Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father…
The word is often used for the compunction with which one may reflect on a particular sin. Whether such compunction procures the forgiveness of the sin, seems to me a question which it is rather too bold to ask, but which is quite unimportant to have answered, unless forgiveness of sins were the same thing as forgiveness of sin. They are entirely different, and there is an equal and exactly corresponding difference between repentance in the sense just mentioned, and in that signified by the word which in the New Testament expresses the condition to which forgiveness of sin is attached. The Greek word denotes a change of mind, heart, or disposition, which is equivalent to the cessation of sin as a habit or state. Sins may be repented of without any such annihilation of sin. And without such annihilation I venture to doubt whether God Himself could forgive sin, any more than He could make two contrary propositions identical, or the same thing to be and not to be at the same time.
Parallel VersesKJV: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
WEB: Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and don't begin to say among yourselves, 'We have Abraham for our father;' for I tell you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones!