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Meaning: change of mind and heart

There are 3 Greek words used in the New Testament to denote repentance.

  1. Greek: μεταμέλομαι —transliteration: metamelomai

    This verb is used of a change of mind, such as to produce regret or even remorse on account of sin, but not necessarily a change of heart. This word is used with reference to the remorse of Judas (Matthew 27:3).

    Then when Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that He had been condemned, he felt remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” But they said, “What is that to us? See [to that] yourself!” And he threw the pieces of silver into the temple sanctuary and departed; and he went away and hanged himself. —Matthew 27:3-5 NASB

  2. Greek: μετανοέω —transliteration: metanoeó or metanoeo

    This means to change one’s mind and purpose, a change of the inner man, as the result of after knowledge. This verb, with the cognate noun metanoiaμετάνοια, is used of true repentance, a change of mind and purpose and life, to which remission of sin is promised.

    According to Scripture’s teaching of the Gospel, repentance consists of…

    1. a true sense of one’s own guilt and sinfulness

    2. an apprehension of God’s mercy in Christ

    3. an actual hatred of sin (Psalms 119:128; Job 42:5,6; 2 Corinthians 7:10) and turning from it to God

    4. a persistent endeavour to live a holy life—walking with God in the way of His instruction

    The true penitent is conscious of guilt (Psalms 51:4, 9), of pollution (51:5, 7, 10), and of helplessness (51:11; 109:21-22).

    Thus he realizes that he is just what God has always seen him to be and declares him to be—a lost sinner who desperately needs God’s mercy. Repentance comprehends not only such a sense of sin, but also an apprehension of mercy, without which there can be no true repentance (Psalms 51:1; 130:4).

What Is Repentance?
Paul Washer of HeartCry Missionary Society
length: 8 minutes
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Paul Washer of HeartCry Missionary Society
length: 13 minutes
Article Version: January 21, 2019