We Have Lost the Meaning of Words

Writing in 1937, H.A. Ironside said, “One great trouble in this shallow age is that we have lost the meaning of words.” If that was the case sixty years ago, what would brother Ironside say today? Biblical words have been set aside, either simply ignored or replaced by a modem word which carries little of the original meaning.

It is a sad commentary on the condition of the church when saints who have heard sermon after sermon do not know the meaning of Biblical terms such as: redemption, reconciliation, justification, repentance, regeneration, sanctification, faith, inspiration, dispensation, etc.. Of greater concern is the fact that many would consider their meaning to be unimportant.

This lack of understanding often results in a shallow presentation of the Gospel and the truths of Scripture. Subjective sermons concerning one’s feelings and relationships have replaced the teaching of God’s Word. Well known preachers read one verse of Scripture and spend most of their time speaking on psychology. It is no wonder that many have professed faith in Christ, but have little understanding of the Gospel and of the meaning of faith. Others have little or no understanding of the foundational truths of Scripture. It also explains why many who fellowship in an assembly have little understanding of the New Testament principles and truths being practiced.

The apostle Paul told Timothy “the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine….” (2 Tim 4:3) “Endure” means to “to hold one’s self erect and firm.” Many will listen to a entertaining sermon, but show little interest in the teaching of Scripture. The tedious task of studying words and truths is simply too hard for many, and they slide down in their seats, and may even doze off.

It is time to get back to the teaching of the foundational truths of Scripture on a regular basis, including the meaning of words.