Outline of the Book:
I. Preface: The Method and Purpose of Writing, Luke 1:1-4.
II. The Identification of the Son of Man with Men, Luke 1:5-4:13.
III. The Ministry of the Son of Man to Men, Luke 4:14-9:50.
IV. The Repudiation of the Son of Man by Men, Luke 9:51-19:27.
I. Instruction in the Light of Rejection, Luke 12:1-19:27.
13. Concerning God’s love for sinners, Luke 15:1-32.
a. The Parable of the Lost Sheep, vs. 1-7.
b. The Parable of the Lost Coin, vs. 8-10.
c. The Parable of the Prodigal Son, vs. 11-31.
1) The wayward son and waiting father, vs. 11-16.
2) The repentant and restored, vs. 17-24.
3) The resentful brother and insightful father, vs. 25-32.
As we begin this chapter, we will see that there are six reasons or motivations to repent, either for the first time unto salvation or as a lifetime of turning to God in fellowship post-salvation. In these parables, we will see the difference between loss and redemption, and separation and reconciliation.
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Luke 15:1, “Now all the tax collectors and the sinners were coming near Him to listen to Him.”
“Tax collectors,” TELONES and “sinners,” HARMTOLOS were two groups scorned at by the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, that Jesus particularly sought out so that He could save them. This group also sought out Jesus, as we see here in, “were coming near to Him,” EIMI ENGIZO AUTOS.
The reason they were coming near to Him was to “listen to Him,” AKOUO AUTOS. This picks up where Jesus left off in Chapter 14, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!” This means to learn through the ear gate, which is what these despised groups were doing. They came to learn what Jesus was teaching, as the good disciple should do!
Luke 15:2, “Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them”.”
Because of this, the self-righteous religious leaders, “Pharisees,” PHARISAIOS, and “Scribes,” GRAMMATEUS, “began to grumble,” which is from the Imperfect, Active, Indicative of the Verb DIAGONGUZO, διαγογγύζω that means, “grumble, complain aloud, or murmur.” It is only used here and Luke 19:7, in the NT. It is a compound word from DIA that is an intensifier here, and the Verb GONGUZO that also means, “grumble, murmur, mutter, or complain.” So, this is an intensified complaining and grumbling by the religious leaders.
Luke 19:7, “When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner”.”
Their intensified complaint about Jesus was that He, “receives sinners and eats with them,” PROSDECHOMAI HARMATOLOS KAI SUNESTHIO AUTOS. SUNESTHIO, “eat together,” is used here and in Acts 10:41; 11:3; 1 Cor 5:11; Gal 2:12.
As we have noted, the designation “sinners” implies a disregard for the Law of Moses and the traditions of the Jewish elders. It could also be a general reference to those with low sexual morals, perhaps involved with prostitution, and a tendency towards drunkenness and carousing, cf. Luke 7:34. The tax collectors were doubly despised, as IRS agents are today, for they collaborate with the hated Roman occupiers. As such, this group was perceived as religiously fallen and politically traitorous.
In the Septuagint (LXX), SUNESTHIO is used for David who said in Psa 101:5, he did not and would not eat with the slanderer, proud, or insatiable. David’s words are in keeping with the Middle Eastern custom that equated table fellowship with companionship, friendship, or acceptance, cf. Gen 43:32. David did not want to be associated with these sinners, thus he would not eat with them.
This same sentiment is seen in its use in the NT. Peter had to answer to the Jerusalem brethren concerning his eating with / acceptance of the Gentiles, Acts 11:3. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for their lax stand with the immoral brother and thus commanded them not to “even” eat with an immoral brother, 1 Cor 5:11. Paul also rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy for eating with and then not eating with the Gentiles when the Jewish brethren showed up in Gal 2:12. Each of these usages shows the implications of friendship or acceptance in the Eastern concept of table fellowship or “eating together.” Sharing meals with someone was a powerful symbol of acceptance in the ancient world.
Yet, the Pharisees were wrongly and unjustly upset with Jesus because He “received” and “ate with” sinners, i.e., accepted them. Jesus presents a paradox: The Righteous One involved with the unrighteous. It was this seeming contradiction that caused the Pharisees and Scribes to grumble about Him. But the fact is, Jesus came to save the sinner, and therefore accepted them in His presence.
“These verses point out the cultural bigotry that was in operation at this point. The Pharisees and the scribes were the “ins” of the society. They were perceived by the people as religiously upright and politically patriotic. The tax collectors and sinners, on the other hand, were the “outs”.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Jesus responded to their criticism by telling three parables. All three deal with things that are lost and then found: a lamb, a coin, and a son. Jesus was piling up these parables about being lost to get to His main point in the third parable: the attitude of the self-righteous elder brother toward his newly restored younger brother.
Luke 15:3, “So He told them this parable, saying, 4 “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?””
Jesus begins to correct them by teaching another “parable,” PARABOLE, about the “lost sheep,” APOLLUMI PROBATON. The only time Luke uses PROBATON is in this parable. This parable is also noted in Mat 18:12-14. This is a figurative use of sheep, as Jesus is using it in analogy to people.
This also presents a “shepherd,” analogy which is one of the best illustrations of God’s love for mankind.
The logic here is that if one is lost, (i.e., without salvation or entered into reversionism), you “would leave,” KATALEIPO, the other “ninety-nine,” ENNENEKONTAENNEA, (used only in this parable, twice each in Matthew and Luke), “and go after,” POREUOMAI EPI, “the one which is lost,” HO APOLLUMI, “until you finds it,” HEOS HEURISKO AUTOS.
Jesus knew that this rhetorical question would rattle around in the minds of His listeners, as each one would absolutely leave the flock, (the 99), and search until the wayward lamb was found. As they would come to understand, the reason the shepherd goes out to search diligently for the one that was lost is because he feels the loss of that one. Therefore, he is compelled to go find him, just as God is compelled to seek out every member of the human race to come to repentance for salvation, especially as the owner of their soul.
The worst thing is not to be a sinner, but to be a sinner who thinks God does not value you. The fact is, God attaches value to every soul. That value is seen in the Cross of His Son, Jesus Christ. When we turn to God, we discover that God was not out to crush us because of our sin, but to save us from it and thereby making us His own. The Lord is not willing to accept the loss of one human soul. No one is disposable, not even the foolish who wander from the flock.
Luke 15:5, “When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.”
“When he has found it,” KAI HEURISKO, “he lays it on his shoulders,” EPITITHEMI EPI HO OMOS. OMOS is only use here and Mat 23:4, for the legalism of the Pharisees put onto others.
Mat 23:4, “They tie up heavy burdens and lay them on men’s shoulders, but they themselves are unwilling to move them with so much as a finger.”
Here, the shepherd does not drive the lamb back to the flock, drag it back with a noose around its neck, or throw it into a bag with a good scolding. Instead, the shepherd lovingly places the dear animal on his shoulders, draping its legs around his neck with its soft head nuzzling his ear. His attitude was not one of reproach over the carelessness which resulted in the lamb’s separation, but of rejoicing over the reunion and restoration of the one lost.
Therefore, we see the contrast, as the Pharisees place a heavy burden of works for salvation on the shoulders of their constituents, while Jesus unburdens them and puts them with their burdens on His shoulders to give them salvation.
As a result of saving the lost sheep, the shepherd / owner “rejoices,” CHAIRO. His joy was so great that not only did he rejoice himself, but he wanted to share it with others. So, he calls together his friends and neighbors, inviting them to rejoice with him.
Luke 15:6, “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’”
“And when he comes home,” KAI ERCHOMAI EIS HO OIKOS, “he calls together his friends and his neighbors,” SUNKALEO HO PHILOS KAI HO GEITON. This is analogues to the angels in heaven. When Jesus brings a believer to heaven, (i.e., home), He summons the other believers in heaven and the elect angels to “rejoice with Him,” SUNCHAIRO. The reason He calls others to rejoice with Him is because, “He has found His sheep which was lost!’” HOTI HEURISKO PROBATON EGO HO APOLLUMI.
“A story is told that Francis of Assisi once saw a mountain shepherd in the Alps risk his life to save a lost sheep. Francis was so overwhelmed with what he saw that he cried aloud: “O God, if such was the diligence of this shepherd in seeking for an insignificant animal, which probably would have been frozen on the glacier, how is it that I am so indifferent in seeking my sheep?” The diligence and love of Jesus’ shepherd must surely have pricked the callous hearts of the self-righteous scribes and Pharisees, if they possessed any sensitivity whatsoever.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
Luke 15:7, “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”
Jesus then summarizes in real terms the application of this parable, “I tell you that in the same way,” LEGO HUMEIS HOUTOS, “there will be more joy in heaven,” HOTI EIMI, (in the Future Indicative), CHARA EN HOURANOS, “over one sinner who repents,” EPI HEIS HARMATOLOS and the Verb METANOEO. This phrase is also used in vs. 10, in the following parable of the Lost Coin, and is the sentiment of the father of the returning prodigal son in that parable. Therefore, the “lost sheep” is identified with a sinner, thus representing in the current situation the sinners and tax collectors with whom Jesus was fellowshipping.
The point is: Everyone must see him or herself as a lost sheep, a lost sinner, who needs a savior.
This rejoicing is noted in comparison to the, “than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance,” E, (particle of comparison), EPI ENNENEKONTAENNEA DIKAIOS HOSITIS OUK CHREIA ECHO and the Noun METANOIA, “remorse, repentance, turning about, change of mind.”
Mat 9:13, “But go and learn what this means: “I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,” for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Mark 2:17, “And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners”.”
Luke 5:31-32, “And Jesus answered and said to them, “It is not those who are well who need a physician, but those who are sick. 32I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance”.”
Luke 24:46-47, “And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem”.”
2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
The fact is, everyone needs repentance. The Pharisees and Scribes with their legalistic adherence to the Law thought that their issue of salvation was already resolved through their human good works, but it was not. The 99, being part of the flock here, which represented the Pharisees and Scribes does not condone their self-righteousness, but shows the love of God the Father and Jesus Christ as the Good and Great Shepherd, John 10:11, 14; Heb 13:20, who looks to save everyone. Unfortunately, their self-righteousness prevented them from seeing and appreciating it. Nevertheless, Jesus was trying to break down the barrier, (i.e., remove the veil / their blindness), so that they could see it.
John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.”
John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me.”
Overall, this is the attitude we are to have; a passion for souls and a spirit of rejoicing when we see lives changed by the gospel. We too should be like the restless, searching shepherd, whose labors resulted in heavenly rejoicing over the sheep that we find.
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Remember, Jesus told these parables to convey the idea of value. God treasures the repentance of one lost sinner because He loves everyone, both individually and specifically.
Luke 15:8, “Or what woman, if she has ten silver coins and loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it?”
“Ten silver coins,” DEKA DRACHME, δραχμή, “drachma.” It is only used in this parable by Luke three times in vs. 8-9. The DRACHME was a silver coin of the Grecian empire. The DRACHME first appeared after the conquest of Persia (332–323 B.C.) by Alexander the Great. For the first time, he standardized currency for trade and commerce, as well as language as you know, giving us the KOINE Greek, which most of the NT Bible was written in. The Alexandrian standard of weights valued the DRACHME at just over 66 grams of silver. At first it bore the inscription and image of Alexander but later was changed. Following the division of the Greek Empire into the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, the Alexandrian standard was kept by the Seleucids who were seated in Antioch. The Ptolemies of Alexandria adopted the Phoenician standard revising the drachma to weigh 56 grams. The Ptolemaic drachma was preferred currency to the Jews who met severe persecution at the hands of the Seleucids. Despite Jewish preference for the Ptolemaic drachma, the drachma struck in Antioch prevailed in circulation in Palestine because of its equal exchange value for the Roman silver denarius. The denarius was a Roman soldier’s daily wage. The Antiochan drachma is the one probably referred to in this chapter.
“Others have pointed out that the 10 coins might have been the woman’s marriage dowry, which in the ancient world was often worn as a headpiece. If this was so, the coin would have great sentimental value. At any rate, there is no question but that the woman had lost something very precious to her.” (Complete Biblical Library Commentary)
“If she loses one coin,” EAN APOLLUMI, “lost,” DRACHME MIA, the feminine of HEIS. Different from the lost sheep, who had wandered off on its own, a coin cannot lose itself. It has to be lost by the owner. This speaks to our God and Creator who is the original owner of all souls who has lost the souls of all people due to the original sin, the fall of Adam and the woman in the Garden of Eden.
This is a Third class “if” statement, with EAN and the Subjunctive of APOLLUMI for “lost,” as we saw in the parable of the lost sheep above. This third class if, is for a hypothetical situation in this parable.
The “then” statement is the result of God losing our souls, as He “tries to,” stated with the negative “does not,” OUCHI, “find,” HEURISKO, “find, obtain, etc.,” our souls. To do so He does three things:
1) “Lights a lamp,” HAPTO, “kindle or light,’ cf. Luke 8:16; 11:33, for being lights of the world. This word also means, “to touch, cling to or adhere to.” So we see the interpersonal contact in this process. “Lamp,” is the Noun LUCHNOS. It is also used in Luke 8:16; 11:33-36.
2) “Sweeps the house,” The Verb SAROO with the Noun OIKIA. SAROO, σαρόω is only used here and Luke 11:25; Mat 12:44. The latter two are in parallel to the story of Jesus exercising of demons to free the soul. This sweeping of the house is also used in the Feast of Unleavened Bread, where they would clean the house so that no leaven, (yeast), was present in the house. As you know, leaven represents sin; therefore, they were performing a process that spoke of God removing their sins for salvation.
3) “Search carefully,” is the Verb ZETEO, “search,” with the Adverb EPIMELOS, “carefully, diligently.” In early Greek literature, EPIMELOS meant to perform a service carefully. It is only used here in the NT.
Therefore, these three things are analogous to what God does to find the lost souls of every member of the human race. He first shines the light of Jesus Christ on us for salvation. He then removes evil and sin from our souls through faith in Christ. And finally, He diligently provides us with 40+ things at the moment of our salvation, so that we are sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, so that we are eternally secure and have the necessary resources to excel in the spiritual life.
Luke 15:9, “When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin which I had lost!’
Here, we see that the diligent search was successful; the lost coin was recovered. This is analogous to God’s diligently searching for every soul to come to salvation. Once we have been “found,” HEURISKO, (i.e., been saved), the rejoicing begins. This passage is identical to vs. 6, when the lost sheep was found, other than this time it’s a woman calling her friends and neighbors together to rejoice with her because she found the lost coin, rather than the sheep of vs. 6.
As we noted in vs. 6, this is analogous to God calling all humans who are already in heaven, and all the elect angels together to rejoice with Him over the lost soul that has been saved.
Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
The angelic celebration is seen in this passage, where in vs. 7, it was simply stated as “joy in heaven.” “In the same way,” is once again, just as in vs. 7, the Adverb HOUTOS that means, “in this manner, thus, so, just as, in this way, etc.” The thing that is the same is the rejoicing of this lady who found the lost coin with her friends and neighbors, as God, the angelic race, and believers who are already in heaven will rejoice when one sinner repents.
“Joy,” is CHARA once again, that speaks of the emotion or feeling of exultation and excitement due to great happiness or pleasure because of some thing or event. As such, God and the angelic host have great delight when an unbeliever accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior.
“In the presence of the angels of God,” is the Preposition ENOPION, “before, in the sight or presence of, etc.,” with the Article HO and the Noun ANGELOS, ἄγγελος, and the Genitive of Possession or relationship Noun THEOS.
“God takes time to pursue every individual. When that individual repents, God takes time to celebrate, and He invites all heaven to celebrate with Him. This speaks volumes about the value of every individual in God’s sight. Heaven rejoices over every repentant sinner. Christians do too. Pharisees don’t.” (Christ-Centered Exposition).
“Over one sinner who repents,” is EPI HEIS HAMARTOLOS METANOEO, which means when an unbeliever accepts Jesus Christ as their Savior. This goes along with our study of Luke 12:8-9, where God will announce to the angelic host every believer. And at that time, they will once again rejoice!
Luke 12:8, “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God.”
METANOEO means, “to repent, change one’s mind, or be converted.” We have noted this word in Luke’s Gospel in Luke 10:13; 11:32; 13:3, 5; 15:7. We will see it again in Luke 16:30; 17:3-4.
The most extensive form of repentance is a comprehensive and complete change in your thinking, attitudes, and purpose towards Jesus Christ. This is the deep-seated repentance spoken of in Mat 3:2; Acts 3:19, where a thorough change of mind is urged.
Mat 3:2, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
Luke 3:3, “And he came (John the Baptist) into all the district around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”
Acts 3:18-19, “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
As we have noted and see in the Scriptures, to get to the kingdom of heaven, one must first have his sins forgiven, and to have your sins forgiven you must believe in the Messiah, the Christ, the Savior, the Lord, as the One who would pay for your sins. As we now know, Jesus Christ paid for our sins at the Cross.
When compared to METAMELOMAI, used 5 times, METANOEO, used over 30 times, is much more prevalent, especially when referring to repentance linked to salvation. METAMELOMAI signifies having a feeling, care, concern or regret, as it expresses the emotional aspect of repentance. In Mat 27:3, Judas Iscariot repented only in the sense of regret, remorse, and not in the sense of the abandonment of sin. Therefore, he never received salvation.
METANOEO does not carry that thought of feeling. METANOEO repentance is stronger than remorse or emotional regret. It expresses the true NT idea of the spiritual change implied in a sinner’s return to God, and signifies “to have another mind,” (i.e., to change the opinion or purpose with regard to sin). It is equivalent to the OT word SHUBH, שׁוּב that means, “turn.” It represents a change of mind so effective that vs. 7, 10, assume salvation for a sinner who has “repented.” This “repentance” is required for entrance into the kingdom of heaven and is a subject of the apostolic preaching in Acts.
Unfortunately, Jerome, the translator of the Vulgate (LATIN) Bible, translated METANOEO in the Imperative as “do penance,” which has led to the false doctrines of saying prayers or doing good deeds to make up for your sins.
Yet, the reality is, the Biblical fact is that when we change our mind about Jesus Christ, recognizing that He paid for our sins upon the Cross and through Him we have salvation, we have the forgiveness of our sins, positionally, and receive entrance into the Kingdom of God. This is what John the Baptist’s father Zachariah prophesied regarding the ministry of his son in Luke 1:77, he would, “give to His people the knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.” Therefore, John’s “baptisms” had the meaning of “people changing their mind to receive forgiveness or pardoning of their sins,” with the result of entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven.
John’s water baptism was not the key to a person’s salvation or new life, just as it is not today, nor any other ritual religion has created like doing penance. The key is the change of thought / heart towards the Christ, Savior, Lord, Jesus, that comes with “knowledge,” Luke 1:77, i.e., Bible Doctrine in the soul! As such, repentance connotes a decision based on mentality, not emotion. It is rational.
Repentance results in the application of faith in Jesus Christ, which is salvation adjustment to the justice of God. Mark 1:14‑15, teaches that first you change your mind about Christ and then you believe; Mat 12:41; Luke 13:2‑3, 5; 15:7, 10; Acts 17:30; 20:21 (Ascensive use of KAI means even), 26:20; Rom 2:4; Heb 12:17.
Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel”.”
Acts 20:21, Paul was, “Solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and (by means of or through) faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The idea of repentance expressed by the METANOEO is intimately associated with different aspects of spiritual transformation in the Christian way of life. It is prominent with the process in which man is to express faith, as noted in Acts 20:21 above, and for conversion as in, Acts 3:19.
Acts 3:19, “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord.”
It is also part of God’s ability to bless us, especially as remission and forgiveness of sin, Luke 24:47; Acts 5:31.
Luke 24:46-47, “And He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Acts 5:31, “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.”
Remember, emotion never saves anyone. Feeling sorry for your sins does not save you, only faith in Christ saves you. Likewise, human good deeds are dead to the plan and policy of God, Gen 2:17, especially regarding our salvation. Dead works are those produced in the cosmic system. Therefore,
- Human good is linked with arrogance and produces boasting, Eph 2:9; Rom 4:2.
- Human good is never acceptable to God, Isa 64:6.
- Human good will not save man, Eph 2:8‑9.
- The unbeliever’s human good will be judged, Rev 20:12‑15.
- The believer’s human good will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ, 1 Cor 3:11‑16; Rom 5:10; 2 Cor 5:10.
- A change of attitude about sin is taught in Rev 2:5, 16, 22.
God’s great desire is that every member of the human race would recognize His Son Jesus Christ as their Savior, so that He would receive back their souls for all of eternity, 2 Peter 3:9, God is “Not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
“Repentance is only a condition of salvation and not its meritorious ground. The motives for repentance are chiefly found in the goodness of God, in divine love, in the pleading desire to have sinners saved, in the inevitable consequences of sin, in the universal demands of the gospel, and in the hope of spiritual life and membership in the kingdom of heaven (Ezekiel 33:11; Mark 1:15; Luke 13:1-5; John 3:16; Acts 17:30; Romans 2:4; 1 Tim. 2:4). The first four beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-6) form a heavenly ladder by which penitent souls pass from the dominion of Satan into the Kingdom of God. A consciousness of spiritual poverty dethroning pride, a sense of personal unworthiness producing grief, a willingness to surrender to God in genuine humility, and a strong spiritual desire developing into hunger and thirst, enter into the experience of one who wholly abandons sin and heartily turns to Him who grants repentance unto life.” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
And remember, when witnessing, you only give information, you do not try to get the unbeliever to “repent.” That is the function of God the Holy Spirit using the gospel information you have provided. God the Holy Spirit will encourage them to change their mind about Christ. You just get the correct information out to them.
“Psychology shows repentance to be profound, personal and all-pervasive. The intellectual element is manifest from the nature of man as an intelligent being, and from the demands of God who desires only rational service. Man must apprehend sin as unutterably heinous, the divine law as perfect and inexorable, and himself as coming short or falling below the requirements of a holy God (Job 42:5-6; Psalm 51:3; Romans 3:20).” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).
That is why a change of attitude toward Bible doctrine is also the basis of reversion recovery, Rom 2:5; Rev 3:19.
For the unbeliever, Rom 2:5, “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.”
For the believer, Rev 3:19, “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.”
“The most prominent element in the psychology of repentance is the voluntary, or volitional. The words employed in the Hebrew and Greek place chief emphasis on the will, the change of mind, or of purpose, because a complete and sincere turning to God involves both the apprehension of the nature of sin and the consciousness of personal guilt (Jeremiah 25:5; Mark 1:15; Acts 2:38; 2 Cor. 7:9-10). The demand for repentance implies free will and individual responsibility. That men are called upon to repent there can be no doubt, and that God is represented as taking the initiative in repentance is equally clear. The solution of the problem belongs to the spiritual sphere. The psychical phenomena have their origin in the mysterious relations of the human and the divine personalities. There can be no external substitute for the internal change. Sackcloth for the body and remorse for the soul are not to be confused with a determined abandonment of sin and return to God. Not material sacrifice, but a spiritual change, is the inexorable demand of God in both dispensations (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 1:11; Jeremiah 6:20; Hosea 6:6).” (The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia).