METANOIA (REPENTANCE)

Lack of knowledge of word meanings in their original language can often cause us to completely misunderstand the words they have become in English. That in turn can mean a whole world full of mistranslations because many modern Bible translations are taken from the English rather than the Hebrew or Greek.

I hope today’s word study can be read with that view in mind.  My intent is to help us all to see the deeper meaning of the word repent in the KJV as well as be willing to use the original Greek word in their everyday conversations today.

A word’s currency works somewhat like monetary currency. The more people use a word, the more useful it becomes. The more people know it, the easier it is for you to use.

For example, the word metanoia is a noun meaning: a profound transformation in one’s outlook. What is the origin? In the Greek, metanoia means a change of mind, and comes from metanoein, meaning to change one’s mind. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the earliest documented use was in 1577.

In scripture, the word metanoia (noun) or metanoeo (verb) includes the meaning of the root word (nousmindMind (nous) in scripture deals more with the will or determination in Romans 7. Paul willed to do God’s will (Rom. 7:25), but the members of his body prevented him (Rom. 7:23).

According to 2 Timothy 2:25, repentance is something that God must give. This particular repentance is a mind that acknowledges God’s truth, which in turn gives him strength to recover himself from the snare of the devil (2 Tim 2:26). By that, the new mind frees him from being captured by Satan.

For the Christian, repentance is a change of mind from determining to do wrong to doing right. For example, Simon (Acts 8:20-23) had a mind to purchase the power to give the Holy Spirit, which was the gift of God. Peter called on him to have a different mind, to cease to think that the gift of God could be purchased with money (Acts 8:20). The same change of mind was required of the Ephesians who had lost their first love. They were called on to have a mind to regain their first love and do the works they did at first (Rev. 3:5).

For those who are not Christian, repentance is a new mind that determines to no longer live for self, but to live for Christ (2 Cor. 5:15). Paul gained that mind when he saw Christ in the sky, so that he counted all things loss (all the accomplishments in the Jewish religion) and turned to live only for Christ (Phil. 3:8-12). Paul had the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16), which was to come to do the Father’s will and not his own will (John 5:30).

As an additional comparison, a Latin word, abnegation, meaning self-denial, can be closely associated with the deeper understanding of metanoiaAbnegation is from the Latin ab (away, off) + negare (to deny), from nec (not). The earliest documented use was in 1398.

So what does all this mean for the Christian? For many, repentance only means being sorry for the past and that’s it, but it should mean a complete change of heart and mind. Actually it is a new mind, one that determines to obey in God in everything.

That new mindset would bring us closer to the understanding of what it means to really love the LORD and to WANT to do his will (1 John 2:1-5).

-Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

Ray and Zelma Lawyer

My own reading of Zelma Wood Lawyer’s book ended abruptly, when I misplaced it. My copy was a yellow hardback.

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Recently I have been researching my aunt Zelma and her husband Ray Lawyer.  My cousin Kathy Wyler is their remaining surviving daughter at age 90.  Their story has been told in several books.  Zelma wrote a book after her return from Africa in about 1928.  The title of this book is “I Married a Missionary” and is likely out of print but may be available in some of the Christian University library’s.

Jeannie was their first child and she was born in the United States and was about 3 when they traveled to Northern Rhodesia to work in the mission field.  Northern Rhodesia has in recent years changed its name to Zambia.  Before Jeannie’s death a few years ago she completed a book with the title “I Dream of Jeanne”.

After arriving in Africa they proceeded to Northern Rhodesia and the community of Kalomo.  They and another missionary family, Dow and Alice Merritt…

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How Sweet the Words

Rick Ritter and the Four Corners church at Stillwell have some of the few sound preachers and churches in Oklahoma.

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harry presley

(photograph of Harry Presley)

HOW SWEET THE WORDS

“How sweet are Thy words unto my taste!  Yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth” (Ps. 119:103)

     INTRO.:  A song which declares how God’s words should be sweet unto our taste is “How Sweet the Words.”  The text was written by Harry Presley, who was born on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 1924, near Stilwell, OK, in the home of his parents John M. and Inez Richardson Presley. Growing up in the Stilwell area, he received his schooling from the Stilwell public schools and graduated from high school in 1942. Following his baptism into Christ on Sept. 17, 1950, he served in the U. S. Army in Korea during the Korean War. After his return, he began preaching the gospel in 1956, doing fill-in work for local congregations. On Dec. 17, 1961, he started preaching full-time for the Four Corners church of…

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Do You Love the Lord?

A special teacher, preacher and song leader too.

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tom holland

(Tom Holland)

“DO YOU LOVE THE LORD?”

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind” (Matt. 22:37)

     INTRO.: A hymn which encourages us to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind is “Do You Love the Lord?” The text was written by Thomas H. Holland, who was born in 1931 to Ross R. and Elzie Flanagan Holland, graduating from Freed-Hardeman College (now University) in 1951. His further education included a B.A. (David Lipscomb College), an M.A. (Abilene Christian University), and a Ph.D. (Southern Illinois University). His wife’s name is Linda D. Holland.  A well known preacher and lecturer among Churches of Christ, he is the author of numerous books on homiletics and sermon outlines. One website listed the following sermon outline books by Tom Holland: Essential Elements of Expository Preaching, Steps into the…

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This Is Not My Place of Resting

I was in college when I first heard of brother Showalter. In fact the first apartment my husband and I rented after we married was with brother Showalter’s younger brother’s widow.

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this is not my place

THIS IS NOT MY PLACE OF RESTING

“For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come” (Hebrews 13:14)

     INTRO.:  A hymn which urges us, since we have no continuing city here on earth, to seek the one that is to come is “This Is Not My Place of Resting.”  The text was written by a Scottish Free Church preacher named Horatius Bonar (1808-1889).  It was published in The Bible Hymn-Book of 1845.  Other well known hymns by Bonar that have appeared in our books include “For Me He Careth,” “Go, Labor On,” “Here, O My Lord, I See Thee,” “I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say,” and “No Shadows Yonder.”  Several tunes have been used with “This Is Not My Place of Resting.”  The traditional one (Vesper Flotow) was composed in 1875 by Friedrich von Flotow.  Another (Talmar), which has also been used with a…

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