FOCUS: The Highest Place
The first message Jesus, our Messiah, preached was: “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.” (Matthew 3:2; 4:17) Before Him, to prepare the way for Him, also came John the Baptist preaching repentance.
Why this double emphasis on repentance at the coming of the Christ to set up His Kingdom in the hearts of men? The answer lies in the nature of repentance.
The Greek word for repentance is metanoia. It means to have a change of mind. Naturally the question arises as to what this change of mind entails.
It means several things: It begins with how we view our sin. First, the change is intellectual. By this change we come to the knowledge of sin and its true consequences. We have the eyes of our heart (our understanding) opened so that we now see the serpent of sin for what it is and begin to agree with God about its poisonous and deadly character. By a work of the Spirit we come to a realistic view of sin that saves us from the blindness and ignorance of the worldly evaluations we have been using to excuse it. Sin loses its appeal.
Second, repentance is emotional... (Continue)