Happy Second Spring!

post date: July 22, 2013

Today on our China broadcast, we begin a study of Romans 7:1-6, where Paul considers the change from living under the law to new life in Christ and compares that to remarriage after your first husband has died. This is admittedly a difficult subject. When I preached on Romans 7 in 1993, I called my message “Remarried–and Happy at Last,” which was accurate enough in one sense but confusing in another because the passage isn’t about marriage. It’s about new life in Christ. Remarriage is just an illustration Paul uses. I think maybe I would choose a different title today.

The general idea is clear: We’re far better off knowing Christ than we ever were living under the law.

But the illustration can be tricky.

When we joined in partnership with our friends at TWR, we asked them to take my American sermons and make them sound right to Chinese listeners. That meant not just translating them but also giving the “Chinese Pastor Ray” who preaches my sermons the freedom to take the concepts and preach them from his own heart. That happens in the studio in Taiwan. From there the program goes to Hong Kong for editing and then on to Guam where it is broadcast to China 3 times a week.

Anyway, I smiled when I saw the title for the sermon this morning. “Remarried–and Happy at Last!” has become (via Google Translate) “Happy Second Spring.” For what it’s worth, I like that title better. It sounds very inviting and less confusing.

Just thought you’d like to know about the challenges of translating a sermon from one language to another. Pray for our friends in Taiwan who translate the sermons and edit them and for the “Chinese Pastor Ray” who preaches them in his own words. Pray that today’s broadcast will lead our Chinese brothers and sisters to rejoice in the “Happy Second Spring” they have through new life in Christ.

Here’s what my English sermon looked like back in 1993: Remarried and Happy at Last!

You can listen to the Mandarin broadcast online.


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