Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Establish, Strengthen

Greek Word Pronunciation: stay-RID-zo
Strong’s Number: 4741
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5114
Key Verse: “… so that He may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness before our God …” -- 1 Thessalonians 3:13

Sterizo in its main sense means “to support, to fix something so it stands upright and immovable.” There are varied uses in the Septuagint. In Genesis 28:12, it refers to a ladder set or fixed on the earth; in Exodus 17:12, to Aaron and Or who supported Moses’ hands; in Jeremiah 21:10 to set my face against this city; in Judges 16:26 for Samson to feel the pillars on which the house rests; and in Isaiah 59:16, “His righteousness upheld Him.”

In the New Testament, it means “to fix, make fast, to set” and is frequently translated as strengthen, confirm, or establish. Luke 9:51 is similar to Jeremiah 21:10, where Jesus resolutely set His face for Jerusalem. The word is used of establishing people (Luke 22:32; Romans 1:11; and 1 Thessalonians 3:2). The means used to effect the confirmation is the ministry of the word of God (Romans 16:25; 2 Thessalonians 2:17 and 3:3; 1 Peter 5:10; and 2 Peter 1:12). In 2 Peter 1:12, Peter tells the believers that they have been established in the truth which is present in them. This particular verb is in the perfect tense, indicating an action in the past with continuing results. The knowledge of the Word and doctrines of Christian faith were permanently set in their thinking. This same tense exists in Luke 16:26, where Abraham told the rich man in Hades, “between us and you a great chasm has been fixed.” The chasm has been fixed by God in time past and stands permanently placed.

In our key verse, 1 THESSALONIANS 3:13, Matthew Henry comments: “This spiritual benefit is mentioned as an effect of increasing and abounding love ... that the Lord may establish your hearts. The more we grow and abound in the grace of love, the more we are established and confirmed in it. Our desire should be to have our hearts established in holiness before God, and be preserved safe, to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that we may be unblamable before God and be presented blameless before the throne of his glory, when the Lord Jesus shall come with all his saints. ... Then the excellency as well as the necessity of holiness will appear, because without this, no hearts shall be established at that day, nor shall any one be unblamable, or avoid everlasting condemnation.”


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