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Wordwise Insight, Issue #059
September 14, 2009

WORDWISE INSIGHT is the free monthly newsletter of


BIBLE INSIGHTS (and Reader Q & A): Repentance--What Is It?

WORDWISE HYMNS: My Blog called Wordwise Hymns for you to check out!

MORE ARTICLES: What Should Christians Do About Hallowe'en? Is It Right to Judge Others?

DO YOU HAVE A QUESTION? See below for how to send it to us.


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LIKE TO ASK A QUESTION? On a Bible topic or passage of Scripture? Or one about a hymn or gospel song? Click on Questions from You.



What Is It?

Repentance. What is it? It's an excellent question, and it is a subject on which there is considerable misunderstanding. Some believe repentance is feeling sorry for what I've done wrong. And that is a fine thing, but it's not the same as repentance.

"Repentance," in the New Testament, translates the Greek word metanoeo, meaning a change of mind. And not simply a superficial change of some opinion we have–such as, "I've decided I prefer chocolate ice cream to vanilla ice cream." Repentance is a genuine change of mind that affects our lives in a significant way. Paul said he preached to the Gentiles, "that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" (Acts 26:20). It was expected their repentance would fundamentally change the way they lived.

Check out what happened in the church at Ephesus. When Paul first knew them, they were a loving congregation (Eph. 1:15). But somewhere along the line, over a period of about 30 years, that love withered and died. John's instruction to them later (a message sent from the Lord Jesus Himself) was, "I [Christ] have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent [change your mind about how you're acting] and do the first works" (Rev. 2:4-5).

And, it should be added, biblical repentance always involves our relationship with God. It involves seeing our sin as an offense against a holy God. In repentance, the person changes his mind about self, sin, and God. When we sin, we are actually rejecting God's rule over our lives and placing ourselves on the throne. We imply–whether or not we actually say it–that God is wrong, and we are right about how we should act. In repentance we change our minds about that false view of ourselves and our sin, and admit that...

To see the full article, click on Repentance.


Come and Pay Us a Visit!

In the spring I developed a blog that is called Wordwise Hymns. As the title suggests, it is about hymns, and church music in general.

But as many of you will know, a blog is especially designed to facilitate a conversation on its particular subject. Readers can easily post comments about what they see, and I'm able to reply. I hope you will do that!

A Special Feature
There is something unique about this blog that I don't believe has ever been done before. It contains what we could call a Hymn Almanac. If you want to know what happened in the history of hymn writing on any particular day, just click on the blog and you'll see!

My hope is that the blog will add to the value of the website and this newsletter, and promote some profitable exchanges on the subject of sacred music.

What happened on this day in hymnology? To find out, click Wordwise Hymns.


Two more articles on timely topics to check out.

1) Hallowe'en and Christians. We are coming to the time of year when many children will go "trick or treating" in a variety of costumes. And Hallowe'en has become big business! Given that much of the emphasis seems to be on violent death and the occult, what should the attitude of Christian's be to this?

2) Judging Others. Sometimes we hear that it is wrong for Christians to "judge others." It is certainly wrong to have a judgmental spirit that ignores one's own faults. But, as this article will show, God holds Christians responsible to be discerning and judge appropriately.

Halloween and Christians

Judging Others

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