Monday, April 2, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: phru-RAY-oh
Strong’s Number: 5432
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 5864
Key Verse: “… you, who are protected by the power of God …” -- 1 Peter 1:5

There are approximately a dozen Greek words that all have the general meaning of guard, keep, or preserve. The verb, phroureo, is different in that it is military terminology, referring to a sentinel or guard. It is found only 4 times in the New Testament.

Its most basic meaning is found in 2 Corinthians 11:32 in reference to the king guarding the city. The NKJV emphasizes, “guarding the city with a garrison.”

Galatians 3:23 says that “… we were kept in custody under the law …” [NKJV says, kept under guard; NIV, held prisoners] Sinners were kept guarded under the law and kept distinct and separate from the rest of the nations of the world. It was the means of convicting sinners and causing them to look ahead in faith to the atonement God would some day offer, that of Christ on the cross. The imperfect tense of the verb indicates the long and progressive activity of the Law as a warden.

In Philippians 4:7, Paul says, “And the peace of God … will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” God’s peace, like a sentinel, by Christ’s intervention, guards and patrols before the heart’s door, preserving it from the intrusion of anxious fears and alarms.

1 PETER 1:4-5 speaks of “an inheritance … reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” In verse 4, “reserved” is the Greek word tereo, which means “to watch, to observe, to protect, to reserve.” Heaven is the safe deposit box where God is guarding our inheritance. The word “protected” is our word phroureo. While our inheritance is being kept guarded in heaven under the watchful eye of God, we are being garrisoned about by God’s protecting care. The guard is never changed. As indicated by the present tense, it is on duty 24 hours a day until we arrive safe in heaven. We are justified, we are being sanctified, and our glorification awaits us in heaven.


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