The Judas Repentance or
The Repentance that Saves?

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: - Acts 17:30
     Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. - Luke 24:46,47

      T here are three words in the Greek language for repentance in the New Testament. Metamelomai is a verb which means a change of mind that produces remorse or regret for sin, but does not produce a change of heart. This word is used to describe Judas’ repentance in Matthew 27:3. I think we can all do better than that.
      The word metanoeo is used to denote a change of mind and heart after knowledge. This verb is used with the cognate noun metanoia and is utilized to describe a true repentance of a changed life, desires and purpose. This is the repentance that opens the door to the atonement through which grace and forgiveness of sins are imparted.
     Repentance is important, the kind we choose is vital.

We are introduced to repentance when we are introduced to the gospel. We are presented with the picture of the Lord Jesus suffering on a cross to pay for our sins. We are confronted with the fact that we have sinned. As we watch Him writhe in agony on His hellish perch as the result of our sins, that should instigate within us a revulsion for sin in our hearts and produce a willingness to want to turn from our sins. This is the repentance that we experience in the beginning of our Christian faith.

After our initial repentance in recognizing we have sinned which functions as a door to our receiving the Lord’s forgiveness, repentance serves a different function in our continuing walk with the Lord.
      When we believe and come to Jesus initially, we know that our salvation is a completed act based solely on the merits of Jesus’ sacrifice for us. As we walk toward the completion of our faith(I Peter 1:9), we also understand that all must stand at the judgment seat of Christ to give an account of the things that we have done in our bodies on earth (Romans 14:10). For believers this judgment is for rewards and not our condemnation. We are shown that some will suffer, as their works are tried by fire, yet they will still be saved (I Cor. 3:13-15). So we see the benefit of repenting during our walk with Christ in this life. When we recognize that we have sinned, confess and repent of those sins, they will not be there for the Lord to judge when we are presented before Him at the judgment.

We have an example of repentance being used after salvation in Acts 8:13,22. Simon had received the Lord and was baptized (v.8), but when it was discerned that there was sin in his heart, he was counseled by Peter to repent and pray for God’s forgiveness (v.22). It’s important for us to understand also that God sees our inner thought life, and views those errors within us as sin as well. This reinforces the fact that salvation must come from faith in the Messiah Jesus alone and no one can be justified by works. The tenth commandment, “Thou shalt not covet” reveals those sins of the heart and mind.

The Apostle James says, "You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe and they tremble" (James 2:19). The devils know that Messiah Jesus has come and He rose from the dead, like we do. But are the devils saved? Of course not! Yet, there are many people who likewise believe the Gospel, but they are not much better off than a believing demon unless they truly repent; that is, confess their sins, ask for forgiveness and be willing to turn from their sins. This is the one thing a devil cannot do, he cannot repent.
      The devils believe and they tremble, a true Christian believes, repents and is saved. Repentance is what distinguishes a genuine believer from a believing demon.

For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death- II Corinthains 7:10

But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:13

When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Mark 2:17

I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance- Luke 15:7

Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. - Acts 19:4

Whereupon, O king Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision: but showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance. - Acts 26:19,20

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance- II Peter 3:9

Then Peter said to them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit Acts 2:38.

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?- Romans 2:4

But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:8

Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. – Isaiah 55:6,7

copyright 2007 and 2019 by H.D. Shively

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