Acts 3:19 – Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out . . .
One of the things I see so often in our churches is something that both saddens and aggravates me. I am saddened by the lack of clear understanding and right dividing of the Word of God, and I am aggravated at the lack of attention that is given to that by men and women of God who share the responsibility of teaching the Word of God. I believe it may be both false security and laziness at the forefront; false security that is so easy to have in blindly believing what our predecessors and denominations have told us; laziness in our own lack of compunction to “study to show ourselves approved unto God, workmen that need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.”
Two words that fall prey to that laziness and false security are found in our Text for Today. They are “repent” and “converted.” Look at them today with fresh eyes; open your heart and your mind. First, let’s look at the word “repent.” It is the Greek word metanoeo, and it means “to think differently or afterwards, that is, reconsider (morally to feel compunction).” Contrary to traditional thinking, the word “repent” is not a word associated with spiritual action, but IS a word of soulish action. In its simplest form, it means “to rethink, or to think in a different manner.” Perhaps in its strictest sense, it means to make a 180 degree turn from previous thought. True repentance is not simply saying, “I’m sorry,” it is demonstrating through action that which has been stated through words. In fact, words may not be needed at all, for as it has been said, “actions speak louder than words.”
And then there is the word “converted.” While “repentance” is a term related directly to the soul, “conversion” is s term related to the whole being, spirit, soul, and body. It means “to revert (literally, figuratively or morally): – come (go) again, convert, (re-) turn (about, again).” While “repentance” speaks to a state of mind, “conversion” speaks directly to outward action. Surely, they are connected, for a true change of mind, or “repentance” will lead to a change in outward action, or “conversion” that demonstrates the “repentance.” The point is simple. These are two properly defined and different terms, yet they point directly to one another. True “repentance” will be seen in true “conversion,” and true “conversion” is a clear indicator of true “repentance. May the Lord help us to clearly demonstrate both in our living.
Manna for Today – Acts 3:11-26; 2 Timothy 2:15