Metanoia = New Life

By G F Herrin

To understand the concept of “metanoia” we only need to examine the life of the Apostle Paul.  Paul, before he came to saving faith in Christ, was known as Saul, a man dedicated to persecuting and tracking down Christians and having them killed and imprisoned (Acts 7:58; 8:1-3).  Yes, it is true that he was a devout Jew and even studied under one of the great teachers of the Jewish faith: Gemaliel (Acts 22:3).  However, Saul was legalistic and as a Pharissee he believed that he could justify himself before God by how many good works he did and how well he kept the Law.  After he had his road to Damascus experience, though, and converted to Christ, his life was COMPLETELY and miraculously changed (Acts 9:1-6).  Saul became Paul and for all intents and purposes became a new man. Paul preached, taught, wrote, went on mission trips, was beaten, shipwrecked and was happily arrested for the cause of Christ.


Paul viewed the life that he led before he met Christ as one of a horrible sinner (1 Timothy 1:15).  After he met Christ, though, he became a man on fire for the Gospel! He dedicated himself to the things of God in every way.

We as devoted followers of Christ should be able to point to a point in our lives BEFORE and AFTER we met Christ. We should see behaviors that we began when we became children of God.  We should have a desire to read His word, to serve others in the Church, to share the Gospel, to pray and to draw closer to God. This desire to draw closer to Him is part of the change that is our behavior after we met Jesus.

Men who follow God should want to be more like Christ.  We should serve at the church and desire to be around other believers.  We should meet with others and share God’s word and desire to live moral lives.  We should meet with other men who help us to be accountable and encourage us.  We desire to pray with others and we desire to have a godly wife in our lives that we can love and to serve the Lord with in any way we can. We should desire to give a portion of our income to the church and we should ”seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).


Women should demonstrate a new nature where they want to live a life that is pleasing to God.  They do not have to do good works to go to Heaven, but desire to because they love God and have received His grace and forgiveness for their sins.  Both men and women are living a life where they are being molded and shaped to become more like Christ.  This behavior is the life of a person who has turned away from sin and has determined to live a life pursuing God and godly things. This behavior is the one demonstrated by one filled by God’s Holy Spirit. This is a complete change of heart brought about by the filling of God’s spirit in one’s heart.  This is Metanoia.


How does a person convert to Christ?  By coming to the realization that you are a sinner and there is nothing you can do to make up for your sins. Only Jesus dying for you on the cross can blot out the sins that you have committed against God.  Your sins are an offense to a holy and Righteousness God.  You must make a conscious effort to repent (turn away from your sins) and ask Jesus to be Lord of your life.  Accept the free gift of forgiveness that Christ has graciously given to you.  It is not something you or I deserve.  It is His Grace.  When one does that, he or she feels God’s spirit come into their lives and brings a supernatural peace.

Is there anything preventing you from making that personal commitment to Christ? Call on Him today, we are not guaranteed a tomorrow.





The World Doubts the Miracle of Re-Birth


 By GF Herrin

I have marveled recently at the media slander that U.S. Republican presidential candidate, Dr. Ben Carson has endured. Carson, a humble, intelligent and godly man who thinks before he speaks, has written in his autobiography of how he had a violent temper when he was a teenager before he committed his life to the Lord. Skeptical that such a humble man could ever have a violent streak in his past, numerous media outlets have cast doubt on his story and raised the possibility that Carson made the whole thing up.

The toughest thing for any unbeliever to admit is that God actually exists, is active in the world today, and can make a difference in our personal behavior. Many anti-supernatural skeptics paint anyone who professes belief in a personal God as a freak or fanatic. In most cases, however, the unbeliever’s decision to not believe in a righteous, holy God is not an intellectual decision, but instead is one that comes from emotion. The unbeliever may have had an encounter or experience with someone who professed belief in God, but treated him or her badly or unfairly. Or maybe the person experienced tremendous pain or hardship in his life as a result of the loss of a loved one and blames God for the event. Often, the unbeliever just cannot admit that God exists because it will force him to make a lifestyle change upon admitting that God’s will is more important than his own.

The Bible is clear that in order to have a personal relationship with God, a change must take place. This lifestyle change is the result of being born again.

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:3-8).

The reason that the world (including Donald Trump) has a problem in understanding how a man like Ben Carson could change from an angry and violent man into a thoughtful, wise, intelligent, peaceful surgeon, is that they do not understand what it is to be born of the Spirit. The world continually fails to believe that Christians are of one family all united by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of God. His indwelling is the reason that I can talk to a Japanese merchant, a seminary student from the Congo, or a Hispanic refugee from hurricane Katrina and know that they are all my brothers. From their personal relationship with Jesus Christ comes a common way of approaching life. It is a bond that goes beyond race or nationality.

Then His (Jesus’) brothers and His mother came, and standing outside they sent to Him, calling Him. And a multitude was sitting around Him; and they said to Him, “Look, Your mother and Your brothers are outside seeking You.” But He answered them, saying, “Who is My mother, or My brothers?” And He looked around in a circle at those who sat about Him, and said, “Here are My mother and My brothers! For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Being born again into the family of God makes irrelevant the world’s classifications, biases, limitations and discriminations.  A Christian may not be free from the world’s judgments or biases against his belief in Christ as the Way, but he is truly free from being burdened by them.

Have you been freed today?