Archive for December, 2009

THE FIRST COMING OF MESSIAH: His first words

December 24, 2009

I am literally on the eve day of Christmas as I write this.  I am very happy to be able to be here on earth in these end times.  The thought of Jesus coming twice is what I hope to live for.  The first coming was for the sole purpose of bringing redemption to the world as the God/man (a second Adam event) in His creation.

When Jesus started his ministry he began at the banks of the Jordon River.  He went to be baptized by John the Dunker (Baptizer) and do the will of his Father, God.  Both knew the Scriptures very well and they did something I think was remarkable.  They said the same words in their beginning.

John the baptizer’s ministry was to foretell the coming Savior, Jesus the Messiah.  But First John and what he said:

 

Mat 3:2 “RepentG3340, for the kingdomG932 of heavenG3772 is at handG1448.”

Then what Jesus said:

Mat 4:17 From that timeG5119 JesusG2424 beganG757 to preachG2784 and sayG3004, “RepentG3340, for the kingdomG932 of heavenG3772 is at handG1448.”

The same word I want to focus on is “RepentG3340.”  Notice, it is a command.  I wanted to quote a commentary or two to get the understanding of the word.

RepentG3340 ye. The great rite of John was baptism, but the great duty commanded was repentance. Repentance is more than a sorrow for sin; it is a determination to abandon it and live a new life. It means a change of the will, or heart, new purposes, a determination to leave off sinning. Sorrow is not repentance, but “godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2Co_7:10). (The People’s New Testament)

RepentG3340 (metanoeite). Broadus used to say that this is the worst translation in the New Testament. The trouble is that the English word “repent” means “to be sorry again” from the Latin repoenitet (impersonal). John did not call on the people to be sorry, but to change (think afterward) their mental attitudes (metanoeite) and conduct. The Vulgate has it “do penance” and Wycliff has followed that. The Old Syriac has it better: “Turn ye.” The French (Geneva) has it “Amendez vous.” This is John’s great word (Bruce) and it has been hopelessly mistranslated. The tragedy of it is that we have no one English word that reproduces exactly the meaning and atmosphere of the Greek word. The Greek has a word meaning to be sorry (metamelomai) which is exactly our English word repent and it is used of Judas (Mat_27:3). John was a new prophet with the call of the old prophets: “Turn ye” (Joe_2:12; Isa_55:7; Eze_33:11, Eze_33:15).  (Robertson’s Word Pictures)

RepentG3340 (μετανοεῖτε)  A word compounded of the preposition μετά, after, with; and the verb νοέω, to perceive, and to think, as the result of perceiving or observing. In this compound, the preposition combines the two meanings of time and change, which may be denoted by after and different; so that the whole compound means to think differently after. Μετάνοια (repentance) is, therefore, primarily, an after-thought, different from the former thought; then, a change of mind which issues in regret and in change of conduct. These latter ideas, however, have been imported into the word by scriptural usage, and do not lie in it etymologically nor by primary usage. Repentance, then, has been rightly defined as “Such a virtuous alteration of the mind and purpose as begets a like virtuous change in the life and practice.” Sorrow is not, as is popularly conceived, the primary nor the prominent notion of the word. Paul distinguishes between sorrow (λύπη), repentance (μετάνοια), and puts the one as the outcome of the other. “Godly sorrow worketh repentance” (2Co_7:10).  (Vincent’s Word Studies)

Some years ago, I had an experience of repenting of my sin to the person I sinned against.  I said I was sorry for this event and I expected the same reply from that person.  I expected to hear that they were also sorry.  But the reply was “I’m not.”  I then realized and was reminded that what I do is between that person, me and God.  What anyone else does is between their Maker and them.  I felt free from that sin.  Yes, folks, I am a sinner!   What I’m asked to do is to repent, change my life, change my practice, change my mind and not do that again.  I then need God’s Spirit to help me with making the new life change in me from then on.

Strangely enough, when John said these words, all Judea was coming to the Jordan.  What was said next was, there were Pharisees and Sadducees coming to be baptized.  They were called a brood of vipers.  What John was saying was they needed to repent of their religion as an idol before God.  What they thought of this baptism, was a dipping or ritual washing they already were doing every day in their own daily practice.  They were doing the dipping of the law.  But here, they were asked to do something for their future before the coming of God’s wrath.  And, that was to Repent G3340 (μετανοεῖτε) their sin before God.


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