Thursday, April 5, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: AN-oh-then
Strong’s Number: 509
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 540
Key Verse: “… unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” -- John 3:3

Anothen is an adverb. The primary meaning is “from above.” In the New Testament, the word appears 13 times, with the primary meaning obvious in most of them.

In Matthew 27:51 (Mark 15:38), “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” This was an object lesson to the Aaronic priesthood that a new priest had arisen. In Luke 1:3, he began by telling his readers that he had “investigated everything carefully from the beginning.” In John 3:31, “He who comes from above is above all.” Christ had a “being” before His conception, a heavenly being. In John 19:11, Jesus told Pilate, “you have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above.” Jesus makes God the source of all real authority. In John 19:23, after His crucifixion, when the soldiers divided His garments, “the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece” [literally, “woven from the top through the whole”]. In Acts 26:5, Paul told Agrippa, that the Jews “have known about me for a long time” [literally, from the beginning] of his public education in Jerusalem. In James 1:17, 3:15, and 3:17, there are three references to good things and wisdom coming “from above.”

There are two instances where the word anothen is translated as “again.” [Note: In Galatians 4:9, anothen is to be compared with the Greek word palin, which is the usual word for “again,” in the sense of “repeated action.”] In this instance, Paul is referring to the elemental things of the world, “... you desire to be enslaved all over (palin) again (anothen). The Greek text reads literally as: “... again you want to serve as slaves anew…”

The second instance is in JOHN 3:3 and 7, where Jesus is teaching Nicodemus that “unless one is born again (anothen), he cannot see the kingdom of God.” To be born again is to be born from above, of the Spirit, verses 5-8. We are born naturally into the kingdom of nature, to live the natural life; if we enter the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of grace, it must be by a new birth.


Greek Word Pronunciation: pros-ago-GAY
Strong’s Number: 4318
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4643
Key Verse: “… through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand …” -- Romans 5:2

Prosagoge is a compound of pros, meaning “toward” or “facing,” and ago, meaning “to lead, to bring.” It is literally “a leading or bringing into the presence of,” associated with freedom to enter through the assistance or favor of another. Thayer says this is a “relationship with God whereby we are acceptable to Him and have assurance that He is favorably disposed towards us.” It was the act of one who secures for another an interview with a sovereign.

It is found in the Septuagint in Exodus 29:10 and several times in Leviticus in the sense of bringing or offering an animal for sacrifice.

This noun appears only three times in the New Testament. Ephesians 2:18, “we both have access in one Spirit to the Father” indicates the privilege of being brought to or introduced to God. This involves the free access which we have to God through the Holy Spirit because of Christ’s merits.

Ephesians 3:12, “we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him,” tells us that our access to God’s throne denotes liberty granted by God because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Compared to the limited access to God in the Old Testament, the free access that we have now is certainly a reason to “exult in hope of the glory of God” (Romans 5:2).

In the key verse, ROMANS 5:2, grace here is seen as a haven or harbor. In secular usage, prosagoge referred to a place for ships to land as they “approached” a harbor. Jesus brings the believer into full favor of God. Wuest says, “God the Son provides the way into the Father's presence through the blood of His cross, God the Spirit conducts the saint in and presents him, and God the Father is the One into whose presence the believer is brought.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: kos-MEH-oh
Strong’s Number: 2885
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 3175
Key Verse: “… so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior …” -- Titus 2:10

Kosmeo is a verb that is generally translated as “adorn, garnish,” or “decorate.” From this root word comes the English word “cosmetic.” In ancient times, it was used of arranging jewels in a brooch, necklace, or ring in a way that best displayed the beauty of the gems. The verb appears 10 times in the New Testament.

In Matthew 12:44 (and Luke 11:25), Jesus’ parable of the house being “put in order” is in reference to Israel not truly repenting and turning to Jesus. The nation would be no better off than a clean but empty house.

Matthew 25:7 is Jesus’ parable of the virgins who “rose and trimmed their lamps.” The trimming is equivalent to making ready to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 23:29 spoke of the Pharisees who “adorn the monuments of the righteous.” Luke 21:5, Revelation 21:2 and 19, reference the temple and city as being adorned.

In 1 Peter 3:5, holy women used to “adorn themselves,” as models of inner beauty to their husbands. In 1 Timothy 2:9, women are to “adorn themselves with proper clothing.” [Note: The word “proper” in this verse is the adjective form of kosmeo, and is used only here and in 1 Timothy 3:2, regarding the overseers being “respectable.”] John MacArthur says that “a woman should arrange herself appropriately for worship service, which includes wearing clothing which reflects a properly-adorned chaste heart.” We may be fundamental in our doctrine, and yet defeat the power of the Word by our inappropriate appearance.

In our key verse, TITUS 2:10, the idea is that the excellent behavior of the bondslaves should be seen and make the doctrine of God attractive or beautiful to unbelievers. This exhortation applies to all believers. Paul drove home the fact that a believer’s behavior (God’s “jewels”) is to be in accord with sound doctrine.


Greek Word Pronunciation: para-KLE-tos
Strong's Number: 3875
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4156
Key Verse: “If anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” -- 1 John 2:1

Parakletos is a compound word, comprised of para, meaning “beside,” and kaleo, meaning “to call.” The verb form, parakaleo, is very common, and means “to call one to aid,” as an advocate in a court; then “to exhort or entreat, to pray or implore,” and “to comfort or console.” One noun form, paraklesis, is translated as “consolation, encouragement, exhortation, or comfort” and is used for all three members of the Triune Godhead: 2 Corinthians 1:3, “God of all comfort”; 2 Corinthians 1:5, “comfort abundant through Christ,” and Acts 9:31, “comfort of the Holy Spirit.”

The other noun form, our word parakletos, is used by Greek writers to denote an advocate in a court, as one who intercedes. It is used only 5 times in the New Testament, and 4 of these references are to the Holy Spirit. The NKJ translates it as “Helper,” the NIV as “Counselor,” and the NASB as “Comforter.” In John 14:16, the Father “shall give you another Comforter.” The Holy Spirit has now replaced Jesus’ physical presence, and He mediates God to believers. In John 14:26, Jesus promises that “the Comforter ... shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said to you.” The apostles were to be led into all truth necessary both for themselves and the Church, in recording the truths necessary for its edification. They would be under the infallible guidance of the Holy Spirit. In John 15:26, Jesus said that “the Comforter ... shall testify of Me.” The Spirit is not only an advocate, but a witness for Jesus Christ, presenting God’s truth to the world. In John 16:7, Jesus said that “if I go not away, the Comforter will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” The Spirit came into the world in a new and distinctive sense on the day of Pentecost.

In 1 JOHN 2:1, John wrote, “if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (NIV: “we have One who speaks to the Father in our defense.”) The thought here is of a defense attorney who takes up the case of his client before a tribunal. Christ’s own personal righteousness is what uniquely suits Him for His role as a Christian’s Advocate after he sins. Herbert Lockyer says, “We are blessed with two Divine Advocates, One within, One above. God's ears are open to our every plea presented on our behalf by the Advocate above, inspired by the Advocate below.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: sum-pho-NAY-oh
Strong’s Number: 4856
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5244
Key Verse: “if two of you agree on earth ... it shall be done for them.” -- Matthew 18:19

Sumphoneo is a compound word of sun, “together,” and phone, “a sound,” literally, “to sound together.” Therefore, it came to mean “harmonious sound” in regard to musical instruments, and then “to be in accord” or “to agree.” Our English word “symphony” is derived from this word.

In the New Testament, the word occurs in its various forms a total of 9 times. 2 Corinthians 6:15 asks “what harmony has Christ with Belial (Satan), or a believer with an unbeliever.” In Luke 15:25, the prodigal son knows there is festivity in his father’s house when he heard “music” (flute playing) and dancing. In Luke 5:36 regarding a piece of cloth from a new garment on an old garment, the piece from the new “will not match the old.”

Matthew 20:2 says, “when he agreed with the laborers,” and 20:13, “did you not agree with me for a denarius.” In 1 Corinthians 7:5, husbands and wives were not to deprive one another except by agreement. Acts 5:9, Ananias and Sapphira “agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test.” They were in perfect agreement and equally guilty.

Acts 15:15 states “the words of the prophets agree.” The Jewish rabbis often failed to understand the prophets as Jesus Christ showed. James’ citing of the Amos 9:11,12 passage refers primarily to the restoration of the David empire, but also to the Messiah’s kingdom.

In the key verse, MATTHEW 18:19, “if two of you agree on earth ... it shall be done for them by My Father …,” God’s assent follows man’s agreement and is imparted as Jesus Christ is where two or three are gathered in His name (verse 20; into Christ as the common center of their desire and faith). Their united prayers will ascend, made mighty by the intercession of the Son of God. By His presence, it becomes His prayer.


Greek Word Pronunciation: ah-MANE
Strong’s Number: 281
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 297
Key Verse: “The Amen, the faithful and true Witness …” -- Revelation 3:14

This is an instance of a Hebrew word (aman) transliterated into Greek (amen) and then transliterated into English (amen). In Hebrew, aman denotes firmness, dependability, certainty, and truth. In the Old Testament, it is a liturgical formula in which a congregation or individual accepts both the validity of an oath or curse and its consequences (Numbers 5:22; Jeremiah 11:5); also in response to a benediction (1 Chronicles 16:36; Nehemiah 8:6). Its connection with both blessings and cursings is sufficient explanation for the description of God as “the God of truth (aman)” in Isaiah 65:16. In Genesis 15:6, “Abram believed (aman) in the Lord.” Abram heard God’s promise and was caused to be certain about what God said. When uttered by God, aman meant, “It is and shall be so,” and when used by men, implied, “So let it be.”

In the New Testament, the early Church associated the Amen with prayers and thanksgivings, and also expressed the individual’s response to the divine (1 Corinthians 14:16; Ephesians 3:21; Revelation 22:20).

Jesus had a unique habit of starting a sentence with an Amen instead of ending it. In John, it is always repeated, “Amen, amen, I say to you …” That was a strong affirmation that what Jesus was about to say was certain and reliable and that what He taught must be considered binding on His hearers. It introduced a new revelation of the mind of God (Matthew 16:28). In REVELATION 3:14, “Amen” is the title of Christ, because He is “faithful and true.” Through Him the purposes of God are established (2 Corinthians 1:20), signifying that He Himself is the fulfillment of all that God has spoken to the Church. The promises and truth of God are both secured. He revealed Himself as the Source of all certainty and truth. He spoke of what He knew and testified to what He had seen. He is and will remain humanity’s most trustworthy Witness.


Greek Word Pronunciation: kata-lam-BA-no
Strong’s Number: 2638
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2898
Key Verse: “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.” -- Philippians 3:12

Katalambano is a compound verb, consisting of the root word lambano, meaning “to grasp or seize,” combined with kata, which strengthens the verb, giving it extra intensity. The basic meaning is “to lay hold of,” so as to possess as one’s own, to “appropriate.” The translations vary considerably, from “apprehend, attain, come, find, obtain, overtake, perceive, or take.”

It appears 15 times in the New Testament. In Romans 9:30, the reference is that Gentiles “attained righteousness.” In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul speaks of running that we may “win the prize.” The idea of “grasping” is obvious in Matthew 9:18 regarding a “spirit which seizes him” and in John 8:3,4 regarding the woman “caught in adultery.” In John 1:5 and 12:35 are references to the contrast of the Light and the darkness that “did not comprehend or overtake …,” as well as 1 Thessalonians 5:4, that the “day would overtake you like a thief.” The idea of “mental grasping” is apparent in Acts 4:13, 10:34, 25:25, and Ephesians 3:18 by use of the words “recognize, understand, found, and comprehend.”

[Note: In Acts 10:34 (above), Romans 2:11, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, and James 2:1, the word “partiality” or “personal favoritism” has a closer translation in the KJV as “respecter of persons.” That is because in the Greek, it is one compound word, consisting of prosopon, meaning “a face,” and the root of our study here, lambano, “to lay hold of,” thereby meaning “receiver of face.” The idea is of paying regard to one’s looks or circumstances rather than his character.]

Paul uses this verb 3 times in PHILIPPIANS 3:12 and 13, “I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. ... I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet.” Paul wants to appropriate and make his own that for which Christ caught Paul and made him His own. It was Christlikeness that Paul was pursuing.


Greek Word Pronunciation: pan-op-LI-ah
Strong’s Number: 3833
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4110
Key Verse: “Put on the full armour of God.” -- Ephesians 6:11

Originally, the root of this word indicated a tool or implement of any kind, for ship’s tackling, cable, etc., then becoming used in the plural for “weapons of warfare.” The verbal form, hoplizo, appears only once in the New Testament, in 1 Peter 4:1, “since Christ suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose.” This phrase was a military metaphor in which believers are commanded to arm themselves with the same attitude Christ had toward suffering, knowing that God will ultimately be victorious.

The noun form, hoplon, was a term used of heavily-armed troops, as against light-armed troops. The Christian needs the heaviest armour he can get to withstand the attacks from Satan. This noun appears six times: In John 18:3, it references Judas coming with “lanterns, torches, and weapons.” It is used twice in Romans 6:13 where Paul says “do not go on presenting members of your body as instruments of righteousness [and] unrighteousness.” In Romans 13:12, we are told to “put on the armour of light.” 2 Corinthians 6:7 also refers to “weapons of righteousness,” and 2 Corinthians 10:4 reminds us that “weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh.”

Our word panoplia is a compound of pas (“all”) and hoplon (“armour”), thus indicating complete, full armour. There was no opening anywhere to be given to Satan. This word is found three times. In Luke 11:22, the reference is to Jesus’ parable of Him taking away “all the armour” of Satan. The other two times are in EPHESIANS 6:11 and 13, where Paul says to “put on” and “take up” the “full armour of God.” These are both commands and in a tense that indicates believers are to put on once, and keep the armour on, during the entire course of life. This armour is “of God.” It is prepared for us, but we must put it on. Every believer is a member of the “combat team.” We are armed with spiritual gifts and equipment, provided by God, to fight against the strategies of Satan.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: hu-PO-sta-sis
Strong’s Number: 5287
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5712
Key Verse: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for …” -- Hebrews 11:1

Hupostasis is a compound word, of hupo, “under,” and histemi, “to stand,” therefore, “that which stands under.” The primary definition is “a substructure, what really exists under or out of sight, the essence of a matter in contrast to its appearance.” In the Septuagint, it is used 20 times to translate 12 different Hebrew words, but it primarily meant a “ground of hope,” and thus came to mean “confidence.”

This noun appears 5 times in the New Testament. In 2 Corinthians 9:4 and 11:17, it is typically translated as confidence.

In Hebrews 1:3, “exact representation of His nature (person, being),” according to the definition “substructure,” Christ is the manifestation of Deity, the means by which we recognize the glory of God. The essential being of God is conceived as setting its distinctive stamp upon Christ, coming into definite and characteristic expression in His Person, so that the Son bears the exact impress of the Divine nature and character.

In Hebrews 3:14, the assurance is the believing confidence with which we begin our Christian life. In HEBREWS 11:1, it is the firm grasp of faith on unseen fact. Hupostasis was common in the papyri in business documents as the basis or guarantee of transactions. Moulton & Milligan suggest the translation “faith is the title-deed of things hoped for.” The Holy Spirit-energized act of faith of a believer in Christ is the title deed which God puts in his hand, guaranteeing to him the possession of the thing for which he trusted Him. The act of exercising true faith as one leans on the resources of God is itself the evidence of the sure answer to our prayer or the unfailing source of the divine supply. It is God's guarantee in advance that we already possess the things asked for. Although they may still be in His hands, we may be certain that our God will honor this title deed at the right moment.


Greek Word Pronunciation: apo-DEIK-numi
Strong’s Number: 584
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 617
Key Verse: “… Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God …” -- Acts 2:22

Apodeiknumi is a compound word, comprised of apo, meaning “forth,” and deiknumi, meaning “to show.” Thus, its meaning is “expose to view, declare, approve, or prove.” In classical Greek, it is used of publishing a law; displaying treasure; or creating a king or military leader. This verb appears only 4 times in the New Testament, with a variety of translations.

In Acts 25:7, the Jewish leaders made accusations against Paul which they could not prove.

In 2 Thessalonians 2:4, the reference is to the Antichrist “displaying himself as being God,” attempting to usurp God’s authority.

In 1 Corinthians 4:9, Paul says, “God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death because we have become a spectacle to the world.” The word is used for exhibiting gladiators in the arena of an amphitheater, or in a public festival where criminals were on their way to the arena, being the last in the rear march to the arena. Paul seems to say that God exhibited the apostles as a “grand finale.” The apostles followed the path of Christ’s humiliation. They lived out the message of the cross.

This word was used in the papyri in the sense of proclaiming an appointment to public office. This usage can be seen in the key verse, ACTS 2:22. Jesus’ miracles were His divine credentials. God would not confer such power on an imposter. The fact that this verb is in perfect tense, indicating a past action with present results, testifies that Jesus was a Man marked out by God in the past, with the present result of God's proclamation of Him as Messiah.


Greek Word Pronunciation: ar-keh-GOS
Strong's Number: 747
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 795
Key Verse: “... fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith …” -- Hebrews 12:2

Archegos is based on the noun, arche, meaning “beginning,” and it primarily signifies “one who takes a lead in, or provides the first occasion of, anything.” In the Septuagint, it is found in Numbers 13:2 of the leader of a tribe or family. In Numbers 14:4, the people wanted to appoint a leader to return to Egypt.

[Note: In Hebrews 5:9, in the KJV and NKJV, Christ is called the “author of eternal salvation to those who obey Him.” (The NASB and NIV translate source.) The word used here is aitios, an adjective denoting “that which causes something.” Christ is the concrete and active cause of our salvation. In contrast, our word archegos refers to being a leader, or a pioneer.]

Archegos is found 4 times in the New Testament, always referring to Christ. Acts 3:15 refers to putting “to death the Prince of life (the NIV translates author), the one whom God raised from the dead.” The irony is that the Author of life was killed, but He was raised to life. In Acts 5:31, God exalted Christ “as a Prince and Savior.” He is actually in the “exercise” of the office of a prince or a king, at the right hand of His Father. The title denotes that He has the dominion and power needed to give repentance and the pardon of sins.

In Hebrews 2:10, Christ brought “many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.” The KJV and NKJV both translate this as captain, which accentuates the fact that the Son, as a leader, precedes the saved on the path to glory.

In the key verse, HEBREWS 12:2, we are to “fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.” Jesus “pioneered” the path of faith Christians should follow. A leader goes before those whom he leads. He is the guide along the way, he sustains and strengthens them, he subdues opposing forces, he suffers with them, he comforts them, and he takes them through to the end. Such a Leader is Jesus, the author of faith.


Greek Word Pronunciation: STAY-go
Strong's Number: 4722
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5095
Key Verse: “love … bears all things …” -- 1 Corinthians 13:7

The New Testament uses 13 other verbs that are translated “to bear.” They generally have the idea of suffering or carrying a burden. The verb stego comes from the noun stege, meaning “roof” (as in Mark 2:4). It means to protect or preserve by covering, to keep secret, thus to bear up against, or forbear. The verb appears only 4 times in the New Testament.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:1 and 3:5, Paul’s inability to return to the Thessalonian Christians and find out about their faith caused him to say that he, Silas, and Timothy could “endure no longer.” [The KJV translates the word as forbear.] The Greek is literally applied to a watertight vessel. “When we could no longer contain ourselves in our yearning desire for you.”

In 1 Corinthians 9:12, Paul said that “we endure all things.” [The NIV translates the word as put up with.] Paul relinquished his right to receive any support from those to whom he ministered. He desired to conceal any distress, to put up with anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel about Christ.

In the key verse, 1 CORINTHIANS 13:7, love “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” In this case, the word endures is the Greek verb hupomeno. It refers to perseverance, carrying on like a stout-hearted soldier. The word bears denotes endurance without divulging to the world personal distress. [The NIV translates these two words as always protects and always perseveres.] It is a grand and distinguishing property of love to cover and conceal the fault of another. Matthew Henry says, “Though such a man be free to tell his brother his faults in private, he is very unwilling to expose him by making them public. Thus we do by our own faults, and thus charity would teach us to do by the faults of others; not publish them to their shame and reproach, but cover them from public notice as long as we can, and be faithful to God and to others.”

Bear Fruit

Greek Word Pronunciation: kar-po-fo-RAY-oh
Strong’s Number: 2592
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2844
Key Verse: “… the gospel ... bearing fruit and increasing” -- Colossians 1:5,6

Karpophoreo is a single word in Greek, literally meaning “fruitbearing.” It appears as a verb a total of 8 times in the New Testament.

Matthew 13:23, Mark 4:20, and Luke 8:15 all speak of the good spiritual soil producing a huge harvest.

Mark 4:28 says “the soil produces crops by itself,” speaking of gradual spiritual growth, leading to a harvest of spiritual maturity. The plant grows, as the seed spontaneously works according to its own nature. It is literally “self-moved.” It is the same with God’s Word growing in the good soil of the heart. It is all is the work of God.

Romans 7:4, 5 points out the difference between bearing fruit for God, as believers, or bearing fruit to death, as unbelievers. The latter is a vivid picture of the seeds of sin working for death.

Colossians 1:10 refers to believers actively and continually bearing fruit in every good work. This is one way in which we are to walk worthy of the Lord, so as to please Him.

COLOSSIANS 1:5-6, speaks of the “gospel ... bearing fruit and increasing.” This verse is unique in that both verbs are in the middle voice in the Greek language. This points to the fruitfulness of the Gospel by its own inherent power, similar to Mark 4:28 referring to the earth bringing forth fruit of herself; it is self-generating. This can effectively be compared with Isaiah 55:10-11, “As the rain comes from heaven, ... My word ... will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.” God has as distinct an intention in sending His Word as He has in sending down rain upon the earth. It never fails to produce the effect which He intends. The gospel is no more preached in vain than the rain falls in vain.


Greek Word Pronunciation: SUN-des-mos
Strong's Number: 4886
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5278
Key Verse: “... put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” -- Colossians 3:14

Sundesmos, as a noun, is a compound word comprised of sun, meaning “with” and desmos, meaning “a band, fetter, anything for tying” and is used 4 times in the New Testament. The verb form is found only in Hebrews 13:3, to “remember the prisoners, as though in prison with them” (literally, “as having been bound with them“).

Act 8:23 speaks of the wicked behavior of Simon the Sorcerer who is “in the bondage of iniquity.” It is expressing both the awfulness of his condition and the captivity to it in which he was held, alluding to the way the Romans secured their prisoners. He was bound over to the judgment of God by the guilt of sin, and bound under the dominion of Satan by the power of sin.

Ephesians 4:3 speaks of “being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Peace is the binding factor which will preserve the unity which the Spirit has produced. Peace functions as binding twine of unity. God gives it to us, producing equality and understanding.

Colossians 2:19 is in reference to “the head, from whom the entire body, being supplied and held together by the joints and ligaments …” (KJV translates as bands, and NIV as sinews.) Faith, love, and peace, are the spiritual bands connecting one member of the Body to another, allowing the Body to get nourishment and strength, and thus to grow. The Body of Christ can only grow when the believers are connected to one another under Christ.

Finally, in COLOSSIANS 3:14, “... put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Here, love is the “girdle” that holds the various garments, those graces and virtues which together make up perfection. Thayer comments, “that in which all the virtues are so bound together that perfection is the result, and not one of them is wanting to that perfection.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: day-me-or-GOS
Strong’s Number: 1217
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 1321
Key Verse: “… city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God” -- Hebrews 11:10

Two verses in the New Testament refer to God as a “builder.”

In Hebrews 3:3-4, “the builder of all things is God,” the word for “builder” is kataskeuazo. This is a verb meaning “to prepare, establish, make ready, construct.” In this passage, it reads literally “the one having built all things is God.” [This verb is also found in Matthew 11:10, “My messenger ... will prepare your way“; in Luke 1:17, “make ready a people prepared for the Lord”; in Hebrews 9:2 and 6, the reference is to a tabernacle being prepared; and in Hebrews 11:7 and 1 Peter 3:20, regarding the preparation and construction of Noah's ark.]

Christ is the Maker of the Old Testament Tabernacle. Moses was a minister in the house, he was instrumental under Christ in governing and edifying the house, but Christ is the Maker of all things, for He is God. Christ was the Planner and Builder of the Tabernacle. The building includes all the preparations of providence and grace needed to furnish it with “living stones” and fitting “servants.” Thus, Christ as the Founder, Establisher, and Instrumental Creator, is greater than the house so established.

In HEBREWS 11:10 (NASB), Abraham “was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.” [Note: The first word, architect, is teknitace, from which we get our word “technician” (NKJV translates builder). It literally means “craftsman,” and is used so in Acts 19:24 and 38. It views God as moulding and fashioning the materials He wills into existence. The second word, builder, is our key word, demiourgos (NKJV translates maker). It is used only here in the New Testament. It is a compound word, comprised of the words “people” and “work,” thus meaning “one who works for the people.”] As the first word expresses His manifold wisdom, the infinite variety and beauty of His handiwork, so the second emphasizes the power of the Divine Creator. As the first brings out the artistic side of creation, so the second is recognized as the Maker of all things. God is represented as the Maker of all the heavenly inhabitants, and the planner of their citizenship in that heavenly country.


Greek Word Pronunciation: pu-RA-oh
Strong’s Number: 4448
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4792
Key Verse: “… extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” -- Ephesians 6:16

Several synonyms exist meaning “to burn” or “set on fire.” The verb puroo is found only in the passive voice in the New Testament, signifying “to be set on fire.” In 1 Corinthians 7:9, Paul says that “it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” Marriage is better than being dominated by ongoing sexual passion, especially in the Corinthian society. 2 Corinthians 11:29 also uses this word metaphorically, when Paul expresses grief over those who are “led into sin without my intense concern?” [The NKJ translates it as “… who is made to stumble, and I do not burn?”] Anyone stumbling into sin causes him intense emotional pain; he is set on fire with grief. 2 Peter 3:12 refers to the day of God “of which the heavens will be destroyed by burning …” Earth’s destruction will not be the result of any natural winding down of the universe, but the result of God’s sovereign will, occurring according to His plan.

Revelation 1:15 speaks of Jesus’ feet “like burnished bronze, when it has been made to glow in a furnace …” [KJV translates burned, and NKJV, refined.] Glowing hot, brass feet are reference to divine judgment. With feet of judgment, Jesus is moving through His church to exercise His chastening authority upon sin. In Revelation 3:18, Jesus tells the Laodicean church “to buy from Me gold refined by fire …” Sterling spiritual wealth is contrasted with its counterfeit, in which Laodicea boasted itself. Having bought this gold, she will be no longer poor.

EPHESIANS 6:16 references Satan’s flaming arrows against believers. Puroo is a participle here, in perfect tense, emphasizing the permanent and continuing force behind them. “The fiery darts” that were used in war were small, slender pieces of cane, which were filled with combustible materials, set on fire, and then shot against a foe. The object was to make the arrow fasten in the body, and increase the danger by the burning. The “fiery darts of the wicked” refers to the temptations of Satan, which he may throw into the mind of believers. These are blasphemous thoughts, unbelief, sudden temptation to do wrong, or thoughts that wound and torment the soul. The only way to meet them is by the “shield of faith,” by confidence in God, and by relying on His gracious promises and aid. If we have not faith in God, we are wholly defenseless. We should have a shield that we can turn in any direction, on which we may receive the arrow, and by which it may be put out.


Greek Word Pronunciation: ex-ah-LAY-foh
Strong's Number: 1813
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 1981
Key Verse: “... having canceled out the certificate of debt …” -- Colossians 2:14

Exaleipho is a compound verb of ek (“out”) and aleipho (“to wipe”). Thus, its literal meaning is “to wipe off completely, to obliterate, to smear, to cover.” It is found in the Septuagint in Isaiah 43:25; Psalm 51:1; Jeremiah 18:23; Exodus 32:32; and Deuteronomy 9:14, with reference to blotting out people’s names or sins. In 2 Chronicles 29:4, it is used of overlaying walls with gold, and Leviticus 14:42-48, it refers to replastering a house. The background of this word lays with the fact that ancient documents were written on either papyrus or animal skins. Ancient ink was only able to lay on the surface of the paper and did not adhere to the paper the way modern ink does. Therefore, scribes could take a sponge and wipe the writing out to reuse the paper.

In the New Testament, this verb appears only 5 times. The reference in Revelation 7:17 and 21:4 is to God and Christ, that they will “wipe away every tear” from the saints’ eyes. Revelation 3:5 says that God “will not erase” the believer’s name from the Book of life. The Book is a heavenly registry of those who accepted salvation in Christ. This “erasing” or “blotting out” alludes to Exodus 32:32 where God says He will blot out sinners, but not faithful ones like Moses, from His Book. Christ will make sure the believer’s name and works are not erased. Acts 3:19 says that “your sins may be wiped away.” The expression “to blot out sins” occurs in Isaiah 43:25 and Psalm 51:1, and is taken from the practice of creditors charging their debtors, and when the debt is paid, cancelling it, or wholly removing the record. It is in this way that God forgives sins.

In the key verse, COLOSSIANS 2:14, “having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us …,” the certificate was a handwritten certificate of debt by which a debtor acknowledged his indebtedness. Paul compares the new life we enjoy in Christ and the forgiveness of our sins with God’s act in Christ to wiping ink off the parchment, making our forgiveness complete. The binding word of Mosaic Law and the guilt that the law brings are both canceled in Christ. God banished the record of our sins so completely that not a trace remains.


Greek Word Pronunciation: aich-malo-TID-zoh
Strong’s Number: 163
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 170
Key Verse: “… we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” -- 2 Corinthians 10:5

Aichmalotizo is a word that comes from aichme, “a spear,” and halonai, “to be captured.” This verb is used only 4 times in the New Testament. The only verse in which this verb is used literally is found in Luke 21:24, when Jesus answered the disciples’ question about the time when the temple would be destroyed: “… and they will fall by the edge of the sword, and will be led captive (NIV: taken as prisoners) into all the nations.”

In the sense of “captivating,” in 2 Timothy 3:6, Paul speaks of “those who enter into households and captivate (NIV: gain control over) weak women weighed down with sins led on by various impulses.” The reference is to false teachers and their insinuating manners, practicing upon vulnerable and gullible women, who entertain them with great eagerness, and at last become partakers with them in their impurities.

The remaining two verses use aichmalotizo in terms of “bringing into subjection.” In Romans 7:23, Paul speaks of “waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members.” Sin is constantly mounting a military “campaign” against the believer’s new nature, trying to gain control. But the triumph for us is through Christ.

In the key verse, 2 CORINTHIANS 10:5, Paul refers to “taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” The present tense indicates that this is something that is to be done by believers continually. All the plans of life should be controlled by the will of Christ, and formed and executed under His control, as captives are led by a conqueror. All the emotions and feelings of the heart should be controlled by Him, and led by Him as a captive is led by a victor. The strongholds of philosophy, paganism, and sin should be demolished, and all the opinions, plans, and purposes of the world should become subject to the all-conquering Redeemer.

Carry Away

Greek Word Pronunciation: sun-ah-PA-go
Strong’s Number: 4879
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5270
Key Verse: “… not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.” -- Romans 12:16

Sunapago is a compound word, comprised of sun, meaning “with” or “together” and apago, meaning to “lead or carry away.” In the Septuagint, an example of sunapago is found is Exodus 14:6 with reference to the king of Egypt who “made his chariot ready and took his people with him.”

In the New Testament, this word is found only 3 times, and it is used only in the passive voice. Galatians 2:13 speaks of Barnabas being carried away by the hypocrisy of the Jewish believers in Antioch. Peter, Barnabas, and the other believers were confessing that they were one in Christ with the Gentiles, committed to the gospel of grace. Yet Barnabas was swept off his feet with the others when they denied the truth by their conduct.

In 2 Peter 3:17, the warning is to “be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men.” We are commanded to be constantly on guard so as not to be swept away from the correct doctrine of Christ. By keeping company with false teachers who distort Scripture, there is a danger in losing the secure position in the truth.

In ROMANS 12:16, Paul commands us to “not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly.” Paul is saying that we’re to be continually borne away by the current of our Christian sympathy along with those who are humble. Ordinary people, those of “low standard,” are identified as such only by the world’s standards. Christ thought they were worth dying for, and as such we’re to associate lovingly with them.

Carry, Bear

Greek Word Pronunciation: FE-ro
Strong’s Number: 5342
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5770
Key Verse: “… no prophecy was made ... but man carried along by the Holy Spirit” -- 2 Peter 1:21

The most basic meaning of phero is “to bring, lead, to drive” of men, animals, and things. In the Septuagint, it was to bring all kinds of persons, things, but especially gifts brought as offerings or sacrifices to the temple, priests, or altar. In Genesis 4:3, it referred to the offerings of Cain and Abel. In Numbers 11:14, 17, and Deuteronomy 1:9, 12, Moses said, “I am not able to bear all this people alone,” giving the idea of responsibility of the government or guidance of Israel.

This word appears 66 times In the New Testament, and the special aspect of this word is in the persons and objects to which it refers. “To bring” is the most frequent meaning. It is used several times in Mark in regard to the sick and demon-possessed who are constantly brought in great numbers to Jesus. In Mark 4:8, it refers to yielding a crop; in John 20:27, to Thomas reaching forth his hand to Jesus; and in Acts 12:10, to the gate as leading to a city.

The most powerful use carries the idea of motion, as used in Hebrews 1:3, “He upholds all things by the word of His power.” It implies sustaining, but also movement. It deals with a burden, not as a dead weight, but as in continual movement. It is concerned, not only with sustaining the weight of the universe, but also with maintaining its coherence and carrying on its development.

This same idea of movement is found in Acts 2:2 of the rushing of a mighty wind. In Acts 27:15 and 17, it is used of a ship being borne in a storm-tossed ship. Peter used this word 6 times in his epistles, twice in 2 PETER 1:21: “no prophecy was made [borne] ... but man moved [being borne along] by the Holy Spirit.” This is perhaps the strongest statement in the New Testament regarding divine origin and authority of Old Testament scripture.


Greek Word Pronunciation: RHIP-to
Strong’s Number: 4496
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4849
Key Verse: “… casting all your anxiety on Him …” -- 1 Peter 5:7

Two primary words are used in the New Testament that are translated as “cast” or “throw.” One is ballo. It is the most common, being used 122 times. The other is rhipto, which is to throw with a sudden motion, to jerk, to cast forth. It was used of any rapid movement, as in the throwing of a javelin or the rush of the wind. In its various forms, it is found only 13 times. In most verses, and most translations, the verb is translated as “cast, toss,” or “throw.” These appear in Matthew 27:5, Luke 4:35, Luke 17:2, Acts 22:23 and 27:19 and 29.

In Matthew 15:30, “large crowds were bringing those who were lame, crippled ... and laid them down at His feet,” they were thrown in either carefree confidence, or in haste, because so many were coming on the same errand. In Matthew 9:36, the people were “distressed and dispirited (scattered in KJV, NKJV; helpless in NIV) like sheep without a shepherd.” It sets forth the sad condition of those that are destitute of faithful guides to go before them in the things of God. In Acts 27:43, in Paul's shipwreck story, the centurion commanded that “they should jump overboard.” A different variation on this word is in 1 Corinthians 15:52, regarding the rapture of the saints, “in the twinkling of an eye.” The Greeks used this word for the flapping of a wing, the buzz of a gnat, generally any rapid movement.

In James 1:6, “one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind,” the variation of this word means a “bellows” or “fire-fan.” The picture is of a great ocean-swell throwing itself up into pointed waves, the tops of which are caught up by the wind and fanned off into spray.

In 1 PETER 5:7, “casting all your anxiety on Him,” this word is a command, and tells us how to handle the command of verse 6, how to be humbled. Anxiety is a contradiction to true humility. Unbelief is an exalting of one’s self against God, depending on self and failing to trust God. God is more concerned about our welfare than we could possibly be. We are not to submit to circumstances, but to the Lord Who controls circumstances.


Greek Word Pronunciation: al-LAS-oh
Strong’s Number: 236
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 248
Key Verse: “… and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God …” -- Romans 1:23

This is a word that comes from allos, meaning “another of a different kind.” Allasso means “to make other than it is; to cause one thing to cease and another to take its place.” It appears only 6 times in the New Testament.

In Acts 6:14, at Stephen’s arrest, the Jews misrepresented Stephen’s comment, indicating Stephen had said that Jesus would alter the Mosaic customs, to introduce other customs in their place.

In 1 Corinthians 15:51-52, in reference to the Rapture, “we will all be changed.” Believers will undergo such a change as to fit them for their new abode in heaven.

In Galatians 4:20, Paul was expressing his wish to be physically present with the Galatian believers to “change” his tone, that is, from the severe sound in a letter, to a tender quality. He wants to change the manner, not the substance of his speech.

Hebrews 1:12 is in reference to the temporary nature of the world which “will also be changed.” Creation is now decaying, and this is contrasted with the immutability of Christ, Who never changes.

In our key verse, ROMANS 1:23, the reference is to idolaters who have “exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man.” Men willfully chose to make this exchange of God as an object of worship, for the idols they chose to worship. Matthew Henry said: “It was the greatest honor God did to man that He made man in the image of God; but it is the greatest dishonor man has done to God that he has made God in the image of man.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: ko-LA-oh
Strong's Number: 2853
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 3140
Key Verse: “Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.” -- Romans 12:9

Kollao means “to glue together, cement, adhere, or fasten together.” This verb is used only in passive voice, in the sense of “to be joined to.” In the Septuagint, kollao is used several times regarding one’s tongue clinging to the roof of the mouth, diseases clinging, or in staying close to people. The sons of Israel, in Numbers 36:7, were told to hold to the inheritances of the tribes of their fathers.

In Matthew 19:5 (quoting Genesis 2:24), “a man shall ... cleave (or be joined) to his wife,” the word denotes a union of the firmest kind. They are to adhere so firmly together that nothing can separate them. It is used in Acts 5:13; 8:29; 9:26; 10:287; and 17:34 in the sense of becoming associated closely with other people so as to accompany them or to be beside them.

Luke 10:11 refers to dust which clings to feet, and in Luke 15:15 of a man who “hired himself out.” Revelation 18:5 speaks of sins having “piled up as high as heaven.” The idea is that of joining one another in a mass, as if soldered together, giving the impression that they cling in an accumulative fashion from earth to heaven.

In 1 Corinthians 6:16 and 17, Paul compares “one who joins himself to a prostitute” versus “one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” Albert Barnes says, “The union with Christ is more intimate, entire, and pure than that can be between a man and woman, and that union should be regarded as sacred and inviolable. If all Christians regarded this as they should, how would they shrink from the connections which they often form on earth!” Several instances in the Septuagint emphasize clinging to, or holding fast to God, and in Psalm 119:31, the psalmist says, “I cling to Your testimonies.”

The key verse, ROMANS 12:9, “abhor what is evil; cling to what is good,” indicates that Christians should be firmly attached to what is good, and not separate or part from it. The present tense of the verb indicates that it should not be an occasional or irregular activity, but it should be constant and active.


Greek Word Pronunciation: be-bai-AH-oh
Strong’s Number: 950
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 1011
Key Verse: “salvation ... was confirmed to us by those who heard …” -- Hebrews 2:3

The basic meaning of bebaioo is “standing firm on the feet, steadfast,” or “maintaining firmness or solidarity.” It stresses certainty or established character of the subject. In both the Greek and Jewish world, the word also had a legal sense. Wuest says, “It is the legal guarantee, obtained by the buyer to the seller, to be gone back upon should a third party claim the thing.”

In the New Testament, the verb appears 8 times, and it usually speaks of the confirmed nature of the Word and God’s promises, and of believers being firmly established in the faith. In several instances, “confirm” is the usual translation: Mark 16:20, Romans 15:8, 1 Corinthians 1:6 and 8 (denoting the establishment and assurance known in Christ), and Hebrews 2:3. Variations in the translations occur in 2 Corinthians 1:21, “He Who establishes us with you in Christ,” Colossians 2:7, “having been established in your faith” (the assuring took place as a rooting and grounding in Christ), and Hebrews 13:9, “good for the heart to be strengthened by grace.”

The adjective form is also found 8 times, with more variety in the translation. In Romans 4:16, the “promise will be guaranteed”; 2 Corinthians 1:7, “our hope is firmly grounded”; Hebrews 3:14 “firm until the end”; 6:19, “a hope sure and steadfast” (this speaks of something which does not break down under the weight of that which steps on it); 9:17, “a covenant is valid”; 2 Peter 1:10, “diligent to make certain about His calling” (in the legal sense); 2 Peter 1:19, “we have the prophetic word made more sure.”

In HEBREWS 2:2,3, both the adjective and verb are used together, “For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, ... salvation ... was confirmed to us by those who heard.” The Gospel was securely founded in divine holiness and was confirmed by ear- and eye-witnesses, the apostles who confessed the truth of the Word.


Greek Word Pronunciation: he-GAY-o-mai
Strong’s Number: 2233
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2451
Key Verse: “Consider it all joy ... when you encounter various trials …” James 1:2

Hegeomai was used of “governing” or “leading the way,” and then came to be translated as “think, esteem, regard, or consider.” In the Septuagint, it is used routinely of military commanders, officials, princes, and governors. In the New Testament, the noun form is “governor, prince, or ruler.” Several times, the word takes the form of a participal, as in Matthew 2:6, “Bethlehem ... no means least among the leaders (noun) of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler (literally, “the one governing”). This participle is translated as leader, governor, or chief in Luke 22:26; Acts 7:10, 14:12, 15:22; and Hebrews 13:17, 24.

In the NASB, the verb translates as esteem in 1 Thessalonians 5:13; and as think in 2 Corinthians 9:5, Philippians 2:25, and Hebrews 10:29. The word is count in 2 Peter 2:13; and in Philippians 3:7, Paul “counted as loss” the things not only insufficient to enrich him, but what would certainly impoverish and ruin him, if he trusted to them, in opposition to Christ. In verse 8, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus.” He speaks of all things which could stand in competition with Christ for the throne in his heart. In 2 Peter 3:9 and 3:15, this same Greek word is translated as both count and regard: “the Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness ... regard the patience of our Lord to be salvation.” The Lord will keep to the time appointed in coming to judge the world. In Philippians 2:3, we are told to “regard one another as more important than himself.” [Paul said of himself that he was “the least of the apostles” (1 Corinthians 15:9). As Paul matured, his view of himself decreased.] This word is translated consider in Acts 26:2, 1 Timothy 1:12, Hebrews 11:11, 26, and 2 Peter 1:13. In 1 Timothy 1:12, Christ considered Paul faithful. Christ gives not only ability, but fidelity, to those whom he puts into the ministry. Paul’s thanking God for this shows that the merit of his faithfulness was due solely to God’s grace, not to his own natural strength.

Finally, in JAMES 1:2, the apostle says to “consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials.” This is not to be understood as meaning that these trials are joyful in themselves, but that as a means to beneficial results, they are to be rejoiced in.


Greek Word Pronunciation: koh-RAY-oh
Strong’s Number: 5562
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 6003
Key Verse: “… not wishing for any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” -- 2 Peter 3:9

The verb, choreo, appears in only 9 verses of scripture and has a wide variety of translations. The literal meaning is “to give space, make room” (from chora, meaning “a place”). Therefore, it gives the idea of having room for some thing, “to contain.” This idea is found in John 2:6, referring to waterpots containing a certain quantity; in Mark 2:2, of a space large enough to hold a number of people; and in John 21:25, that “the world would not contain the books that would be written.”

In Matthew 15:17 is Jesus’ explanation that food does not make a person unclean: “anything that goes into the mouth passes into the stomach.” Matthew 19:11, 12, refers to whether or not “all men can accept this statement” regarding to marry or not.

In 2 Corinthians 7:2, Paul asks the Corinthian believers to “make room for us in your hearts.” He and Timothy wish to be received as friends, with love and respect. They wish no further tightness of heart in them (as previously evidenced in 2 Corinthians 6:12).

In John 8:37, Jesus said to believing Jews, “you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.” They had no room for His doctrine in their minds. They were so filled with prejudice, pride, and false notions, they would not receive His truth. Their hearts were barred and bolted against it.

In the key verse, 2 PETER 3:9, God is “not wishing for any to perish, but all to come to repentance.” There are approximately 40 other Greek words usually translated “to come,” but in this verse, the key word, choreo, implies there is room for them to be received to repentance; having room in their soul for a change of mind toward God. God holds up His word as that which ought to find entrance and abiding room for itself in the souls of all who hear it.


Greek Word Pronunciation: sun-EK-oh
Strong’s Number: 4912
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5309
Key Verse: “… the love of Christ controls us.” -- 2 Corinthians 5:14

Sunexo is a compound word comprised of sun, “together,” and exo, “to hold.” Thus, it came to mean, a “holding together or compressing.” It was used metaphorically of “straits, distress, or anguish” and has a large variety of translations in both the Old and New Testaments.

Luke used this word 9 times out of the 12 occurrences in New Testament. Luke 4:38, Acts 28:8, and Matthew 4:24, all make reference to individuals suffering or being afflicted with various diseases. In Luke 8:37, the people were gripped with great fear. In Luke 8:45, people are crowding in on Jesus. In Luke 12:50, Jesus refers to the future baptism He is to undergo by saying “how distressed I am until it is accomplished.” In Luke 19:43, Jesus approached Jerusalem and spoke of her future enemies that would “surround you and hem you in on every side.” Luke 22:63 refers to the men who were “holding Jesus in custody.” In Acts 7:57, the people “covered (stopped) their ears and rushed” at Stephen to stone him.

In Acts 18:5, Paul began “devoting himself completely to the word.” (KJV translates as “pressed in the Spirit.”) Feeling “pressed” made Paul, more than ever, pressed in his preaching. In Philippians 1:23, Paul said “I am hard-pressed from both directions.” (KJV translates in a strait and NIV is torn between.) The idea is of a strong pressure bearing upon him from two sides, to live or to die and be with Christ.

In 2 CORINTHIANS 5:14, “The love of Christ controls us" (KJV translates constraineth and NIV is compels). The love which Christ has for man is the constraining power of Paul’s preaching. The love of Christ completely dominates Paul so that he has no option but to preach. On the basis of Christ’s death, the only natural decision for Paul (as for all other believers) is no longer to live for self, but to live for Jesus Christ.


Greek Word Pronunciation: meta-BAI-no
Strong's Number: 3327
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 3553
Key Verse: “He who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me, ... has passed out of death into life.” -- John 5:24

Metabaino is a compound verb comprised of meta, signifying “change,” and baino, “to go.” The meaning is “to move from one place to another,” especially “to change one’s dwelling.”

In the New Testament, the word occurs 11 times. In 8 of those times, it is used in the topographical sense of departing or leaving to go from one place to another (Matthew 8:34, 11:1, 12:9, 15:29, John 7:3, and Acts 18:7). In Matthew 17:20, Jesus told the disciples about having faith the size of the mustard seed, “you will say to the mountain, ‘Move from here to there’…” In Luke 10:7, Jesus instructed the disciples “do not keep moving from house to house.”

In John’s books, this word is used metaphorically. In John 13:1, Jesus knew that His hour had come and “that He would depart out of this world to the Father.” Christ was about to move from the present world, into which He came to save sinners, and where He had met with barbarous treatment, and was to meet with more. He was going to the Father, by Whom He was sent, from Whom He came; to His God and Father, and the God and Father of all His people, to take His place in Their nature at His right hand.

JOHN 5:24 and 1 John 3:14 both make reference to believers that “have passed out of death into life.” In John 5:24, the reference is to belief in the unity of Father and Son, and in 1 John 3:14, that belief is reflected by one’s love for fellow believers. In both verses, the verb is in perfect tense, indicating that we were transferred from death to life, with the permanent result that we will always have life eternal. We pass from death to life, from the guilt of death to the right of life. This transition is made upon our believing in the Lord Jesus.


Greek Word Pronunciation: pros-kar-te-RAY-oh
Strong's Number: 4342
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4674
Key Verse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” -- Colossians 4:2

Proskartereo is a compound verb consisting of pros meaning “toward” and kartereo meaning “to be strong.” Its meaning is to continue steadfastly in a thing and give unremitting care to it, to persevere, to be in constant readiness. In the Septuagint, it is found in Numbers 13:20 when Moses sent out spies to the land of Canaan telling them to “make an effort to get some of the fruit of the land. This verb appears 10 times in the New Testament. In Mark 3:9, Jesus told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him, keeping close to the shore when He needed it. In Acts 2:46, the disciples were continuing with one mind in the temple. It was their constant practice. In Acts 8:13, Simon continued on with Philip. He attached himself, followed him everywhere. In Acts 10:7, Cornelius summoned his servants who were his personal attendants (in KJV, it is translated “waited on him continually”). In Romans 13:6, “rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves” to their tasks of governmental service.

The remaining 5 verses all make reference to believers devoting themselves to prayer. In Acts 1:14, the disciples were continually devoting themselves to prayer. They “stuck to” the praying for God’s promise of the the Holy Spirit, until the answer came. In Acts 2:42, the baptized believers were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and prayer. In Acts 6:4, the apostles said they would devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. It was to be their constant and main object, undistracted even by attention to the temporal needs of the church. In Romans 12:12, Paul commands the believers to be devoted to prayer. He wants them to be persevering in it continually, in order to maintain a joyful hope and be sustained in the midst of afflictions.

This same command is in COLOSSIANS 4:2, to “devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Without this, nobody could fulfill the duties which God required of them. John Gill says, “constant prayer is a means of keeping up a spiritual acquaintance and familiarity with God, and of the soul alive in the vigorous exercise of the graces of the Spirit, and of preserving the saints from temptations and sin.


Greek Word Pronunciation: spu-DA-zo
Strong’s Number: 4704
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5079
Key Verse: “… be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed…” -- 2 Timothy 2:15

Spoudazo has the most basic meaning of being diligent, earnest, or eager, suggesting zealous concentration and diligent effort. This verb appears 11 times in the New Testament, and was used by Paul and Peter, both men who had eager, earnest personalities which were reflected in their writings.

In 2 Timothy 4:9 and 21, and Titus 3:12, Paul asks them to make every effort to come to him. In Galatians 2:10, Paul spoke of remembering the poor, which he was also eager to do. And in 1 Thessalonians 2:17, Paul was eager to see the believers in the Thessalonian church. In 2 Peter 1:15, Peter said he would be diligent that the believers would have a permanent reminder of the truth.

Hebrews 4:11 tells the professing Jewish believers to “be diligent to enter into that rest” that the Lord provided to those who believe and obey Him. The example of wilderness wanderers was to deter them from committing the same sin of unbelief.

In Ephesians 4:3, Paul encourages the believers to be “diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit.” We are to guard the unity with each other that is the product of the Holy Spirit. Peace is the binding factor which will preserve the unity which the Spirit has produced.

2 Peter 1:10 tells us to be diligent in the certainty of God’s calling and choosing. We are to be sure that we are saved by seeing to it that the Christian graces superabound in our lives. 2 Peter 3:14 tells us to be diligent in preparation for Christ’s appearance. We are to be living in peace with each other, free from censure and without blame.

Paul told Timothy in 2 TIMOTHY 2:15 to “be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman …” God’s Word is to be presented rightly, unabridged, and in a straightforward manner. The shame of God’s disapproval awaits those who mishandle His Word. We, as believers, do not have to fear shame before God if we are meeting His specifications for correctly handling His Word.


Greek Word Pronunciation: kat-eu-THU-no
Strong's Number: 2720
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 2985
Key Verse: “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” -- 2 Thessalonians 3:5

Kateuthuno is a compound word, comprise of kata, meaning “down,” and euthuno, meaning “to straighten.” The idea is that of conducting one straight to a place, and not by a round-about course. Euthuno is found in John 1:23, “make straight the way of the Lord” and James 3:4, regarding the ships directed by a “rudder wherever the inclination of the pilot [literally, the one steering] desires.”

Kateuthuno appears only 3 times in the New Testament. In Luke 1:79, John the Baptist's father, Zacharias, who prophesied by quoting from Isaiah 9:2. This referred to Christ Who would “guide our feet into the way of peace.” Christ came to make peace for us, by the blood of His cross; and so by His Spirit and word, lead us directly into the true way of enjoying spiritual peace here, and eternal peace hereafter.

In 1 Thessalonians 3:11, Paul prayed, “Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you.” Paul’s prayer is that God would remove all obstacles so that he could come directly to them. The apostle was aware that there were obstacles in his way of coming to Thessalonica, for he had attempted it before, but Satan, and his emissaries, hindered. Therefore, he desires that God and Christ would remove them out of the way, and make his way straight and plain.

In the key verse, 2 THESSALONIANS 3:5, Paul prayed, “May the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the steadfastness of Christ.” The heart is irregular in all its workings. God alone, by His Spirit, can direct it into His love, and keep it right. He gives a proper direction to all its passions, and keep them in order, regularity and purity.


Greek Word Pronunciation: hel-KU-oh
Strong's Number: 1670
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 1816
Key Verse: “No one can come to Me unless the Father Who sent Me draws him.” -- John 6:44

The New Testament has approximately 15 words translated as “draw.” Three of these words are discussed below, in regard to men drawing near to God, and of God drawing men to Himself.

The first is eggizo, which means “to approach.” This word is found in Hebrews 7:19 and James 4:8. Approach God in the name of Jesus, by faith and prayer, and He will draw near to you; He will meet you at your coming. When a soul sets out to seek God, God sets out to meet that soul; so that while we are drawing near to Him, He is drawing near to us.

The second word is proserxomai, which means “to come or go.” This word was used commonly of a sinner’s approach to God through Old Testament sacrifices. In the New Testament, it is used of a sinner’s approach to God through the sacrifice of Christ. This is found in Hebrews 4:16, 7:25, 10:1, and 10:22.

The third is our word helkuo. It is a strong word which means “to tug, draw, or compel,” and is found 6 times in the New Testament. In each usage, whatever was drawn came; there is never a suggestion or hint that whatever was drawn was not accomplished. It is used in John 18:10 of drawing a sword, John 21:6 and 11 of hauling/drawing a net full of fish, and Acts 16:19, of Paul and Silas being dragged into the marketplace. In John 12:32, Jesus said, “And I, if I am lifted up, will draw all men to Myself.” The context from verses 20-32 is the issue of Gentiles coming to Jesus. They must be drawn by way of the Cross. Some men are repelled by Christ, but this is the way that sinners can and will come to Christ, the only way to the Father.

In the key verse, JOHN 6:44, God “draws” by the gospel. His compelling is clarified in the entire book of John (1:12-13; 6:37, 65). It is God who draws us through the Holy Spirit enlightening our mind to the His glorious salvation. Luther says: “The drawing is not like that of the executioner, who draws the thief up the ladder to the gallows; but it is a gracious allurement, such as that of the man whom everybody loves, and to whom everybody willingly goes.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: skahy-NAH-oh
Strong’s Number: 4637
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5012
Key Verse: “… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us …” -- John 1:14

Another Greek word, oikeo, is frequently translated as dwell, but its reference is to occupy a house. Our word skenoo is literally “to live or camp in a tent.” In the Septuagint, it is rare. It is used twice in Genesis 13:12, “Lot settled in the cities of the valley, and moved his tents as far as Sodom.”

The noun form of this word, skenos, is of a literal tent or tabernacle, as in Hebrews 11:9. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob lived in tents. A tent speaks of a pilgrim journey. They were looking for a permanent place of abode. In the New Testament, it doesn’t refer to dwelling in a real tent, only metaphorically. Revelation 7:15 refers to God’s dwelling among the redeemed; the sense is that of residing permanently, since context speaks of God’s sitting on His throne, not of a divine tent in heaven. Revelation 21:3 is a figure of speech for His abiding and gracious presence.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the verb is in compound form: epi, meaning “upon,” and skenao). In KJV: “... power of Christ may rest upon me”; in NASB: “... may dwell in me.” Literally, it is: “may spread a tabernacle over me.” The image is that of the Shekinah glory descending upon the faithful.

JOHN 1:14 suggests the skenos of the incarnate Word is to be regarded as an expression of the fact that His earthly stay was for Him no more than an episode between the pre- and post-existence as the exalted Lord, in which case the translation “He tabernacled among us” is more suitable than “He dwelt among us.” It is designed to show that this is the presence of the Eternal in time.

Wuest states: “Out of the ivory palaces, the King of Glory came to live in a tent among a people who lived in tents. In Revelation 21:3, literally, ‘the tent of God is with men, and He will live in a tent in company with them.’ This tent is the same human body in which our Lord lived while on earth, glorified. The King condescends to live in a tent all through eternity with His Bride. If His Bride lives in a tent, He will. He chose her for Himself notwithstanding the tent.”


Greek Word Pronunciation: TRO-go
Strong’s Number: 5176
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5592
Key Verse: “He who eats this bread will live forever.” -- John 6:58

The Greek language uses nine different words that are translated “to eat” in the New Testament. In John 6:49-58, two of these words have a very distinct difference in translation.

One very common Greek word is phago, and it means “to eat, devour, consume.” That word is used in John 6:49-53, and 58. The word trogo means “to gnaw, to chew,” and it stresses the slow process. It is used nowhere else in the New Testament, except in John 6:54, and 56-58.

In verse 58, Jesus said, “your fathers did eat (phago) manna, and he that eats (trogo) of this bread shall live forever.” When the Jews ate (phago) manna, it was to satisfy a carnal appetite, but the verb trogo means “to feed upon.” In these verses, phago is always in the tense that indicates a one-time action, usually in the past. Trogo is always in the present tense, indicating a continual ongoing action. Therefore, when Jesus said “he who eats (trogo) this bread will live forever,” it means a continual feeding, something that is to be done on a constant basis to satisfy the spiritual appetite.

The language of Jesus can only have a spiritual meaning as He unfolds Himself as the true manna. In the context of all these verses, since the Lord’s supper was not yet instituted, this “feeding upon” Jesus refers to spiritual eating, not sacramental. As a continuation of verse 27, Jesus Himself is the “food” that endures to eternal life. Food that is eaten and then digested is assimilated so that it becomes a part of the body. Likewise, people must appropriate Christ to have spiritual life by trusting in Him for salvation. John 6:40 makes it clear that faith is the operative word when it comes to appropriating Christ to receive the gift of eternal life.