Welcome to Worship in the Word with Pastor Robert Morris. We recently started a new series about the gospel called Good News, where Pastor Robert takes four words that, without Christ, are bad news, but with Christ are good news. Today's message is about the word repentance, and Pastor Robert has such deep insight to share with us on this, so let's join him now. So this week I'm going to take a word that I think many believers think is a bad word, and it's actually a good word. It's good news, and the word is repentance.
So I really believe that many believers have a bad view of this word and don't like it, and I can remember when I first found out the definition, which we'll go into a little deeper, but I was in Greek class one day. The professor said the word repentance, and he was just kind of going on using it as an example, but he said it means change mind or change the way you think. The verb would be change the way you think, the noun, your mind, change your mind, and then he just went on, and it just kind of didn't set right with me, because if you remember, when I was in college, I was already preaching youth revivals. Debbie and I were married, we got married after our first year of college, so that second year, I'm out preaching revivals two or three a month, sometimes Friday through Sunday revivals, going to school, and I would preach, and the reason I would preach so hard is because I'd grown up in the church, and I realized a lot of young people had made a mental commitment to Christ, but not a heart commitment. So I was saying things like, repentance isn't changing your mind, it's changing your heart.
It's changing your life, it's changing your actions, it's changing the way you live. And then I have this professor that says, the word actually means to change your mind. And so four or five minutes go by, and I just couldn't take any more, and so I said, can I ask a question? He said, yes. I said, I know you know, obviously, much more about this than I do, but when you said repentance means to change your mind, I've been telling people and trying to share Christ with people, and I've been telling them it's not a change of mind, it's a change of heart. And his answer to me was so profound and so impactful and so loving, and so kind.
He did not put me down at all. I'll never forget what he said. He said, Robert, you don't have the ability to change your heart. He said, only God can change a human heart. But he gave you the ability to change your mind. And if you'll change your mind, he'll change your heart.
So I've never forgotten that. And so we're going to look at this. So I'm going to talk to you about three areas I want you to change your mind in today.
And here's number one. The first one is change your mind about repentance. Change your mind about the word repentance, that it's not a bad word.
Now let me tell you why we think it's a bad word. Preachers. Preachers have used this as a bad word. You know, repent. Repent.
You people need to repent. And we use it that way. And then preachers define it by their own definition. For instance, you ask people what most, ask most people what repentance means, they'll say something like this. It means to turn from sin and turn to God.
Okay. That can be a result of repentance. But it's not what the word means. If you're going to define a biblical word, go to the original language.
We've talked about this. Hebrew Old Testament, Greek New Testament. Repentance comes from two Greek words.
They're put together as one. The Greek word is metanoia. Metanoia. Meta means change, like metamorphosis. There's something, there's a change.
Neuia means mind. So that's the noun, the verb. I know you all want to know this, is metanoia, which means change the way you think.
Think is an action. So, so it changed the way you think. Change your mind. This is what Jesus came preaching.
I want you to change your mind. Let me just show you the first time the word repent is in the New Testament. Matthew 3 verse 1. In those days, John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Matthew 4 17, one chapter later, from that time, Jesus began to preach and to say, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Now, I want you to notice a couple of things. First of all, I said this last week, but it bears saying again, Jesus and John did not say repent for hell is at hand. In other words, they didn't bring bad news.
They brought good news. But when you again, every time you can learn a definition, start putting the definition in the sentence when you read it. Here's what John and Jesus are saying. Change the way you're thinking about having a relationship with God.
You have been thinking that the way you have a right relationship with God is by what you do. We're coming to tell you, John's saying, I'm telling you, the Messiah is coming right after me. Jesus is saying, I'm telling you, I'm the Messiah. And because I'm the Messiah, a whole new covenant is being set in. It is not a covenant of works anymore.
It is a covenant of grace. And I want you to change your mind about the way you can have a relationship with God because it's not through works anymore. It's through faith. It's through grace. I need you to change your mind. See, the way we hear this is that John and Jesus showed up and said, repent.
In essence, this is what we hear. You dirty, rotten, low down sinners. Y'all change the way you're living and you can go to heaven. And I want to go back to what my Greek professor said. In essence, you can't change the way you're living.
You can just change your mind about who Jesus is and Jesus can change the way you're living. So repentance is not a bad word. It is actually a very, very good word. Correction is part of repentance.
And correction is not a bad word. So I want to ask you a question just for fun. And I don't want you to raise your hands. Okay? Because I am setting you up. I'm letting you know.
I'm setting you up. So do not raise your hands because you'll want to raise your hands. I would raise my hand.
Okay? So don't raise your hand. How many of you sometimes, don't raise your hands, hate correction or hate to be corrected?
Don't raise your hands. Let me just read you a scripture. Proverbs 12 one. He who hates correction is stupid. Don't you like it how God just says what he thinks? Now this word translated most of the time foolish. But it's just, it's foolishness. Think about this. If you're going away and you miss a turn, when the GPS says recalculating, you shouldn't get mad at the GPS because you don't want to go two hours out of the way.
You want to know if you need to back up and make it. Are y'all following me? So when the Holy Spirit says to you, recalculating, I need you to change your mind. I want you to change.
Is everyone getting this point? I want you to change your mind about the word repentance. It's not a bad word.
It's a good word. Here's the second thing. I want you to change your mind about, I want you to change your mind about yourself. You see the reason many of us don't like to be corrected is because it makes us feel like a bad person. I must be a bad person if I'm having to be corrected. In other words, it's not my behavior.
It's me as a person. Acts 3 19 says, change your mind, repent and be converted. That's when God does the work then in our lives. Change comes that your sins may be blotted out so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord. Times of refreshing come only after we change our mind. See, we've got to come to the place that we change our mind. This is what Jesus is coming to say.
I need to change your mind about the way you see yourself. So repentance is a good word for believers. One of the best things that ever happened to me, about three or four years into my Christian walk, I was still struggling with a lot of the things that I'd struggled with before I got saved. You kind of have this thing that once I get saved, I'm not going to struggle anymore.
But I was still struggling. And so I felt like a hypocrite. And so I told the Lord one day, I said, I feel like two people. And so the Lord said to me, would you like for me to fix that?
Just like that. And I said, yeah, I would. And so he said, okay, I want you to write down everything you've ever done, wrong, evil or disgusting that no one knows about.
I want you to write it down on a piece of paper. And so I did, I guarded the piece of paper and I didn't put my name on it. And I already had a plan worked out. If someone found that, say, yeah, this guy gave that to me to pray about it. But I wrote down all these things that I thought I wouldn't want anyone to know I ever did that, but I did. And then I actually thought that the Lord was going to say, now burn it and you'll be free.
Just get you one of those big butane lighters and just burn it and you will never have another problem again. But he didn't. He said to me, this is when I was at Shady Grove Church with Pastor Olin Griffin, that is our Grand Prairie campus now. He said to me, I want you to read everything on that piece of paper to Pastor Olin. And I shared with him for several days why that was a bad idea. But finally I decided I'm going to. So I said to him one day, we were alone. I said, I need to tell you some things about me.
And I told him, I went through the entire list. I said, I've done this. I've thought this. I've said this. I've lied about this. I've covered this up.
Here are things about me nobody knows. I got to the end of the list and I said, that's it. He said, is there anything else?
I said, no. I'll never forget his response. He said, Robert, I've done everything on that list.
And he said, I'll bet you 90% of our church has to. But Satan has you convinced that you're worse than everybody else. You need to change the way you think about yourself. You need to forgive yourself. I felt free. I felt like somebody knows.
The next day I was feeling so good. And the Lord said to me, you feel better? I said, I do. He said, okay, I want you to read that list to Debbie now. I said, you have the worst ideas in human history. Took me a few days to try to talk him out of it.
He didn't budge. I got with Debbie. I said, I need to tell you. I remember telling her, I remember saying, I don't know if you're going to want to stay married to me, but this is the man you married.
And I went through the whole list. When I got to the end, she said, Robert, I knew you were bad when I married you. Then she said, I didn't know you were that bad, but I knew you were bad. She said, you know what I admire about you the most?
I said, no. She said, you're the most honest person I've ever met about his failures. I know I can trust you because you'll be honest with me. Repentance is being honest with yourself. Letting someone else give you a perspective that you might not have. And then once you get that perspective, you could change your mind and God can change you. So last point, I want you to change your mind about Jesus.
I want you to start seeing Jesus maybe a little differently. Do you know the number one complaint against Jesus? Now, some would say that it was blasphemy, but it really wasn't. That was the charge that they brought him on, but not the number one complaint.
The one they listed the most. Luke 15 verse one, then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to him to hear him. And the Pharisees and scribes complained saying, this man receives sinners and eats with them.
What a charge. He eats with sinners. By the way, all of you have eaten with sinners. I don't care who you've eaten with, you've eaten with sinners. Luke 7 34, the son of man has come eating and drinking. You say, look, a glutton and a wine bibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.
He's called a friend of sinners. You ever wondered why sinners liked to hang out with Jesus? Mark 2 verse 15, it happened as he was dining in Levi's house that many tax collectors and sinners also sat together with Jesus and his disciples for there were many and they followed him. And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eating with the tax collectors and sinners, they said to his disciples, how is it that he eats and drinks with tax collectors and sinners? When Jesus heard it, he said to them, those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick, I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Now, remember what the word repentance means, because we can read that and say he called the sinners to change the way they were living, or we could read it according to the definition and say he called the sinners to change their minds about what they thought about God.
I think Jesus showed up and I think the reason he ate with the sinners was to say to them, you need to know that the father and I love you. That the father and I don't judge you. You're already judged.
We read that last week. He didn't come to condemn us, to judge us, we were already judged. He came to forgive us.
Listen to these three statements that I wrote. God is not mad at you. God is not disappointed in you and God is not surprised by you. He's not mad at you. He's not disappointed in you and he's not surprised by you. Nothing you could ever do could surprise God.
Do you want to know why? Because he's all knowing. You have never committed a sin nor ever will that will be outside of the foreknowledge of God. The Gospel, the love of Christ does not have exclusions. It does not say for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever except Robert Morris between 1975 and 1979 can be forgiven. Because I really didn't know he was going to be that bad in high school. Repentance is not a bad word.
It is actually a good word. It just means you change your mind. It means that you understand and I want you not only to change your mind about yourself, I want you to change your mind about how much Jesus loves you and that Jesus shows up and the first word he preaches is change your mind. Because heaven is here. Change your mind about how you're going to have a relationship with God. I told you a moment ago about how God told me to share with Pastor Olin and how he told me to share with Debbie and their wonderful gracious responses to me. I can't tell you what that did.
I can't even tell you. We have Kairos and Freedom Ministry and we have Christian counselors, licensed professional Christian counselors. We refer to many LPCs. We believe in help. We believe in emotional health.
We believe in so many times. Listen to this verse. Confess your faults to one another that you may be healed.
The more you leave in the darkness, the more the enemy works. So I told you how they responded and it just set me free. A few days after talking with Pastor Olin and talking with Debbie, I woke up one morning happy. I just woke up with like this huge smile on my face and I was so happy. I was just so happy. And the Lord said to me, well, why are you so happy?
Now let me, let me say something. Most of you know this, but if you're new to Gateway and I say the Lord said, I'm not talking about an audible voice. I'm talking about an impression that we get in our spirit that aligns with the word of God, you know? And all of us have had impressions like that from the Holy Spirit. And so anyway, I just felt like the Lord said to me, why are you so happy? And I talked to God like I talked to you and He's fine with it, you know? And so I just said to him, well, Lord, don't you get it?
I mean, don't you get it? I said, there are two people that know everything bad that I've ever done and still love me. And the Lord said to me, just two? And I didn't get it.
I didn't get what He was saying. I said, yes, two people know everything bad that I've ever done and they still love me. And He said to me, just two? And that's when I got it. And then He said to me, Robert, I know everything that was on the piece of paper and everything you forgot to put on the piece of paper.
And I know everything that will be on the piece of paper. And not only do I love you, I died for you. I gave my life so you could be forgiven and have an eternal and abundant life on this earth. I love you son.
I know it all and I love you. Repentance is not a bad word. It is an ongoing, it's not a one-time event for Christians.
That's how you get into the kingdom. It's the start, but it is an ongoing lifestyle that we continue to change our minds and allow God then to change our hearts. We want you to take a moment to think about what Pastor Robert shared today and really listen to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you. If you want to connect with us or check out some of Pastor Robert's other messages, visit pastorrobert.com. And if you haven't already, go follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter so we can be a part of your community. We're so glad that you listened in with us today. Next time, Pastor Robert is going to talk about the word judgment. Until then, we hope you have a blessed day.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-30 15:57:04 / 2023-06-30 16:05:08 / 8