That they were saved before being baptized is evident from their reception of the Holy Spirit v. Indeed, it is the fact that they had received the Holy Spirit and hence were saved that led Peter to baptize them cf. One of the basic principles of biblical interpretation is the analogia scriptura , the analogy of Scripture--we must compare Scripture with Scripture in order to understand its full and proper sense.
Since the Bible doesn't contradict itself, any interpretation of a specific passage that contradicts the general teaching of the Bible is to be rejected. Since the general teaching of the Bible is, as we have seen, that baptism and other forms of ritual are not necessary for salvation, no individual passage could teach otherwise. Thus we must look for interpretations of those passages that will be in harmony with the general teaching of Scripture.
With that in mind, let's look briefly at some passages that appear to teach that baptism is required for salvation. In Acts , Peter appears to link forgiveness of sins to baptism. But there are several plausible interpretations of this verse that do not connect forgiveness of sin with baptism. It is possible to translate the Greek preposition eis --"because of," or "on the basis of," instead of "for.
It is also possible to take the clause "and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ" as parenthetical. Support for that interpretation comes from that fact that "repent" and "your" are plural, while "be baptized" is singular, thus setting it off from the rest of the sentence. If that interpretation is correct, the verse would read "Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Luke ; John ; Acts ; ; ; ; Ephesians It is possible that to a first-century Jewish audience as well as to Peter , the idea of baptism might incorporate both the spiritual reality and the physical symbol.
In other words, when one spoke of baptism, he usually meant both ideas--the reality and the ritual. Peter is shown to make the strong connection between these two in chapters 10 and In he recounts the conversion of Cornelius and friends, pointing out that at the point of their conversion they were baptized by the Holy Spirit.
After he had seen this, he declared, "Surely no one can refuse the water for these to be baptized who have received the Holy Spirit This may not only explain Acts viz. Mark , a verse often quoted to prove baptism is necessary for salvation, is actually a proof of the opposite.
Notice that the basis for condemnation in that verse is not the failure to be baptized, but only the failure to believe. Baptism is mentioned in the first part of the verse because it was the outward symbol that always accompanied the inward belief. I might also mention that many textual scholars think it unlikely that vv. We can't discuss here all the textual evidence that has caused many New Testament scholars to reject the passage. But you can find a thorough discussion in Bruce Metzger, et al.
Water baptism does not seem to be what Peter has in view in 1 Peter The English word "baptism" is simply a transliteration of the Greek word baptizo , which means "to immerse. Matthew ; Mark ; ; ; Luke ; ; ; John ; Acts ; ; 1 Corinthians ; So Peter is not talking about immersion in water, as the phrase "not the removal of dirt from the flesh" indicates.
He is referring to immersion in Christ's death and resurrection through "an appeal to God for a good conscience," or repentance. Again, it is not the outward act that saves, but the internal reality of the Spirit's regenerating work cf. Titus I also do not believe water baptism is in view in Romans 6 or Galatians 3. I see in those passages a reference to the baptism in the Holy Spirit cf. For a detailed exposition of those passages, I refer you to my commentaries on Galatians and Romans, or the transcripts my sermons on Galatians 3 and Romans 6.
In Acts , Paul recounts the words of Ananias to him following his experience on the Damascus road: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name. Paul's sins were washed away not by baptism, but by calling on His name. Water baptism is certainly important, and required of every believer. However, the New Testament does not teach that baptism is necessary for salvation. For more information about this crucial expression of obedience, John's audio message, " Understanding Baptism ", is an excellent resource.
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The completed registration allows us to send order and donation receipts to the email address you provided. Registered User Guest. Log out. Grace-to-You Grace-to-You. Play Audio. Play via Sermon App. This article is also available and sold as a booklet. Buy the Booklet. Print PDF Email. It will also discuss the meaning of metanoew in the New Testament. MacArthur links metamelomai with metanoew which invests the latter with emotional and soteriological significance. In this passage, Paul explains that sorrow can lead to repentance or death.
Judas regretted metamelomai his betrayal of Jesus, but did not find salvation Matt. Thus the use of metamelomai to connect soteriological repentance with emotional sorrow for sins has no biblical or lexical foundation. Usually, the connection is assumed without an attempt to explain any biblical or lexical relationship. The verb epistrefw is used thirty-six times in the New Testament and is generally translated transitively "turn someone or something" and intransitively "turn around, turn back.
Only three times is it mentioned from what one turned. In these instances it is "vain things" Acts , "darkness" and "the power of Satan" Acts , and "idols" 1 Thess. Rather than some sin which must be forsaken, what seems emphasized as that to which and from which one turns is the object of one's trust.
Does the Old Testament Law Still Apply?
The English word "repent" is used to translate the Greek word metanoew. Gentry correctly asserts that a discussion of repentance in relation to salvation should focus on the meaning of metanoew. The basic meaning of the Greek word metanoew is "to change the mind. Gentry's own analysis states,. Metanoeo comes from the conjoining of meta , "after," with noeo , "to perceive, think" related to nous , "mind". Thus, "to perceive afterwards," implying a change of mind.
The pre-Christian and extra-biblical field of meaning for metanoew is set forth by Behm:. In pre-biblical and extra-biblical usage metanoew and metanoia are not firmly related to any specific concepts. At the first stage they bear the intellectual sense of "subsequent knowledge.
The change of opinion or decision, the alteration in mood or feeling, which finds expression in the terms, is not in any sense ethical. It may be for the bad as well as for the good For the Greeks metanoia never suggests an alteration in the total moral attitude, a profound change in life's direction, a conversion which affects the whole conduct In light of this admission, it is unfortunate that the basic meaning of "to change the mind" is eclipsed by the Lordship insistence on something more from the word itself in the New Testament.
A justification for this conclusion is set forth by both Behm and Goetzmann. The term shWb was used 1, times in the Hebrew text. None of those occurrences is translated by metanoew in the Greek OT. Not one. This is inexplicable if the translators of the LXX felt that metanoew was a good translation of shWb. Rather, the translators routinely used strefw and its various compound forms to translate shWb. Thus it is concluded that the word metanoew denotes basically a change of mind. The definition that takes it as a turning from sins is suspected of being theologically derived.
Of course, sin can be that about which the mind changes depending on the biblical context. It is recognized that nous or "mind," as used by the authors of Scripture, can denote more than intellect. It is unfortunate that metanoew is translated "repent" in the English Bible, for the English etymology denotes more the idea of penitence as sorrow, or worse, the Catholic doctrine of penance, than it does the more accurate "change of mind. The context must decide the meaning of metanoew in the New Testament.
Key passages using metanoew will now be examined in their contexts. The Lordship case for making repentance always related to sin, a resolve to turn from sin, and a turning from sins for salvation is argued from a number of Bible passages. The major passages will be examined first where repentance is used in relation to the offer of salvation, then in relation to sins, its production of fruits, and its characterization as a gift from God. Finally, the idea of repentance will be examined in some salvation narratives. Passages which do not have the idea of soteriological repentance may only be noted in brief.
From a number of passages concerning the offer of salvation Lordship proponents adduce that repentance was presented as the resolve to forsake sins, or the actual turning from sins. The approach taken here is to consider all of the passages that relate repentance to the offer of salvation in the preaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the apostles, and see whether Lordship claims are justified. John came preaching "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand! Does his preaching require of people that they resolve to forsake sins or actually turn from sins in order to be saved?
Paul's commentary in Acts on John's "baptism of repentance" is important in understanding John's use of repentance.
Paul said, "John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Jesus Christ. Having been baptized by John, they were obviously Jewish believers. However, the new revelation of the gospel of grace demanded that they come to faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, Paul considers John's baptism as preparatory to faith in Christ. Another important commentary on John's use of repentance in the offer of salvation is found in Acts which not only infers that John's preaching was preparatory to Christ, but states that its audience was specifically "all the people of Israel.
Repentance in John's preaching was designed to prepare the nation of Israel for faith in Jesus Christ, their Messiah. Repentance for the Jews in the context of John's preaching cannot be divested of covenantal implications. Therefore, it is ill-advised to give similar emphasis to John's preaching of repentance to Israel during the transition period between law and grace to the offer of salvation for all people after this period. The preaching of Jesus recounted in the Gospels normally uses repentance in reference to eternal salvation.
There is sometimes a recognizable emphasis on repentance in relation to sin s. However, it must be seen whether Jesus demanded a reformation of life. As with John, Jesus' preaching was at times directed toward the nation of Israel in the context of covenantal obligations Matt. This is most obvious in His upbraiding of the impenitent Jewish cities Matt.
These were the cities to which the twelve apostles were sent when Jesus said "Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel" Matt. Their refusal to repent Matt.
Mark was a refusal to change from their sinful attitude of self-righteousness and rejection of God's righteousness in Christ. It expressed in covenantal terms the way in which the Jews could restore their relationship with God through the Messiah. The command "Repent" reminded of covenant obligations that had been neglected; the command "believe in the gospel" looked forward to the work of Jesus the Messiah and the faith that would appropriate that work for salvation. The account of Matthew's conversion is sometimes told so as to emphasize Christ's call to repentance in terms of turning from sins to follow Christ.
However, to emphasize repentance from sins MacArthur embellishes the scriptural record with the statement, "Matthew was unequivocally the vilest, most wretched sinner in Capernaum. It is more accurate to say that the emphasis of the text lies not on sins in general, but on attitudes, i. Those who come to repentance have changed their thinking about their own lack of righteousness and have come to acknowledge their sinfulness and need of "healing" Matt. Thus only sinners, or those who realize their need of righteousness, are ready to change their minds about Christ's offer of forgiveness.
Repentance, then, is spoken of in terms of one's thinking about himself and the need for Christ's salvation. When answering the Pharisees' request for a sign, Jesus rebukes their unbelief and contrasts them with the Ninevites of Jonah's day who "repented at the preaching of Jonah. The Ninevites changed their minds and hearts when they heard Jonah. Jesus tells an "innumerable multitude" that just as the Galileans were killed by Pilate and the eighteen were killed by the tower in Siloam , "unless you repent you will all likewise perish.
Judgment awaits all who do not repent. The message had special significance to the sinful nation of Israel, as illustrated in the following parable of the fruitless fig tree Unless there is evidence of repentance "fruit" during the time of opportunity the nation would be judged. There is no explicit reason to conclude that He was telling them to "resolve to turn from sins" or "turn from sins.
Jesus also highlights repentance in the three parables of Luke The central point is stated in the parable of the lost sheep and the parable of the lost coin:God and heaven rejoice "over one sinner who repents" , This thesis is then poignantly illustrated in the parable of the lost son The parables were given in response to the self-righteous Pharisees, who did not see themselves as sinners, to teach that repentance from such an attitude brings the Father's joyful acceptance.
The lack of any emphasis on turning from specific sins must be noted. The parables of the lost sheep and lost coin do not mention turning away from sins at all. In the parable of the lost son, repentance can be identified with the son's change of mind in the far country when he "came to himself" and decided to trust in his father's mercy.
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Furthermore, there is no reason to consign this teaching to the soteriological realm only, for this is not explicit in the passage. The audience is both "sinners" , who represent the unsaved, and "the Pharisees and Scribes" , who represent the covenant nation Israel in their deluded self-righteousness. Jesus was simply teaching that when anyone changes his mind about his own unrighteousness and trusts in God's mercy, he will be joyfully accepted by God. The moral of these stories is stated broadly enough to apply to a repentant unbeliever or a repentant believer.
Another mention of repentance that could be construed as salvific is in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Here the rich man in Hades begs Abraham to send Lazarus to his five brothers so they will escape a similar fate. When Abraham refuses, the rich man argues, "if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent" Abraham's answer shows that the idea of repentance here is chiefly that of holding a particular attitude, for he says that the brothers will not be "persuaded" i. Repentance, then, is a persuasion of the soul, a change of the mind and heart akin to faith.
It may refer here to both a change of mind about their unbelief as well as a change of mind about Christ. There is no mention of turning from all sins. A final mention of repentance by the Lord comes after His resurrection when He commissioned the disciples with the words, "repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem" Luke It is clear that Jesus intended the message of repentance to go beyond the Jews to the Gentiles, but it is not stated explicitly what is to be the focus of their repentance.
It can be safely said that He wanted all people everywhere to come to a change of mind, attitude, and disposition towards themselves and His gospel message, especially in view of His death and resurrection. The change of attitude would include the more specific faith in Christ. Peter and Paul preached or mentioned repentance in their offers of salvation.
The book of Acts is the record of how they did so in fulfillment of Luke Peter's pentecostal sermon is the first example of the apostolic preaching of repentance. In he responds to the crowd's question of "What shall we do? This word connotes a "sharp pain connected with anxiety, remorse. The people were driven by their feelings of remorse to seek an avenue of change, thus Peter says "Repent. There are several clues in the context about the focus of their repentance.
Peter addresses the specific sin of their the Israelites' crucifixion of the Lord Jesus v. Verse 37 begins, "Now when they heard this , they were cut to the heart. Now they must repent, or change their minds about who He is and change their disposition toward Him. The condemnation of Christ had been done in ignorance Acts ; , but in raising Jesus God showed the Jews they had made a mistake: they had crucified the Christ Acts Now, however, the Jews are given a chance to change their minds, to repent ; ; When they so change their minds, they will see Christ as their Messiah and Savior and receive forgiveness of sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit.
The exhortation to be baptized is an exhortation to display the fruits of invisible repentance in a visible act that would separate them from the nation under judgment and identify them with the new community of believers. Of course, repentance to the exclusively Jewish addressees cf. The progression in Acts is expressed by 2 Corinthians "For godly sorrow produces repentance to salvation.
Repentance, though motivated by their remorse over the sin of crucifying Christ, focuses more on their thinking about Christ than on their sin. Another occasion of Peter preaching repentance is in his sermon on Solomon's portico The audience and issues appear similar to that of the pentecostal sermon.
The Jews must come to see their error in crucifying the Messiah and change their minds about Him Bruce says, "All that they had to do to avail themselves of this salvation was to change their former attitude to Jesus and bring it into line with God's attitude. There is no indication of necessary external actions such as the forsaking of sins. In fact, Peter's second command, "be converted" v. The preaching of repentance to Simon the Sorcerer has an altogether different context. Here Peter addresses an individual about a specific sin: that of presuming to buy the power of the apostolic office v.
Had this been what Paul wanted to say, he could have used metanoew. But in these passages, Paul is focusing on the desired Acts and actual 1 Thess. Thus the turning is related to, but distinct from, what caused it. The next incidence of preaching repentance in relation to salvation occurs in Paul's sermon at the Areopagus in Athens His words explicitly extend to all men: "Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent" v. The tenor of Paul's message shows that he tailored it to those in basic "ignorance" of the gospel message.
Yet repentance is required of all such men in ignorance because they must come to the point of recognizing the true God as opposed to their errors of idolatry. Ironside comments,. They needed to realize their true state before God. To them the call came, "Change your minds! Your whole attitude is wrong. Repent and heed the voice of God. In this passage, the juxtaposition of "repent" with "we ought not to think" v. It is here a change in conviction and attitude about worshiping false gods to worshiping the true God. The above understanding of repentance is exemplified in Paul's description of his ministry to the Ephesian elders He characterized his past ministry as that of "testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ" v.
This affords an important insight into the significance of repentance in relation to salvation. Paul mentions two aspects of obtaining salvation, the more general "repentance toward God" and the more specific "faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The second phrase thus adds specific content to the first and shows there is sometimes a close relationship in the ideas of repentance and faith in relation to salvation.
In conclusion to this section, these passages which speak of repentance in relation to the offer of salvation show that repentance is an inner change of mind and heart. That about which one repents varies from sin, to God, to one's opinion about Jesus Christ. Sometimes the biblical text shows that the result of repentance is faith in Christ; at other times the result is turning from sins.
But these results are not properly in the realm of the term itself, though they are often implied. In a number of other passages, it is obvious that specific acts of sin are closely tied to repentance. There is nothing, however, to suggest that repentance itself demands more than a change of attitude about the acts, though this leads to a change in conduct.
It should also be noted that these verses, for the most part, do not refer to soteriological repentance and are therefore of little help to this study. This passage does not speak of repentance in reference to salvation. In order to be saved they had had to change their attitudes about the efficacy of their works and believe the gospel. The letters to the churches in Revelation 2 and 3 are addressed primarily to Christians, though unbelievers may have been present.
Nevertheless, the force of John's commands to repent are intended for the Christians who needed to change their thinking about tolerating false teaching and evil deeds in their midst , 16, 21, 22; , He is not instructing them in salvation. These passages speak of repentance in relation to those who are unsaved and are experiencing the judgments of the Tribulation period.
As in Revelation 2 and 3, the judgments here are the temporal trumpet and bowl judgments of the Tribulation. The implication of the context is that if these people would repent, the judgments would cease, though their eternal destruction seems already sealed by the mark of the beast That from which these unbelievers repent in is "the works of their hands" referring to idols , and "murders," "sorceries," "sexual immorality," and "thefts.
The accounts emphasize the hardness of these unbelievers' hearts in that they never changed their stubborn minds about their sins, as exhibited by their persistence in evil deeds. However, the statement about their refusal to repent from evil deeds does not imply an offer of eternal salvation, but serves as an observation that confirms their evil dispositions and proves God's judgment to be justified. Several passages speak of repentance and the fruits of repentance together.
This has led Lordship teachers to equate repentance with the actual work of forsaking sins or changing conduct. Though some say that repentance only leads to these works, others actually define repentance in terms of its outward fruits. Stott cites Luke to argue that repentance must include a change of behavior. Both Matthew and Luke record the words, "Brood of vipers! Who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance. The question immediately arises as to how "fruits worthy of repentance" can be the same thing as repentance.
Lenski observes,. As Lenski has offered, the visible fruit should not be confused with the invisible root, though there is an undeniable connection. When the people ask "What shall we do? Thus actions are the result and evidence of repentance. Here, John is evaluating the evidence for inner repentance in those who have come to be baptized. The fact that Matthew records John speaking these words "when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism" v.
They continued to trust only in their physical descent from Abraham for merit with God Matt. They were presuming to flee the coming judgment for their sins, yet they had not truly changed their minds and hearts about their sinfulness. Likewise, when Paul testified to King Agrippa that he declared to the Jews and Gentiles "that they should repent metanoein , turn epistrefein to God, and do prassontas works befitting repentance metanoias ," it is clear there is a logical and close relationship between repentance and its fruits, but not a necessary one.
The participle shows that works should accompany repentance and turning to God in a close relationship, but it cannot equate the doing of works with repentance itself because they are distinguished as "works befitting axia repentance". There is a distinction here between the root repentance and the fruit works. In conclusion, there is no evidence in these passages that repentance must be defined by its works.
Gracelife - Lordship Salvation, a Biblical Evaluation and Response
As Berkhof notes,. Confession of sin and reparation of wrongs are fruits of repentance. Fruits consistent with a repentant attitude are normally expected, but no text of Scripture has shown that fruits are inherent to or essentially required in the definition of the word itself. On the contrary, the passages examined thus far distinguish outward works from inner repentance.
From four passages Acts ; ; 2 Tim. Citing these passages, Gentry states, "Repentance, or the enablement to repent, is a gift of God. Nor is repentance merely a human work. It is, like every element of redemption, a sovereignly bestowed gift of God If God is the One who grants repentance, it cannot be viewed as a human work.
Thus MacArthur can argue that one is saved by works, but not one's own, for the works one produces are divine works:"As part of His saving works, God will produce repentance, faith, sanctification, yieldedness, obedience, and ultimately glorification. In the first passage, Peter tells the Jewish leaders that God exalted Jesus Christ "to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Much the same thought appears in Acts , except the Gentiles are in view. After Peter defended his vision and the conversion of Cornelius, the apostles in Jerusalem conclude, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life.
This is certainly arguable from the context of the gospel going to the Gentiles for the first time. These instructions of Paul to Timothy include the advice to correct those who are in opposition, "if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth. As the servant of God teaches the Word of God, the truth of the Word of God will be brought home by the Spirit to the mind of the hearer, and the hearer will change his mind because of the truth that has been presented.
This change of mind, in respect to a revealed truth from the Word of God, is called in II Timothy "repentance. Repentance can thus be viewed as a gift of God because it is produced by the Spirit of God through the Word of God. This verse would be an example of metonymy of effect for cause: The Holy Spirit cause promotes repentance effect through the Word means. If repentance originates as a gift of God or is considered a divine work that affects change, then it is not wholly a response of man.
Would it not be more appropriate to invite people to receive God's repentance? Why are people told to "bear fruits worthy of repentance" Matt. Do not the biblical exhortations to forsake sin and do good works become superfluous? There are a number of ways in which Scripture may consider repentance a gift. Most importantly, it must be noted that if repentance is a divine gift in the passages examined above, nothing is said of forsaking all sins.
As already suggested in Acts and , it is probable that the opportunity for repentance is in the idea of gift. Sometimes Lordship advocates argue from gospel accounts of salvation that repentance is emphasized in the conversion of the subject involved.
There is no argument that many of their examples truly illustrate repentance, but it is highly questionable whether the stories emphasize repentance in the explicit manner claimed for them, much less as the forsaking of sins. In fact, militating against such an emphasis is the fact that the terms "repent" and "repentance" are not found in the accounts. Still, a few examples will be examined and the argument answered. Though the account of the rich young ruler could be used as an example here, discussion of it will be reserved for chapter four.
In an effort to counter the Free Grace argument that faith, not repentance, is the emphasis of the New Testament and especially the Gospel of John, MacArthur has interpreted the account of Nicodemus in John 3 to create an emphasis on repentance. He states that "Jesus was demanding that Nicodemus forsake everything he stood for, and Nicodemus knew it. Jesus was not painting a picture of easy faith. He was showing Nicodemus the necessity of repentance. In order to look at the bronze snake on the pole, they had to drag themselves to where they could see it.
They were in no position to glance flippantly at the pole and then proceed with lives of rebellion. It is difficult to see how anyone could find this emphasis without one word from the Lord here about repenting. An analysis of the account shows an emphasis on faith both by mention of it explicitly, and by illustration of it from Numbers Jesus makes no demands of Nicodemus, and certainly points to nothing specific of which he should repent. Faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah would, for Nicodemus, entail a change of mind about his present condition and a change of disposition toward Christ, but that is assumed in the invitation to believe.
For Nicodemus, the chief issue is not sin, but an accurate understanding about the person and work of Jesus Christ. MacArthur takes a similar liberty of emphasizing repentance with the account of the conversion of the Samaritan woman in John 4. He says, "To call her to Himself, Jesus had to force her to face her indifference, lust, self-centeredness, immorality, and religious prejudice.
All of these arguments, designed to prove an emphasis on repentance as forsaking of sin, are answered by the Lord's own words to the woman, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water" Jesus simply made no demands of the woman. His mention of her husbands vv.
There is no mention of repentance or of forsaking sins, so it should not be made an emphasis. In this account of the woman labeled "a sinner" v. Truly, repentance is present in the passage, but does it merit the central focus given by Gentry when he says, "Her weeping was not necessary for salvation, but the repentance it exemplified was"?
Jesus' own words suffice to emphasize what brought the woman's salvation. He tells the objecting Pharisee that "her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much" v. Her love was an expression of her faith , for next Jesus turns to the woman and says, "Your faith has saved you" v. Repentance, never mentioned by the Lord, is not the emphasis, but faith. Her faith which embraced Christ as Savior included a changed attitude about her condition and resulting sorrow, and in this way repentance is present, but not emphasized.
This story is also used to point out the nature of repentance. Though the words metanoia and metanoew are not used, this is an accurate picture of repentance for it focuses on the different attitudes of the two men. Concerning the Pharisee, Schnackenburg comments, "the attitude of mind that most frequently militates against repentance is self-righteousness and presumption. He observes, "Saving repentance according to Luke's understanding of Jesus thus culminates in saving faith. The crucial focus of this story is the declaration by Jesus about Zacchaeus that "Today salvation has come to this house" v.
There are some who make Zacchaeus' salvation contingent upon his repentance which included making restitution. Using Zacchaeus' example, Stott argues, "Sometimes, true repentance will have to include restitution" and Jones agrees, "there is no repentance unless there is restitution for sin " emphasis his. The text, however, indicates that Zacchaeus' reception of Jesus Christ into his home vv.
Then his acts of restitution demonstrate repentance with what John the Baptist called "fruits worthy of repentance" Matt. The passages studied thus far show that repentance is basically a change of mind, heart, and disposition. When it is preached in the offer of salvation, change in conduct is not demanded, but a change in thinking about one's need of God's righteousness and God's provision in Jesus Christ. Also, though sins are sometimes the focus of repentance, such a meaning is not demanded by every usage.
The focus of repentance must be determined from the context, if possible. It is now necessary to declare in brief fashion an understanding of repentance which reflects the sum of observations from the biblical evidence considered above. This section is designed to present a biblical view of repentance and also present the arguments which must be answered by the Lordship Salvation view. From the etymology as well as biblical evidence, it is seems that repentance of any kind refers to an inner attitude.
Most basically, it is a "change of mind," but as has been seen, "mind" denotes the heart and soul of man along with the intellect and will. It is a careless error to make the outward fruit of repentance the same as inner repentance itself. The fruit must be distinguished from the root, the cause from the effect. At times repentance will be accompanied by sorrow and great emotion, but this is not essential to saving repentance. It has been shown that there can be sorrowful repentance that comes short of salvation 2 Cor.
Another argument not yet mentioned is that in the Old Testament God repents.
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