There are three Greek words used in the New Testament, together they give us understanding. The three Greek words are:
- μετανοέω metanoeō: which means to think differently or reconsider.
- μεταμέλομαι metamelomai: this word implies feeling of remorse; therefore, it is a change of heart.
- μετάνοια metanoia: the context in which this word is used implies a change of course.
μετανοέω metanoeō and μετάνοια metanoia are used of John the Baptist in his preaching saying: Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt.3:2) and “Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” (Mt.3:8) μεταμέλομαι metamelomai is used of Jesus in the Parable of Two Sons. (Matthew 21:29,32) The first son said that he would not go to work in the vineyard as his father asked, but he regretted it, he had a change of heart, and went.
True repentance is a change of mind, a change of heart and a change of action. Many people change there mind but there heart is not in it. Many people have a change of heart but there mind is unchanged. However, a change of mind and a change of heart should cause a change in ones actions.
The apostle Paul wrote, 2 Corinthians 7:10:
For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Repent and believe in the gospel!