Friday, July 01, 2011

The negative and positive aspect of repentance

“Repent (שוב) and turn away from (שוב מן Hiphil) all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you. Cast away (שלך Hiphil) from you all your transgressions which you have committed and make (עשה) yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!

“These verses reveal the purpose of the entire speech [Ezekiel 18], and this purpose lies in repentance. Repentance of this sort involves a fundamental turning from evil patterns, one that is described both as 'casting away' sin and 'making oneself a new heart and a new spirit.' Here we see that repentance has both a negative and a positive dimension: turning from sin and creating a new orientation. In addition, repentance involves both behavior ('your transgressions which you have committed') and the internal affections of heart and spirit.—A Severe Mercy, pages 278-279

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