Lesson 14


To Become a Member of the Church I Must Repent

[To see an organizational outline of these lessons, click here]



The word "REPENT" means "to completely change your mind about something." When a person repents he must first admit that he was thinking wrongly and then he must change his whole way of thinking so that he begins to think rightly (to think as God thinks and to see things just as God sees things). The Greek word for repentence is metanoia (met-a-noy-ah) which is made up of two parts:


Thus repentance means "change the mind." This word is similar to another Greek word (which is also an English word). This is the word metamorphosis. This word is also made up of two parts:


Metamorphosis means a change of form. God has created an insect that beautifully illustrates (pictures) this word:

The butterfly was once a worm-like caterpillar. What a change has taken place! What a transformation! What went into the cocoon looks completely different from what came out!

Metamorphosis involves the complete transformation of the body; and metanoia involves the complete transformation of the _____________. The way we think after we are saved should be completely different from the way we used to think before we were saved!


  1. Acts 2:38: "______________ (change your thinking) and be baptized, ___________    _______ of you."
  2. Acts 3:19: " _______________ (change your mind) and be converted."
  3. Acts 17:30: "But now (God) _____________________ all men everywhere to _____________"   (start thinking differently!).
  4. Acts 20:21: " _____________________ toward God" (start thinking differently about God).
  5. Acts 26:20: "that they should ________________" (change their minds about sin and the Saviour).
  6. Luke 24:47: "And that ____________________________ (changing your whole way of thinking) and _____________________ (forgiveness) of sins should be preached in his name among all nations."  Man does the repenting and the believing; God does the saving and the forgiving!

TRUE or FALSE: ____________ God is not willing that any should PERISH, but that all people might have an opportunity to change their minds about Him (see 2 Peter 3:9).

What kind of people do not need to repent (see Luke 15:7)? ___________________________  How many of these people are there (Romans 3:10)? ____________ What kind of people do not need a doctor (see Luke 5:31)? __________________________________ What kind of people do not need a Saviour (Luke 5:32)? _____________________________ What kind of people do need a Saviour (1 Timothy 1:15)? ______________________  Read Luke 5:30 and Luke 15:1-2 and answer TRUE or FALSE:

_________ These Pharisees were righteous men.

_________ These Pharisees thought they were righteous men.

_________ These Pharisees were righteous in their own eyes.

_________ These Pharisees were righteous in God’s eyes (Rom. 3:10).

_________ These Pharisees did not need to repent.

_________ These Pharisees thought they did not need to repent.

In Luke 18:9 the Lord Jesus spoke a parable to certain people who thought they were __________________. Were these people thinking rightly about themselves? _____ Did they need to repent and think differently about themselves?  _______  Which man in the parable (verses 10-13) was thinking rightly? _____________________ Which man was saved (verse 14)? ____________________ Was the Pharisee saved (verse 14)? ________.  [Note:  "Publican" means "tax-collector."]

If a person does not repent and think differently about his own sin, what will happen to him (Luke 13:3,5)? __________________________  The person who repents is able to think in the right way about himself and about the Saviour:  "I am a great sinner, but the Lord Jesus Christ died to save me.  He is the perfect (and only) Solution to my problem."

Read Matthew 21:28-30. Did the first son change his mind?  _______ Read Luke 15:11-32 and find the verse where the lost son first began to repent and think differently. Verse:______   Read Luke 16:19-31. What did the rich man’s brothers really need so that they could repent and be saved (circle the correct answer):

  1. They needed Lazarus to come and warn them about the place of torment (Hades).
  2. They needed someone to prove to them that the Bible is really true.
  3. They needed someone to rise from the dead so that he could tell them to repent.
  4. They needed nothing more than the written Word of God which they already had.

Thus, if a man really wants to think rightly he must pay attention to God’s Word, the Bible. God has given us all the warnings that we need, and these warnings are found in the Bible (see Luke 13:3,5, etc.).

A change of mind will bring about a change of life.  If a man thinks rightly then he will live rightly: "For as he _______________ in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7). This is why true repentance will result in GOOD W__________ (Acts 26:20) and GOOD F____________ (Matthew 3:8). Just as metamorphosis results in a brand new way of life for the caterpillar who changes his form, so metanoia results in a brand new way of life for the sinner who changes his mind! 

Sometimes a believer may leave His first love (Rev. 2:4).  This means that he allows other things to become more important to him than the Lord Jesus Christ.  He forgets how wonderful it is to be saved.  He loses the joy of His salvation.  He no longer delights in doing God's will, as he once did.  Does this person need to repent (Rev. 2:5)? ________  In what way does he need to change his mind?   How does he need to think differently?   [Note:  The believer does not repent in order to get saved again.  Once a person is truly saved, he is saved forever (John 10:27-30).   The believer needs to repent in order to get back into fellowship with God and to straighten out his priorities.  He needs to put God first in everything!]

True repentance  is a change for the better, not for the worse! Repentance is not something terrible, it is something wonderful!   It involves some wonderful news:   "_____________, and believe the ______________ (the good news)" (see Mark 1:15). Repentance is the happiest and most joyful thing a person can do!

It is wonderful to think rightly!   Is the caterpillar sad because he is going to become a butterfly? Of course not! The happiest thing the little caterpillar can do is to CHANGE HIS FORM!! What a joy it is to hear the fluttering of wings! A new kind of life has begun! Likewise, the happiest thing a person can do is to completely change his mind and begin to see things as God does!

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The person who truly changes his mind will also change his direction.  He was going the wrong way; but now he has TURNED and he's going the right way.  This is the subject of our next chapter.

Go to the Next Lesson--Lesson 15

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