Sermon Date: January 21, 2024
“Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’ he said. ‘The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!'”
“Repentance” is the theme of the message emphasis this morning. Metanoeō (to repent) and epistrephō (to turn back) “are placed side by side as equivalent terms, though in these cases the former may focus on the abandonment of evil and the latter on turning to God.” The Greek verb metanoeō (to repent) is built on the preposition meta (“with, after”) and the verb noeō (“to understand, to think”). The conclusion some then draw is that the only sense in which a Christian is required to repent is to change one’s mind or to rethink sin and one’s relationship with God. But the meaning of words is not determined in this way, but rather on usage and context. A change of mind or perspective is of no value if it isn’t accompanied by a change of direction, a change of life and action.
“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”