Author Topic: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?  (Read 73 times)

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Offline Deborah

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2017, 09:56:54 AM »
Hi, @Deborah

With respect, that is not what is said in John 20:30,31. It says nothing of a change of mind, or a recognition of His authority over us, or of a surrender of our self-will, does it?  Initially what is stated in these verses is all that is required.  It is the Holy Spirit who brings about the change of heart and mind, and recognition of Jesus Christ as Lord and Head,

Thank you.
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Cariad

Well no, John doesn't spell it out, but these things are all implied. So does he need to? I would really like to know how anyone can believe in Jesus without having changed their attitude towards Him. In real life, you can't have one without the other.
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2017, 09:58:47 AM »
Meta as a prefix carries the meaning of 'change'. (Metamorphosis is the process by which a caterpillar 'changes form' into a butterfly)

Noia comes from the word nous, which means 'mind'.

Metanoia therefore means (literally) 'a change of mind' - but in our Bibles this is the word normally translated as 'repentance'. Similarly, metanoeo means 'I change my mind' or 'I repent'.

'Repentance' is a rather technical word - a piece of religious jargon. What does it mean in everyday language? Literally, it means to change your mind: to think differently, to change direction, to adopt a different attitude towards God and towards Jesus. It does not mean just feeling sorry because of the consequences of one's behaviour. Nor does it mean (at least, not in the first instance) changing one's behaviour! Of course, genuine repentance often does lead to sorrow over the wrongs that we have done in the past; and any genuine change in attitude will produce a change in behaviour. But we must not make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse! Deeds are the proof of repentance (Luke 3:8; Acts 26:20), not the repentance itself!

When Peter called on the crowd at Pentecost to 'repent' (Acts 2:38), it seems doubtful that he had in mind any specific individual sins (even though they must have committed many and various sins). He was exhorting them to change their attitude towards Jesus - to recognise the One that they had crucified as their Messiah. If they did so, certain consequences would inevitably follow: they would acknowledge Jesus as their Lord, obey His command to be baptised (verse 41), and thereafter put His teaching into practice (as we find them doing in Acts 2:42-47).

This emphasis on inward change is the very essence of Christianity. The Old Covenant failed because it was based on an external law that could deal only with external behaviour (if indeed it was kept at all). But Christians have been "made new in the attitude of our minds" (Ephesians 4:22-24). This means not that we will never sin again, but that we have changed our attitude to sin. Instead of acquiescing in it, or even enjoying it, we fight against it with the help of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5; Galatians 5:16,17). We will not always succeed, because we still have a sinful nature; but failure does not mean that our initial repentance was not genuine.

Thank you, @Deborah,

However, this still does not alter the very simple nature of John 20:30-31, which does not call for repentance, but belief in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad

Offline Deborah

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2017, 10:02:47 AM »
Thank you, @Deborah,

However, this still does not alter the very simple nature of John 20:30-31, which does not call for repentance, but belief in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad

My point is that they are different ways of describing the same thing, not completely different things.
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2017, 10:06:46 AM »
Well no, John doesn't spell it out, but these things are all implied. So does he need to? I would really like to know how anyone can believe in Jesus without having changed their attitude towards Him. In real life, you can't have one without the other.

Hello again, @Deborah,

How are they implied?  Surely there should be words which indicate that implication?   Those words are simply not there, so the implication isn't either.  A change of attitude is not necessarily a requirement, for it is just an awakening to the knowledge of the truth concerning Him, and an acceptance of the truth regarding Him that was not there before, isn't it? - 'Once I was blind but now I see'

It is quite possible to have the one without the other.  Sorrow for sin comes by the operation of the Spirit, through the hearing of the Word, just as faith comes by hearing.  But sorrow for sin is not a requirement for initial salvation by grace, which is through faith in the person and work of Christ Jesus our risen Lord.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad


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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 10:10:21 AM »
My point is that they are different ways of describing the same thing, not completely different things.

I do understand, @Deborah, and thank you.  Yet, I believe that taking notice of the various words used is important, for they do have different meanings, though subtle, and can make a real difference to our understanding of the context in which they come.

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Cariad

Offline Deborah

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #13 on: October 14, 2017, 10:37:36 AM »
Hello again, @Deborah,

How are they implied?  Surely there should be words which indicate that implication?   Those words are simply not there, so the implication isn't either.  A change of attitude is not necessarily a requirement, for it is just an awakening to the knowledge of the truth concerning Him, and an acceptance of the truth regarding Him that was not there before, isn't it? - 'Once I was blind but now I see'

But what you are describing is a change of attitude, is it not? I can't see the distinction.
And I see no particular reason why the Gospel writers should have to give full explanations of concepts every time they mention them - if they did, the NT would be ten times longer than it is! Of course things can be implied and not explicitly stated - otherwise none of us would believe in the Trinity.

Quote
Sorrow for sin comes by the operation of the Spirit, through the hearing of the Word, just as faith comes by hearing.  But sorrow for sin is not a requirement for initial salvation by grace, which is through faith in the person and work of Christ Jesus our risen Lord.

I thought I was saying more or less the same thing:
Quote
"Repentance means to change your mind: to think differently, to change direction, to adopt a different attitude towards God and towards Jesus. It does not mean just feeling sorry because of the consequences of one's behaviour. Nor does it mean (at least, not in the first instance) changing one's behaviour!"


Sorrow for sin is an emotion brought about by true repentance - so it's a consequence of salvation, not a requirement.
"God has saved us and called us to a holy life - not because of anything we have done but because of His own purpose and grace." (II Timothy 1:9)

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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #14 on: October 14, 2017, 10:48:31 AM »
Just a further thought.

The mosaic law was given to reveal what sin is (Rom. 3:20), so as Gentiles were never under the Mosaic law they would not have a consciousness of sin, would they?  Except of course for the law of conscience which all men have. Also sin is not imputed where there is no law (Rom.5:13).  So how could they be called upon to repent of something that they had no consciousness of?

In Titus 2:14 it does not say that Christ gave Himself to redeem us from the law, but from all lawlessness, for gentiles were never under law that they should be redeemed from it.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad


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Re: Why is the word, 'repent' not used in the book of John?
« Reply #15 on: October 14, 2017, 11:03:19 AM »
Quote
@Deborah:
But what you are describing is a change of attitude, is it not? I can't see the distinction.
And I see no particular reason why the Gospel writers should have to give full explanations of concepts every time they mention them - if they did, the NT would be ten times longer than it is! Of course things can be implied and not explicitly stated - otherwise none of us
would believe in the Trinity.

Hi @Deborah,

Attitude is the fruit of mind change isn't it? and that is brought about by the Holy Spirit within the believer through the operation of the written Word.

As the writers of the gospel were inspired by God, the words that they used were the words of God, and what God says He means: He does not leave anything to implication, or supposition, does He?  The concept of the Trinity also is very much the testimony of Scripture, though the word itself is not.

In Christ Jesus
Cariad