True Repentance

and My people, on whom My name is called, shall be humbled, and shall pray, and shall seek My face, and shall turn back from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14 Hebraic Roots Bible (HRB)

In this and all Food for Thoughts I recommend you read the Scripture(s) provided and the entire chapter they are from to obtain more insight.

Definition of Repent:

  • Feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin.

Definition of Repentance:

  • The action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.

Definition of Teshuva (תשובה): 

  • Action word meaning return to YAHWEH.

We have covered sin and what Yahshua did for us in parts (12345, and 6) of the “To sin, or not to sin, that is the question” series, so we will not cover it in its entirety here. Sufficed to say, we have all broken the law (Torah, commandments, and precepts) of YAHWEH (1 John 3:4) and committed “works of the flesh” (Galatians 5:192021) hence fulfilling the unrestrained desires of our flesh. Therefore we have earned death, which is the wages or payment of our sin(s) (Romans 6:23). Yet, YAHWEH, in His mercy toward humanity, provided His son Yahshua as the Passover sacrificial lamb for ALL to receive eternal life. However, despite YAHWEH’s loving, merciful, and generous offer, only some will accept because of the requirements (Matthew 7:1314). 

One of the requirements is repentance. Before YAHWEH uses the sacrifice of His son to satisfy the debt for our sins, there is something we need to do according to His instructions. We must show that we are no longer willing to live a life that will end in death. We do this by altering our way of life. Repentance is that turn on the right path, returning to innocence, and the original play of YAHWEH.

What is true Repentance?

When you see the word repent or repentance in the Bible, it refers to the Hebrew word teshuva תשובה. Teshuva is very different from the English word repentance, which means sincere regret or remorse, typically attached to emotions and feelings of being sorry. Sincere regret and guilt are a part of the process but not the goal, as feelings are often questionable and leave room to continue in sin. Teshuva, on the other hand, is an action word meaning to return to YAHWEH. It is a total 180-degree shift, both physically and mentally, as well as emotionally and spiritually. Teshuva is more than reducing or halting particular habits, expressing regret, or offering an isolated apology. Teshuva (true repentance) is an ongoing choice to turn to or return to YAHWEH. So instead of simply being sorry, which again is a step in the process, we must decide to turn around or away (180 degrees) from sin and return to our heavenly Father from whence we came and sin no more. 

So, true repentance is to turn away from sin, away from darkness, and to return, turn toward, or draw near YAHWEH, which is in the opposite direction. Jacob (James), the brother of Yahshua, tells us to “Draw near to Elohim, and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8). So we must decide to turn our backs on sin and choose the Father only. We can not be double-minded and serve two masters, YAHWEH and sin (Matthew 6:24).

Yahshua on Teshuva

While remembering the suffering, torture, death, burial, and resurrection of the living Messiah Yahshua(Yah is Salvation) during this Passover and Unleavened Bread season. Let us also remember his main message while he was on earth which was repentance. After being baptized in the water by John the Baptist, filled with the Ruach H’Chodesh (Holy Spirit), and tempted in the wilderness by the devil while on a 40-day and 40-night fast. Yahshua emerged with his first and enduring public demand and command to repent. Yahshua indiscriminately preached to all who would hear a revolutionary message calling for a radical change on the inside of man toward YAHWEHMatthew 4:17 – From that time Yahshua began to preach and say, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek YAHWEH’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Luke 5:32 – I did not come to call the [self-proclaimed] righteous [who see no need to repent], but sinners to repentance [to change their old way of thinking, to turn from sin and to seek God and His righteousness].” Luke 13:35 – I tell you, No; but unless you repent (change your mind for the better and heartily amend your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins), you will all likewise perish and be lost eternally. 

Joesph’s Brothers Display Teshuva

(Genesis 3742434445)

Joseph’s brothers hated him because their father, Jacob, loved Joseph more than them. Joseph was his father’s favorite. Jacob displayed it to the other sons by making and giving Joseph a coat of many colors. This coat was beautiful and rare, a royal garment of sorts signifying a position of favor or high standing within the family. His brothers hated and despised him so much that they “could not speak peaceably unto him.” The hatred in their hearts was so extreme that Joseph was betrayed, sold into slavery, and abandoned by his brothers. Still blinded by hate, the brothers also deceived their father about Joseph with an elaborate lie illustrating his death. 

Years later, after Joesph had been enslaved in Potiphar’s house, accused of rape, and placed in jail for many years (some believe it was about 12 years) YAHWEH turned Joseph’s situation around. Joseph is now the second most powerful man in Egypt, and his brothers have come to Egypt for help due to famine and drought in the land. Joseph’s dream of his brothers bowing to him has become a reality, but they do not recognize Joseph. Thanks to this shroud of mystery due to them not recognizing him, Joseph can now determine if his brothers have changed by testing them. Joseph provides his brothers another opportunity to deceive, betray, and abandon, this time too, their youngest brother Benjamin, just as they did when they betrayed him. Joseph sets up an erroneous crime with Benjamin as the fall guy. Benjamin is found guilty of stealing and is sentenced to slavery in the house of Joseph. At the same time, his brothers are free to go. Yet, they succeed this time around.

Years of sorrow and regret have changed the way the brothers behave. The brothers won’t let Benjamin stay behind. They could have abandoned Benjamin to slavery just as quickly as they did Joseph, returned home, and deceived their father with another ridiculous lie. But this time, even Judah, who came up with the brilliant idea to sell Joseph into slavery, offers to give up his freedom and life in exchange for Benjamin’s. Judah and the brothers now demonstrate bravery, wisdom, sacrifice, and most of all, a Teshuva or repented Heart. They recognized their wrongdoings and returned to what was right and pure. 

YAHWEH and Yahshua have charged us to do the same, completely change our old thinking, turn away from sin, and seek YAHWEH and His righteousness. To repent of sin means to change; turn from our evil and wicked ways to the ways of YAHWEH.

By David Edwards

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