METANOIA (REPENTANCE)

Lack of knowledge of word meanings in their original language can often cause us to completely misunderstand the words they have become in English. That in turn can mean a whole world full of mistranslations because many modern Bible translations are taken from the English rather than the Hebrew or Greek.

I hope today’s word study can be read with that view in mind.  My intent is to help us all to see the deeper meaning of the word repent in the KJV as well as be willing to use the original Greek word in their everyday conversations today.

A word’s currency works somewhat like monetary currency. The more people use a word, the more useful it becomes. The more people know it, the easier it is for you to use.

For example, the word metanoia is a noun meaning: a profound transformation in one’s outlook. What is the origin? In the Greek, metanoia means a change of mind, and comes from metanoein, meaning to change one’s mind. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest documented use was in 1577.

In scripture, the word metanoia (noun) or metanoeo (verb) includes the meaning of the root word (nousmindMind (nous) in scripture deals more with the will or determination in Romans 7. Paul willed to do God’s will (Rom. 7:25), but the members of his body prevented him (Rom. 7:23).

According to 2 Timothy 2:25, repentance is something that God must give. This particular repentance is a mind that acknowledges God’s truth, which in turn gives him strength to recover himself from the snare of the devil (2 Tim 2:26). By that, the new mind frees him from being captured by Satan.

For the Christian, repentance is a change of mind from determining to do wrong to doing right. For example, Simon (Acts 8:20-23) had a mind to purchase the power to give the Holy Spirit, which was the gift of God. Peter called on him to have a different mind, to cease to think that the gift of God could be purchased with money (Acts 8:20). The same change of mind was required of the Ephesians who had lost their first love. They were called on to have a mind to regain their first love and do the works they did at first (Rev. 3:5).

For those who are not Christian, repentance is a new mind that determines to no longer live for self, but to live for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15). Paul gained that mind when he saw Christ in the sky, so that he counted all things loss (all the accomplishments in the Jewish religion) and turned to live only for Christ (Phil. 3:8-12). Paul had the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), which was to come to do the Father’s will and not his own will (John 5:30).

As an additional comparison, a Latin word, abnegation, meaning self-denial, can be closely associated with the deeper understanding of metanoiaAbnegation is from the Latin ab (away, off) + negare (to deny), from nec (not). The earliest documented use was in 1398.

So what does all this mean for the Christian? For many, repentance only means being sorry for the past and that’s it, but it should mean a complete change of heart and mind. Actually it is a new mind, one that determines to obey in God in everything.

That new mindset would bring us closer to the understanding of what it means to really love the LORD and to WANT to do his will (1 John 2:1-5).

-Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – BONUS LESSON: Lesson # 14 – OUR FINAL CHANGE FROM PHYSICAL TO SPIRITUAL BODIES

BONUS LESSON: Lesson # 14 – OUR FINAL CHANGE FROM PHYSICAL TO SPIRITUAL BODIES

For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: 21 Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself (Phil. 3:20-21).

Continue reading BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – BONUS LESSON: Lesson # 14 – OUR FINAL CHANGE FROM PHYSICAL TO SPIRITUAL BODIES

BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – Lesson 13 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL WARDROBE – Part 2

Lesson 13 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL WARDROBE – Part 2

“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10).

So far, we have learned much about the wardrobes (physical clothing) of men and women in the Scriptures.  We have seen where prophets wore rough clothing; kings’ children wore dainty clothing; harlots wore deceitful clothing and the poor were content just to have cloth to cover their bodies.  All those examples were to get our minds ready to think about our clothing as Christian women—both our day-to-day physical dress and our spiritual clothing as the bride of Christ.

Continue reading BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – Lesson 13 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL WARDROBE – Part 2

BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – LESSON 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

Lesson 12 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING

All Christians (men and women) should adorned themselves inwardly and outwardly with only what is fitting for one of God’s children.  Our outward appearance should never shame the name of Jesus or our Heavenly father, nor should we have moth-eaten clothes or nakedness instead of the spiritual clothing God has intended.  We know that man looks on the outward appearance while God looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7). “But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord sees not as man sees; for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

So where should our focus be?  Should we think only about our outward appearance?

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BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – Lesson 11 – A WOLF’S WARDROBE

Lesson 11 – A WOLF’S WARDROBE

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves” (Matt. 7:15).

Not long ago, the treasurer for our congregation brought a 20-rupee note (Indian currency) to ask what he should do with it.  He said somebody had put it into the collection plate and he could not deposit it in the bank for fear of going to jail.  Of course, what he had in his hand was a counterfeit note and not a real one at all.  Neither my husband nor I could look at the note and tell the difference between the fake and a real one.  Comparing two 20-rupee notes side by side would scarcely show any differences at all.  It is the same way with false teachers (wolves in sheep’s clothing).

Continue reading BIBLE WARDROBES AND THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL CLOTHING – Lesson 11 – A WOLF’S WARDROBE