Support and Resources For Pastors and
Christian Ministry Professionals
Thomas F. Fischer, M.Div., M.S.A., Editor
Second Sunday In
#1: "Correcting A Long Wrong Idea"
Rev. Wayne Dobratz, B.A., M.Div.
I. The wrong idea--vv7-9; John 8:39-44
John MacArthurs New Testament Commentary: Johns message of preparation for the coming of the King was repentance, conversion, the demand for a completely different life. That must have been startling news for Jews who thought that, as Gods chosen people--the children of Abraham, the people of the covenant--they deserved and were unconditionally assured of the promised King. Knowing what they must have been thinking, John later told his listeners, "Do not suppose that you can say to yourselves, We have Abraham for our father; for I say to you, that God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham" (3:9).
II. The correction--vv5-6; 10-12; Rom 4:1-3, 9:6-9, 11:13-17; Gal 4:22-31
The message John proclaimed was simple, so simple it could easily be summarized in one word: repent (3:2a; cf Acts 13:24; 19:4). The Greek word (metanoeoô) behind repent means more than regret or sorrow (cf Heb. 12:17); it means to turn around, to change direction, to change the mind and will. It does not denote just any change, but always a change from the wrong to the right, away from sin and to righteousness. In his outstanding commentary on Matthew; John A. Broadus observes that "wherever this Greek word is used in the New Testament the reference is to changing the mind and the purpose from sin to holiness." Repentance involves sorrow for sin, but sorrow that leads to a change of thinking, desire, and conduct of life. "The sorrow that is according to the will of God," Paul says, "produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation" (2 Cor 7:10; cf. v9). Johns command to repent could therefore be rendered "be converted."
God was not interested in His peoples human heritage but in their spiritual life. God calls for radical change and transformation that affects the mind, the will, and the emotions--the whole person. Johns point was simple: "You are in the same condition as the Gentiles. You have no right to the kingdom unless you repent and are converted from sin to righteousness."
+ + +
THE MESSAGE FOR CHILDREN
Object: A toy shopping cart or an imaginary real one. A girl pretends to be shopping and a boy is following her in the same lane.
Youve probably noticed that sometimes your teachers and your parents use words you dont understand. That can happen in the church, too. I want to fix that today with one of the Bibles most important words. It is the word REPENT. This is the time of year when people do a lot of shopping and the stores can be very crowded. Since you have a lot of things you need to get, you grab a shopping cart when you enter the store.
Well, someone is in front of you and shes looking at some things and youre looking at some other things, and then she stops. You dont see that she has stopped, and your shopping cart smashes into her ankle. Now (a boy) being the gentleman that you are, you have something to say. What is it? (EXCUSE ME! or IM SORRY!) No harm done, the lady says, and you both continue your shopping. But the same thing happens again and again--three times in the same shopping lane! Now what will she think about you?
We all sin much everyday, and Im not saying that God has some kind of limit on how many times He forgives us. No, Jesus paid for all of our sins. What I am saying is that when you say youre sorry, it should mean that youre really sorry and that youve CHANGED YOUR MIND about what you did and youll try very hard not to let it happen again.
There! Now you know what the word REPENT means. Now the next time you go Christmas shopping, watch where youre going. And watch your back; someone is always behind you!
#2: "Theological Tree Trimming"
Rev. Kelly Bedard, B.A., M.Div.
Copyright 2004 Ministry Health
All Rights Reserved
Go to Main Page
Main Site: http://ministryhealth.net/
FrontPage and Microsoft Internet Explorer are registered trademarks of
This page was revised on: Friday, January 20, 2006 12:10:34 PM