Repentance is ordinarily thought of as feeling sorry for your sins and trying not to; that is doing bad things, offending others etc. by definition from the Greek repentance is translated from Metanoia meaning having a change of mind, turning around in a different direction. Can our mind be changed in the scripture sense from carnal to spiritual without spiritual assistance from God? Jesus taught that this can only be done through a spiritual rebirth (Jn 3:3) and spiritual warfare (Eph 6:10-18).
John the Baptist was baptizing the Jews in the river Jordan, saying: "repent for the kingdom of heaven is near."The next logical question is: how is this repentance achieve? Is this something that man can do under his own volition; or is it something that must be aided by a higher power: the power of God? In other words is repentance an act of grace? Is the realization of our true life in Christ a natural result of spiritual repentance, and the true definition of the gospel as being a manifestation of the sons of God: it is a new creation, mortality putting on immortality and the realization that it is Christ in me my glory?
I believe scripture makes it clear that no one can repent, come to God apart from the conviction of the Holy Spirit which is in itself a gift from God. Scripture clearly states that no one can come to the son unless he is drawn by the Father Jn 6:44. It seems to me if we do not fall into the trap of theological philosophic, scientific methods of interpretation and rely on the simplicity that is in Christ, and examine ourselves to see if we are in the FAITH OF CHRIST, the answer becomes obvious. See 2 Co 11:1-3, 13:5.
Repentance can be seen as the spiritual transformation of mind/heart, putting on the mind of Christ as Paul taught in (Rm 12:1-2, Phil 2:1-18).
Bodily fasting alone is not enough to bring about self-restraint and true purity; it must be accompanied by contrition of heart, intense prayer to God, frequent meditation on the Scriptures, toil, and manual labor. These are able to check the restless impulses of the soul and to recall it from its shameful fantasies. Humility of soul helps more than anything else, however, and without it no one can overcome unchastity or any other sin. In the first place, then, we must take the utmost care to guard the heart from base thoughts, for, according to the Lord, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murder, adulteries, unchastity, and so on” (Matthew 15: 19).
© George Blasy 2016. Used by permission.