What Does it Mean to Repent?
The subject of this study has to do with the act of repentance; the first instruction from Yahushua was to repent...
Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Yahushua came into Galilee, preaching the glad tidings of the kingdom of YHWH.
15 And saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of YHWH is at hand: repent ye, and believe the glad tidings."
To repent means to think differently, reconsider, to change because of guilt caused by sin. In Hebrew the word for repentance is Teshuvah (usually shown as the verb shuv, to return). However, before we repent of sin, we must realize what sin is...
1John 3:4 Whoever commits sin transgresses also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law.
Yes, sin is transgression of the law, and as Shaul said in Romans 7:7, "I had not known sin but by the law." The problem with churchianity and their explanation of sin is that they make the law out to be bad. But they are in extreme error to believe and teach such. YHWH says concerning the law in latter times...
Isaiah 42:21 YHWH is well pleased for his righteousness' sake; he will magnify the law, and make it honourable.
How did YHWH magnify the Law and make it honourable? Was it not by his son Yahushua the Messiah? In the sermon on the mount (Matthew chapters 5-7), it can be seen how Yahushua came to magnify the law (Torah). But for now, let's continue on with the subject of repentance...
Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Yahushua sat at the table in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples.
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, "Why eateth your Rabbi with publicans and sinners?"
12 But when Yahushua heard that, he said unto them, "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.
13 But go ye and learn what that means, 'I will have mercy, and not sacrifice,' for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."
So Yahushua explains how he did not come to calle the righteous but he came to call sinners to repentance. But who are sinners?...
Romans 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before YHWH.
20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the esteem of YHWH.
So Shaul makes it clear that all are guilty of sin. For an illustration of the difference between sinners and self righteous hypocrites, let's look at the story of John the Baptist...
Matthew 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea,
2 And saying, "Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."
3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, "The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of YHWH, make his paths straight."
John was was the one prophesied to prepare the people for the coming of Yahushua. Continuing on...
Matthew 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey.
5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
John the Baptist was very popular, everyone seemed to be going to him, including the Pharisees (who had the reputation for being very strict Torah keepers) and Sadducees (who were the ones that were in charge of the Temple). Continuing on in verse 7...
Matthew 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, "O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy for repentance:
9 And think not to say within yourselves, 'We have Abraham to our father,' for I say unto you, that Elohim is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Set-apart Spirit, and with fire:
12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
The point that John was making is that the Pharisees and Sadducees that were coming to be immersed were self righteous hypocrites. They did not think that they needed to repent because they did not consider themselves to be sinners. Remember, sin is transgression of the Law of YHWH. Turning now to Acts chapter 3...
Acts 3:1 Now Kepha and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour (about 3pm).
2 And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple;
3 Who seeing Kepha and John about to go into the temple asked an alms.
4 And Kepha, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, "Look on us."
5 And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.
6 Then Kepha said, "Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Yahushua the Messiah of Nazareth rise up and walk."
7 And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.
8 And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising Elohim.
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising Elohim:
10 And they knew that it was he which sat for alms at the Beautiful gate of the temple: and they were filled with wonder and amazement at that which had taken place unto him.
11 And as the lame man which was healed held Kepha and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon's, greatly wondering.
Kepha and John had the power of the Ruach, and they had just performed a miracle in the Name of Yahushua ha Mashiach. The people who beheld the miracle (they were Jews) were astounded at what they had just beheld. Then in verse 12...
3:12 And when Kepha saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or reverence we had made this man to walk?
He then explains how it was the power of YHWH who made this man whole through the Name of Yahushua, and how they were guilty of murdering Yahushua. Then picking it up in verse 17, Kepha said,
Acts 3:17 "And now, brethren, I know that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.
18 But those things, which Elohim before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that the Messiah should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.
19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of YHWH."
And to this we can go to Acts 2:38...
Acts 2:38 Then Kepha said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahushua the Messiah for the forgiveness of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Set-apart Spirit.
We've seen that we need to repent of sin, and that sin is the transgression of the law. In Psalm 19 the Law of YHWH is defined...
Psalm 19:7 The law of YHWH is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of YHWH is sure, making wise the simple.
8 The statutes of YHWH are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of YHWH is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9 The fear of YHWH is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of YHWH are true and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Can you imagine that the law of YHWH is more precious than gold? The preceding is excellent to show to that the law has not been done away with. For an example of Yahushua's attitude toward his Father's law (the Torah), let's turn to John 8...
John 8:1 Yahushua went unto the mount of Olives.
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, "Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?"
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Yahushua stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."
Those words, "He who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her" are very powerful words. That is the attitude that we all need to have when we feel like judging another. Continuing on in verse 8...
John 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Yahushua was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Yahushua had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Sir. And Yahushua said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Notice how Yahushua told the woman to go and sin no more. That is what we need to do too! Shaul tells us how feeling sorry and sad for our past sins can lead to repentance...
2Corinthians 7:9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry according to YHWH, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.
10 For sorrow according to YHWH worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.
Shaul was pointing out how righteous sorrow (as apposed to worldly sorrow) leads to repentance. Worldly sorrow is when someone feels bad about sin, but does not have a solution. Yahushua compares the difference in the following...
John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
20 For every one who is practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be expose.
21 But the one doing truth comes to the light, so that his works are clearly seen, that they are done in Elohim.
Those who love the light (light is truth) comes to the light. Those who love darkness hate the light and will not come to the light. The following is good advise from the book of Ya'acov...
James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to YHWH. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8 Draw nigh to YHWH, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
10 Humble yourselves in the sight of YHWH, and he shall lift you up.
Being humble is so very important. Humility is the opposite of pride. As it said above, we need to humble ourselves in the sight of YHWH. And concerning the question about who will be saved?...
Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, "Rabbi, are there few that be saved?" And he said unto them,
24 "Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able."
Strive means to give it great effort. I believe that it is important to remember that we have to have the attitude that it isn't going to be easy, and that we cannot do it on our own!
2Kepha 3:3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days mockers, walking after their own lusts,
3:4 And saying, "Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
3:5 For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of YHWH the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water:
3:6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished:
The world was destroyed by a flood long ago but at the time of the end, it will be destoyed with fire...
2Kepha 3:7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of wicked men.
3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with YHWH as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
3:9 YHWH is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
YHWH is being longsuffering toward us, that we might repent. And finally YHWH says in Ezekiel...
Ezekiel 18:30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Sovereign YHWH. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
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