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By Ryan Bridgeo

Avery CountyPastor Ryan Bridgeo Plumtree Church Avery County, NC


Mark 1:14-15, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Jesus is saying here that the time is fulfilled; the time is now; the Kingdom of God is at hand. But, for us to walk in the Kingdom, we must repent and believe the gospel. And for us to truly believe the gospel we must truly repent. This is the process of faith.

When I was growing up, I often heard sermons that proclaimed that we needed to “Repent, Repent, Repent.” At the time I didn’t understand what the word meant. I tried to figure it out by watching those around me. Repentance was modeled for me in a few different ways. One way is when people would go to the altar and cry. They would hear a message that moved them or made them feel guilty and they would respond by going to the altar. They would cry and cry, sometimes making quite a scene, but there wasn’t always a real change that followed. Those same people would often be back the next week. Another way I saw repentance modeled was by confession of sins. People would search their hearts and confess everything they had ever done. It was like their faith was in their ability to confess. I am not sure what they believed would happen if they forgot something. Maybe, they believed they would go to Hell. I don’t know. I am not saying that there is anything wrong with going to the altar or confessing our sins. I have had encounters with God doing both, but our faith cannot rest on these things. Our faith needs to rest on Him.

Many of us have heard definitions of repentance over the years. For example, a turning away, going from one direction to another, a turning from sin to righteous behavior. Turning away from sin to a righteous lifestyle is wisdom. We should make every effort to move away from sin, but this is not the true definition of “repent” or what Jesus had in mind in our opening scripture verse. The word “repent” is the Greek word metanoia. Meta means to change and noia means your mind. Jesus was saying, “change how you think, and believe the gospel” and “change how you think for the Kingdom of God is at hand”. This isn’t just about thinking different thoughts but an entirely new way of thinking. True transformation is going to come by renewing or changing how we think.

Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” The word “transformed” here is the Greek word “metamorphoo” which is where we get our English word metamorphous. Metamorphous is the process the caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly. In the same way, a caterpillar is transformed into a beautiful butterfly by this process, we are transformed by the process of renewing our minds or changing how we think. Until we think like God, until we agree with what He says, there will not be true transformation. There will also not be true repentance or true Bible-believing faith.

Let me give you a few examples. Firstly, let’s say that you struggle with believing that your sins are forgiven. You know what the Bible says, and you mentally agree that it must be true. But for whatever reason, you sometimes struggle with believing this in your heart. If that is the case, then you need to repent (change how you think and agree with God) and then you can truly believe in your heart. You need to find the verses in the Bible that talk about forgiveness, meditate on them, and confess them out loud. Verses like Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Or Hebrews 8:12 which says, “For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” As you meditate on these verses and others like them, confess them over your life and you will start to believe them. This process will take time, but after you believe them, you will experience true repentance (metanoia) and transformation.

Secondly, let’s say you struggle with the thought that He dances over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17).

Again, you might agree with this intellectually, but you don’t truly believe it in your heart. This is not faith, as real faith is from the heart, not the head. With the heart, man believes unto righteousness (Romans 10:10). You need to repent (change how you think and agree with God) and then you can believe this in your heart. Jesus said in John 8:32, “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” It is God’s truth, God’s reality, that will set you free. As you meditate on His truth, despite how you feel, it will bring true transformation, true repentance, and true faith in His Word.  So let us truly repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.


Ryan Bridgeo is the Pastor of Plumtree Church in Avery County, NC. If you would like to know more or how you might become involved in this ministry please reach out to Pastor Ryan at or call 828-765-6919.

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