Repentance is a great Bible word you don’t often hear outside of Christian circles or even in Christian circles for the most part. From time to time I ask people, I have the privilege to share the Word with, to define repentance for me. I usually get a few different answers such as being sorry, asking forgiveness or turning around. While all of these are part of what repentance means it all begins with a change of mind.
If you look up the word repentance in a Strong’s concordance you will discover at the base of it all it means “to think differently.” Of course if you think differently you will be sorry for your sins, ask forgiveness and turn around but thinking differently is the starting point. So, the big question then is how do we begin to think differently? The short answer is it takes a miracle.
Reading in Isaiah 14:13-14 you will discover what I call the root of all wrong thinking. These verses have come to represent for me how we all think until Christ grants us repentance. We all start out with the mindset that we are worthy to be number one and can make ourselves into something great! Of course this is exactly what got Adam, and us, into this whole sin thing to begin with, but never-mind that, it won’t happen to you, right? Well, that’s part of the problem too, isn’t it? We have all been deceived into thinking “It” won’t happen to me. I’m number one, everything revolves around me and everything and everyone is here to do my bidding.
You see “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbeliever”, but thank God he saw fit to miraculously give sight to those that hear the gospel, place their faith in it and are born again. When one is born again they receive the mind of Christ. Now that is good news!
Repentance then is when we have our minds changed from that of our former ruler, Satan, and now have the mind of Christ. The mind of Satan whispers to us that we’re able to make ourselves like God, and the mind of Christ tells us we are to “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Although Jesus Christ was, himself, God he didn’t live as though he needed to exalt himself “rather he emptied himself, taking the form of a bond-servant (slave), and being made in the likeness of men, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” Since Christ humbled himself; God exalted him. So you see the way to be exalted is by humbling yourself, and if you aren’t willing to humble yourself a sure way of being humbled is by exalting yourself. This is why we need to have a change of mind; because God’s ways truly aren’t our ways at least not until we have the mind of Christ.
When all is said and done there really is no amount of trying on our part that will bring us to repentance, in fact, the Bible tells us it is “the goodness of God that brings repentance.” There’s no doubt in my mind that it takes a work of God for us to even see we need a change of mind and another for us to receive the mind of Christ. So, no matter how you look at it; it takes a miracle. Thank God He’s still in the miracle business!