Paul)
38 Be it known to you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins:
39 And by him all who believe2 are justified from all things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

ROMANS 3:21-22 (Paul)
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all those who believe: for there is no difference:

Note 1: These scriptures, along with others, are often used to substantiate the claim that all sins are automatically forgiven the moment that we become believers in Jesus Christ. As far as the manifestation of forgiveness in our hearts is concerned, this has already been shown to be totally false (See #3), so we need to examine exactly what these scriptures mean, and how they relate to other scriptures. The words translated everyone believing in him1 (Acts 10:43) (Gr. πάντα τὸν πιστεύοντα εἰς αὐτόν, Gtr. panta ton pisteuonta eis auton) literally mean "every one believing in him", or "every one who believes in him". That translated all who believe2 (Acts 13:39) (Gr. πᾶς ὁ πιστεύων, Gtr. pas ho pisteuōn) literally reads "every one believing", or "every one who believes". What does it mean then, "believing in him"? The Greek philosophy of believing is to think that something is so in your mind, and then call yourself a believer. The scriptural believing is much deeper than that. A scriptural believer is so convinced that something is true that it transforms his life and is evidenced by what he does. Jesus gave us some indication of what true believers in him would be like:

(Mark 9:23) "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."
(Mark 16:17-18) "And these signs shall follow those who believe; in my name they shall cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;
They shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
(John 14:12) "Amen, amen, I say to you, he who believes in me shall also do the works that I do; and he will do greater works than these because I go to my Father."
(1 John 5:5) "Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the son of God?"

These scriptures are describing a believer with some maturity, particularly ones with real faith, but the words to describe them are similar to the other scriptures. The Greek words for "him who believes" (Mark 9:23) are τῷ πιστεύοντι, (Gtr. tō pisteuonti) which form a substantive participle in the dative case. It is equivalent to τὸν πιστεύοντα (Acts 10:43) in the accusative case, and ὁ πιστεύων (Acts 13:39) in the nominative case, which are both substantive participles also. The words translated "who believe" (Mark 16:16) (Gr. ὁ πιστεύσας) and "who believes" (John 14:12; 1 John 5:5) (Gr. ὁ πιστεύων) are all substantive participles in the nominative case. The implication is that these words do not apply to everyone who calls themselves a Christian. The parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13), the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:13-30), and Matthew 7:21-23 confirm that this is so. On the day of judgment Jesus will judge who is a true believer according to the words that he has spoken (John 12:48). True believing in Jesus is believing what he has said, being transformed to become like him, and is evidenced by the works that that produces.

Note 2: The reason why we need to believe in Jesus to get our sins forgiven is because God has had to make a provision to pay for our past sins, and this he did by sending his Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a sinless life on the earth:

(Hebrews 4:14-15) "Jesus the Son of God ... was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."
(1 Peter 2:21-22) "Christ ... Who did no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth."
(1 John 3:5) "And you know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin."

This being so, he did not have to pay the penalty for his own sin, which is death (Genesis 2:17; Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23), but he was able to voluntarily lay down his own life (John 10:15; 10:18), and suffer and die for our sins:

(Isaiah 53:5-6) "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all."
(Romans 5:8) "While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
(Galatians 1:4) "Who gave himself for our sins."
(1 Peter 2:24) "Who his own self bore our sins in his own body on the tree."

Therefore, without believing in Jesus there is no forgiveness.

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