Thursday, March 29, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: ar-KAY-oh
Strong's Number: 714
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 758
Key Verse: “My grace is sufficient for you.” -- 2 Corinthians12:9

Several different Greek words are translated as “to be content” or “sufficient.” They generally have the idea of being well-pleased, self-sufficient, or competent. The definition of arkeo carries the idea of “to ward off; resist, be strong enough.” Hence, the idea is that of something being strong enough to defend against any danger. Arkeo is not an adjective, but a verb, indicating sufficiency to “ward off” adverse consequences. This word appears 8 times in the New Testament.

In Matthew 25:9, in regard to the 10 virgins, the prudent 5 indicate that there will not be enough oil for all (to ward off the “shut wedding door”). In John 6:7, Jesus tested Philip in regard to how much bread could be bought for 200 denarii. Philip answered that the money was not sufficient (to ward off hunger of 5,000 people). In 3 John 1:10, Diotrephes was not satisfied with merely talking against others, but trying to put them out of the church. In John 14:8, Philip said to Jesus, “show us the Father, and it is enough.” As Christ was introducing a new law, Philip wished to have an additional manifestation of God. He thought this would “ward off” any doubt or other adverse conditions Philip felt about not seeing God. Three verses (Luke 3:14; 1 Timothy 6:8; and Hebrews 13:5) all have to do with being content (warding off covetousness) with what we have, in terms of money, food and clothing, not desiring more.

In 2 CORINTHIANS 12:9, Paul says that Christ told him, “My grace is sufficient for you.” The verb is in present tense, indicating God’s constant availability of grace. His grace is able to ward off Satan’s attacks on Paul. The infliction was not removed, but there was a promise that the favor of Christ would be shown to him constantly, and that he would find His support to be ample. It is a sufficient answer to our prayers if we have the solemn promise of the Redeemer that we shall be upheld and never sink under the burden of our heavy woes. Christ Jesus understands our case, and knows our need, and will proportion the remedy to our malady, and not only strengthen us, but glorify Himself. His strength is made perfect in our weakness.

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