How Do You Spell Repentance?
Remember that old commercial - "How do you spell relief?" (I think the answer in that commercial was R-O-L-A-I-D-S, which is an anacid, in case you didn't know). Well, this could bring your stomach to a knot, but I don't want to talk about indigestion. :~)
This word "repentance" - everyone means something different by it. So far as I can tell, here are several of the meanings that people (that means you and me, just ordinary folk) attach to this word:
1. Stopping sin, ceasing from all known sinful actions
2. Stopping sin, ceasing from some certain sinful actions
3. Willingness or desire to stop all known sin
4. Feeling sorrow over all known sin
5. Changing the mind about all known sin, hating it instead of loving it
6. Calling out to God in the helplessness of sin's consequence
7. Changing the mind about God/Jesus from an unsaved faithless mindset to faith in Christ for one's delieverance from sin's consequence
8. Changing the mind about who God/Jesus is in regards to oneself
So, there is a gamut of meaning and I may be missing some shades. This is a problem word. You see confusion amongst people as to whether or not this thing "repentance" is a "required" part of saving faith. Funnily enough, I think the way the word "repentance" is used by some can be a synonym for faith.... and by others for works.... all in the same word!
If you define "repentance" as # 7 or #8 then it could easily be said that "repentance" is intrinsicly the same as "believing in Jesus," even #6, whether you are LS or FG. But if you define "repentance" as #3-#5 then there is all kinds of debate as to whether this is a necessary component of saving faith -or if it is- Christian growth. #1 and #2 are obviously (to me anyway) works commendable by God.
How utterly confusing. I think we should just insert a clearer meaning word in our conversations in place of the word "repentance." Then there could be meaningful conversation about whether or not this is a part of conversion.