I would now like to consider some pastoral considerations related to this subject that we have been exploring together.
Firstly, I have already expressed my personal disappointment that the language of the Bible describing this experience has largely disappeared from current usage. I think this would be true of many words, or expressions related to our salvation that have been “dumbed-down” over successive decades. (Please look at my earlier writing entitled God’s Gospel, where some of these words are considered.)
Perhaps differing Bible versions have been a factor as well-meaning scholars attempt to make the language of the Bible more accessible to modern day readers. No criticism is intended but merely observations made. In fact, it is a small number of these that are guilty of dropping the words, or phrases.
The danger of allowing words to go from our current usage of them does however have potentially serious consequences. What we are taught, good or bad, will affect the way we live. Our experience of God will be largely limited to our understanding of His word. Therefore, His word needs to be reliably accessible to us.
It seems that in most cases the text is there but the preaching of it is so often absent. I realise that that is a generalisation, but the observations have been made over my lifetime and are not limited to a few isolated churches, or movements, but through observing, reading and in other ways I have arrived at that conclusion. I wonder if we, in our movement over the last forty years or so, have also been guilty of drifting away from a declaration of its truth.