The Apostles’ Voice on Repentance
Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)
Peter is sharing the Gospel of Christ to Jerusalem first. He is doing what Jesus said His disciples, now apostles, would be doing. Another important point to make here is from the quote, “be baptized in the name.” This in is actually into. How does that change our view of repentance? Perhaps, the Lord is up to something with.
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. (Acts 3:19)
I have a DVD series called Out of the Wild – The Alaska Experiment. It is a documentary about a group of folks that are dropped off in Alaska with a certain amount of resources. They then have to meander throughout the wilderness with a map. They have no food, so they have to find it themselves.
They have a difficult time finding food. Their caloric intake is drastically reduced. Once they find a field mouse. Another time they find a gopher. This is a group of 9 people. For six days they are traveling and not receiving any protein.
Then the gopher event happens. They created a soup to eat that included gopher meat. Their energy was refreshed with this new caloric intake.
We’ve all been to a point of hunger where we don’t think just right. When we get a few calories in us, we are able to think straight. We are able to return to a focused point of view where we are able to make decisions based off of our circumstances.
Who’s In Charge of Repentance?
He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:31-32)
When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.” (Acts 11:18)
God granted repentance to Jews and Gentiles and this repentance leads to life.
The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
The Divine Nature
The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, “For we also are His children.”
Being then the children of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all people everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead. (Acts 17:24-31)
This passage is a wonderful revelation in the subject of repentance. Paul is talking about the Divine Nature. This Divine Nature is what we connect to when we repent. The proof of Christ being raised from the dead allows us to see the source of this repentance.
This Divine Nature is in us and is able to connect with the mind of Christ. All we must do is repent. In other words, based off the circumstances of our lives, everything that may keep us from the mind and will of God, we look to our Divine Nature. We listen to the Holy Spirit in us revealing to us the mind of Christ.
The Purpose of Repentance
I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. (2 Corinthians 7:9-10)
Here, Paul tells the Corinthians that based off the circumstances of our lives, we may have sorrows to drive us to thinking through our Divine Nature as opposed to our Flesh Nature. Thinking from our Divine Nature will allow us to participate in the will of God. That could change how we live.
Besides, that is the purpose of repentance anyway, right?
The Journey to the Source
The Legend of Repentance tells us to repent from our sins and to give our lives to Christ. The Repentance Myth gives us a challenge to change our minds. I say, let’s go past these Legends and Myths.
The repentance spoken of in the New Testament is actually nothing we can do to think differently or live differently. The repentance spoken of in the New Testament is a call to the source of Life, based on our circumstances, listening to our Divine Nature Who will then give us the mind of Christ. This allows us to participate in the will of God, which is truly Life-giving.
May we allow our Divine Nature to enter our mind so that we can exercise a Divine reasoning and live His Life, not our own.