“The Genuine Article” by John MacArthur
What is repentance? The literal Greek word, metanoia, has to do with changing your mind. But authentic repentance is much more than merely changing your opinion, your thought process, or your mood. It’s a complete spiritual about-face. And if it’s genuine, it will always result in a change of behavior, too.
And while true repentance is the flash point for saving faith, and a source of powerful, lasting assurance of that faith, it’s a widely misunderstood doctrine. Many believers only have a vague notion of what it means to repent, and they’re unfamiliar with what it looks like in the pages of Scripture.
Jesus’ parable in Matthew 21:28-30 is a classic illustration. “A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not” (KJV).
The response of the first son explains the meaning of repentance. He said, “I will not,” but he did. That’s repenting. He said one thing but changed his whole attitude and purpose and went the opposite way. Repentance is a complete change of heart and direction, not merely a new idea about something….[Continue reading here]
John MacArthur is the pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California, president of The Master’s College and The Master’s Seminary, and featured teacher with the Grace to You media ministry. Grace to You radio, video, audio, print, and website resources reach millions worldwide each day.