Repentance is a Gift: What God demands, God also grants

24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant (δώῃ) them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.

–2 Tim 2:24-25

διδωμι has a wide range of meaning, but it is always related to “giving.” Perhaps the closest to our passage in BDAG is “grant, allow.” So repentance is a gift, but how so?

My conclusion is that there is a road that leads from a gentle heart open to the convicting working of God’s Spirit, to patterns of sin, to the hard heart in which God gives people over to their sin (Rom 1:24,26, 28).

Earlier on in one’s journey, we are sensitive to the promptings of the Spirit and repent easily. But as we continue to neglect the voice of the Spirit, as we insist on our sin, as we establish patterns of unrepentance, those patterns become more and more entrenched.  Eventually, because we are so familiar with our patterns of behavior, we don’t even see the patterns and feel totally justified in how we live.

Bill Mounce @ Koinonia blog.