Change your mind about Christ
by Peter Wade

u-turn signAt one time a constant visitor to my last church was an evangelist and his young family, when he did not have a speaking engagement. He was what we called in the Salvation Army a "real trophy of grace." I had read his life story of crime, including armed robbery from state-owned betting shops. After being incarcerated for a time, he found the Lord and became a well-known evangelist in Australia.

He said me after one service that I made it hard for an evangelist to reap a harvest of souls, because I didn't leave the people with a sense of conviction. And he was right, as John 16:8 tells me that the the work of the Holy Spirit, not me, is "to reprove the world of sin," and in addition, I don't subscribe to the common theology of repentance.

I had known, probably even before my ministerial training, that the word so often translated "repentance" is the Greek word "metanoia," being a combination of "meta," after, and "noia," the mind. This is no secret revelation to the evangelical world. In Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon (1885) it is defined as "to change one’s mind." In the Keyword Concordance it is given as "simply a mental change." Vine's Expository Dictionary (1940) says the verb from means "literally to perceive afterwards," that is, upon reflection to change your thinking; to reconsider is part of the process. Tertullian, an early church scholar, wrote in 198 A.D. that "In Greek, metanoia is not a confession of sin, but a change of mind."

The problem in translation is to find the right English word, Read More » |4 Responses

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Why did Jesus weep?
by Peter Wade

jesus-weptI recently conducted funerals for two dear friends who at one time were members of a congregation I pastored. They personally asked me a decade or so ago to lead their final farewell to this life.

At the second funeral service I used as my text John 11:35, "Jesus wept." Just two words, since it is the shortest verse in our English Bibles, but of course that doesn't guarantee a short sermon! Yet I did manage to keep it to about 10 minutes, as it was a funeral with many items and military honors, yet in this form I can introduce more detail.

Of course, there were no verses in the original texts of the New Testament or their copies. They were first introduced in a printed edition of the Greek New Testament around 1551 by Robert Estienne, and first included in an English translation in 1557. We continue to use that system today and thank God for its utility. Most times Robert Estienne got it right, but it is wise to use the verse divisions only for navigation and not interpretation.

In the case of John 11:35 we could attach the two words to the previous verse or to the following verse. Read More » |1 Response

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