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Old and New Testament
February 19, 2015
DESIRE THAT EACH ONE OF YOU SHOW
THE SAME DILIGENCE: epithumoumen (1PPAI) de hekaston humon ten auten
endeiknusthai (PMN) spouden:
(Ro 12:8,11 1Co 15:58; Gal 6:9 Php 1:9-11; 3:15 1Th 4:10 2Th 3:13 2Pe 1:5-8;
We desire (1937)
Earnestly long for, have strong desire for (1Ti 3:1)
(epithumeo from epí = upon, used intensively + thumós =
for in depth study of related noun
means literally to fix the desire upon (whether things good or bad). It
means to have a strong desire to do or secure something. Note that the
preposition "epi" can express motion toward! And so it means to have
one's passions or affections directed toward something (good or bad).
That is, we desire (continually -
present tense) that each of you exhibit the same diligence to develop
your hope, which is in danger of failing, into full assurance, unto the end
of the present season of trial with its happy consummation....It is
practically the same whether it is translated full development or full
assurance. The two meanings coalesce. Hope develops into full assurance.
(hekastos from hékas = separate) every single one. This idea
of separation or singling out is expressed still more strongly by heís
hékastos. It means each and every one of you. The writer gets very personal and does not
want to leave anyone out.
from preposition en =
in, to + deíknumi = to show) means to point out, to demonstrate, to
put on display, to prove, to show proof, to show forth, to show oneself, to
give visible proof, to show in anything and implies an appeal to facts. The
preposition (in) in the compound suggests more than the simplest
demonstration. It is like laying the index finger, as it were, on the
object. It means to to show something in someone. It can mean to do
something to someone, as Alexander the coppersmith "did" (endeíknumi)
Paul much harm (2 Timothy 4:14
In the papyri it could have a quasi-legal sense of proving a petition or
charge or of proving that a charge was wrong. Josephus used endeíknumi
to describe Herod Agrippa’s display of generosity to those of other nations
(Josephus, Antiquities, 19:330).
calls for the saints to continually demonstrate this diligence
demonstrated by the patriarchs (he illustrates this diligence with "father"
Abraham - see notes
indicates that we ourselves must each consciously initiate this action
(empowered by the Spirit of course) so that we continually show
forth or demonstrate a zealous urgency.
from speudo = hasten, make haste)
refers to eagerness, earnestness, willingness or zeal. It denotes quick
movement or haste accompanying the eagerness, etc, in the interest of a
person or cause. Thus spoude can refer to swiftness of movement or
action and means haste or speed (like our expression "in a hurry"). It can
refer to an earnest commitment in discharge of an obligation or experience
of a relationship.
Spoude was often used in Greek and
Roman literature and found on inscriptions in reference to extraordinary
commitment to civic and religious responsibilities, which were frequently
intertwined, and also of concern for personal moral excellence or optimum
devotion to the interests of others.
Spoude is primarily an attitude
which leads to an action. Spoude means to do something with intense
effort and motivation, with quick movement and is in opposition to the
attitude of slothfulness. The individual who is "spoude" who is eager to do
something and ready to expend the necessary energy and effort.
describes zeal (eagerness and ardent interest in pursuit of something), passion
(passion applies to an emotion that is deeply stirring-- how wonderful to so
fully be in love with Christ so as to be fully governed by His Spirit).
Note that assurance comes from diligence. If we are diligent in living for
Christ, our hearts are filled with assurance. If we are not diligent, then
we cannot be assured that all things will be well. Living an up and down
life—sometimes living for Christ and other times not living for Christ,
sometimes living in sin and sometimes living in righteousness—causes doubt,
questioning, and wondering about salvation. And it should. We should fear
lest we fall away from Christ and His Word.
F B Hole writes that...
Being thus assured of the salvation of
the mass of those to whom he wrote, there is but one word of exhortation at
this point. The writer urges them to go on doing as they had done — to
continue diligently in this good way to the end, in the full assurance that
their hope was not misplaced.
Hope has a very large place in connection with the faith of Christ, just as
it had in the bygone dispensation. Then, whether patriarchs or prophets or
just the people of God, they all had their eyes directed forward to the good
things to come at the advent of the Messiah. Now the good things have been
manifested in Christ — full atonement has been made, our consciences have
been purged, we have received the gift of the Spirit. Yet even so we are not
in the full enjoyment of the good things. For that we await the second
coming of the Lord. What we actually have at the present moment we have in
faith, and we enjoy by the power of the Spirit, for He is the Earnest of all
we shall inherit. We are saved, in hope of
all that is to come.
It is very important for us to be clear as to this, and even more important
it was for these converted Hebrews to be clear as to it. How often did they
get reproached by their unconverted relations! How often taunted with their
folly in giving up all the outward glories of the Mosaic system with its
temple, its altar, its sacrifices, its priesthood — and for what? For a
Master whom they could not see, for He had left them, and for a whole range
of things as invisible as He! What fools they appeared to be! But were they
They were not. And if instructed in that which our chapter says they would
be able to give very good reason for what they had done. They would be able
to say, "It is really we and not you who are following in the footsteps of
our father Abraham. Promises were made to him and you seem to have forgotten
them, settling down as though contented with the shadow system of the law,
which was given through Moses as a provisional thing. We have received
Christ, and in Him we have the pledge of the fulfilment of every promise
which ever was given, and we have fresh, and even brighter promises
We need to have a hope which is resting
upon a very weld established basis if we are to hold it with full assurance.
It is this thought which leads to verses 13-18.
Here is an incredible illustration of diligence...
The Proceedings of the U.S. Naval Institute: The USS Astoria (CA-34) was the
first U.S. cruiser to engage the Japanese during the Battle of Savo Island,
a night action fought 8-9 August 1942. Although she scored two hits on the
Imperial flagship Chokai, the Astoria was badly damaged and sank shortly
after noon, 9 August.
About 0200 hours a young midwesterner, Signalman 3rd Class Elgin Staples,
was swept overboard by the blast when the Astoria's number one eight-inch
gun turret exploded. Wounded in both legs by shrapnel and in semi-shock, he
was kept afloat by a narrow lifebelt that he managed to activate with a
simple trigger mechanism.
At around 0600 hours, Staples was rescued by a passing destroyer and
returned to the Astoria, whose captain was attempting to save the cruiser by
beaching her. The effort failed, and Staples, still wearing the same
lifebelt, found himself back in the water. It was lunchtime. Picked up
again, this time by the USS President Jackson (AP-37), he was one of 500
survivors of the battle who were evacuated to Noumea.
On board the transport Staples, for the first time, closely examined the
lifebelt that had served him so well. It had been manufactured by Firestone
Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, and bore a registration number.
Given home leave, Staples told his story and asked his mother, who worked
for Firestone, about the purpose of the number on the belt. She replied that
the company insisted on personal responsibility for the war effort, and that
the number was unique and assigned to only one inspector. Staples remembered
everything about the lifebelt, and quoted the number. It was his mother's
personal code and affixed to every item she was responsible for approving.
Fifty years ago, a mother's unheralded diligence in an anonymous wartime job
assured her soon-to-be shipwrecked son's survival. But how much greater are
the stakes in eternal matters, and how much greater is the challenge to
diligence in eternal matters! "We want [literally, we long for] each one of
you," says the writer in v11, "to show this same diligence to the very end,
in order to make your hope sure."
SO AS TO
REALIZE THE FULL ASSURANCE OF HOPE UNTIL THE
END: pros ten plerophorian tes elpidos achri (until) telousn:
(Heb 3:6,14; 10:22 Isa 32:17 Col 2:2 1Th 1:5 2Pe 1:10 1Jn 3:14,19) (Hope -
Heb 6:18-20 Ro 5:2-5; 8:24,25; 12:12; 15:13 1Co 13:13 Gal 5:5 Col 1:5,23 2Th
2:16,17 1Pe 1:3-5,21 1Jn 3:1-3) (To the end - Heb 3:6,14; 10:32-35 Mt 24:13
Rev 2:26 )
See result of Abraham's
faith and patience in Ro 4:21 (see notes)
Full assurance means entire confidence (see word study on related
~ carries a stronger implication of certainty = being certain in the mind.
It speaks of a wealth of certainty, such as understanding gives (Col 2:2 >
“Unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding.”)
Full assurance is an interesting
expression; it literally means “to be under full sail.” It means that
believers should be moving along spiritually—they should be moving along for
The expression full assurance is used three times in the NT.
assurance of faith—we rest on God’s word, His testimony to us (Hebrews
(2) Full assurance of understanding—we know and are assured (Colossians
Full assurance of hope—we press on with confidence as to the outcome
How does one in fact "realize the full assurance of (the) hope"? It is thru
faith and patience and so the writer gets very pragmatic, reminding his
predominantly Jewish audience of one they would be very familiar with
(Abraham) and in fact quoting directly from the Lxx of Ge 22:17, as
probably the ultimate example of Abraham's faith...he had believed God in
Ge 15:6 but God's call to sacrifice his son Isaac was the ultimate test of
Abraham's faith (obedience) by which he became the father of all those who
Only as we apply zeal and apply faith and patience can we have an
assurance that we will one day "inherit the promises". Without them, we
become sluggish, and as such expose ourselves to the danger of apostasy.
This idea of applying diligence is very important if you desire to sense
"spiritual security". Peter describes this need for
diligence (2Peter 1:5; 2Pe 1:10; 1:11 see notes
Note hope is modified by the definite article the (tes") in the
this is a very specific hope, not some generalization or "pie in the sky by
and by". This reflects the absolute certainty of future good,
because as taught below Jesus has entered thru the veil and will be there as
our High Priest forever. That is a sure & steadfast anchor for our souls
when storms of life assail us, which are in fact guaranteed if we are truly
His children (Philippians 1:29-note, Jn 16:33)
Scripture is not the world's definition of "I hope so", with a few
rare exceptions (e.g.,
but is is an absolute certainty of future good. Hope is defined as a
desire for some future good with the expectation of obtaining it or as Peter
Anderson put it "Hope is faith in the future tense." Hope
is confident expectancy. Hope is the looking forward to something
with some reason for confidence respecting fulfillment. See related study on
Believer's Blessed Hope.
I like John Blanchard's definition
of the Christian's hope...
'Hope' is biblical shorthand
for unconditional certainty.
Hope as the
world typically defines it is a desire for some future occurrence of which
one is not assured of attaining. The ancient world did not generally regard
hope as a virtue, but merely as a temporary illusion. Historians tell
us that a great cloud of hopelessness covered the ancient world.
Philosophies were empty; traditions were disappearing; religions were
powerless to help men face either life or death. People longed to pierce the
veil and get some message of hope from the other side, but there is none
outside of Christ.
it. In the OT there
are several Hebrew words translated
but each has the idea of inviting us
to look ahead eagerly
with confident expectation, the
same idea conveyed by
Each Hebrew word for "hope"
calls for patience,
reminding us that the fulfillment of our hope lies in the future ("hold
on...the best is yet to come").
Hope is by no
means a passive attitude but a stimulant to action for Thomas
Brooks writes that...
A man full of hope will be full of
action... Hope can see heaven through the thickest clouds.
Calvin adds that...
us there is a vigour in the whole body.
is a repeated theme in Hebrews. Study the 5 uses in context...
Hebrews 3:6 (note)
- but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house --whose house we are,
if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until
Hebrews 6:11 (note)
- And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to
realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
Hebrews 6:18 (note)
- so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God
to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to
take hold of the hope set before us.
Hebrews 7:19 (note)
- (for the Law made nothing perfect ), and on the other hand
there is a bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to
Hebrews 10:23 (note)
- Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He
who promised is faithful;
“Hope is for the soul what
breathing is for the living organism.”
A study of
concentration camp survivors found that those prisoners who were able to
hold onto their sense of hope (‘things are going to get better’ or ‘we’re
going to get out of here one day’ ) were much more likely to survive. Hope
then is not optional but for these prisoners proved to be a matter of life
"in classical Greek, has the general
signification of expectancy, relating to evil as well as to good. Thus Plato
speaks of living in evil hope (“Republic,” i., 330); i.e., in the
apprehension of evil; and Thucydides, of the hope of evils to come; i.e.,
the expectation or apprehension. In the New Testament the word always
relates to a future good." (Vincent, M. R. Word Studies in the New Testament
Seneca, Rome's leading
intellectual figure, tutor of the depraved emperor Nero (who forced Seneca
to commit suicide!) and contemporary of Paul tragically defined hope
as “an uncertain good”, the antithesis of Biblical hope! What a
difference the new birth in Christ makes in one's perspective.
The cynical editor
H. L. Mencken also inaccurately defined hope as
“a pathological belief in
occurrence of the impossible.”
His cynical definition
does not even agree with the secular Webster's Collegiate dictionary which
defines "Hope" much like the NT declaring that hope means "to cherish
a desire with anticipation, desire with expectation of obtainment, expect
is not "finger crossing", but is alive and certain because of the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Life without Christ is a
hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
The book of Hebrews
defines hope as that which gives "full assurance" (see note
Thus we can have strong confidence that God is going to do good to us in
future. The opposite of hope is despair, (hopelessness; a hopeless
state; a destitution of hope or expectation) which is all that those without
Christ as Savior can know, for Paul defines hope as "Christ Jesus, Who is
our Hope" (1Ti
1:1). Thus genuine Biblical hope is not a concept but a Person,
pleaded with God on the basis of His Name, "Hope of Israel" (God's
Names all reveal some aspect or attribute of His character), declaring
"Thou Hope of Israel, its Savior
in time of distress. Why art Thou like a stranger in the land Or like a
traveler who has pitched his tent for the night?" (Jer14:8)
"O LORD, the hope of Israel, all
who forsake Thee will be put to shame. Those who turn away on earth will be
written down, because they have forsaken the fountain of living water, even
the LORD." (Jer
"Thou art my hope; O Lord GOD,
Thou art my confidence from my youth." (Ps
Paul uses makes an
allusion to this OT name ("Hope of Israel") speaking to the Jews explaining
"I requested to see you and to speak with
you, for I am wearing this chain for the sake of the hope of
Although the Old
revealed spoke of the Hope of Israel and predicted His coming to save His
people as well as Gentiles, there was no mention that the Messiah of hope
would actually live within each member of His redeemed church. Paul
explained that in the New Covenant, "God willed to make known what is the
riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in
you, the hope of glory." (see note
The unsaved are born into the world but have "no hope and (are)
without God in the world" (Ephesians 2:12
note) and if they die without Christ,
he will be hopeless forever.
The Italian poet,
Dante, in his Divine Comedy, put this inscription over the world of the
“Abandon all hope, you
In other words, life
without Christ is a hopeless end whereas life in Christ is an endless hope.
Scripture is the absolute certainty of future good and believers are to be
continually, actively, expectantly
"looking for the
blessed hope and the appearing of
the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." (see note
A living hope should
motivate a "looking" hope, so that we are waiting anxiously for Christ's
return at any time, this event providing great incentive to "discipline
(one's self) for the purpose of godliness" (1Timothy 4:7-note)
knowing that godliness "is profitable for all things, since it holds promise
for the present life and also for the life to come." (1Timothy 4:8-note)
G K Chesterton
"Hope means hoping when things are
hopeless or it is no virtue at all...As long as matters are really hopeful,
hope is mere flattery or platitude. It is only when everything is hopeless
that hope begins to be a strength."
Hope is an
essential and fundamental element of Christian life, so essential indeed,
that, like faith and love, Peter refers to it in this verse to designate the
essence of Christianity
Hope is one
component of the great triad of Christian virtues, along with faith and
“But now abide
faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love”
(1Cor 13:13; see note 1Thessalonians
5:8; Gal 5:5, 6; see notes
1 Peter 1:21;
hope are inseparably linked. We
believe and so
Paul prayed for
"that the eyes of (our) heart may be
enlightened, so that (we) may know what is the hope of His calling." (see
Hope is a "helmet
of salvation" for we know that
God has not destined us for wrath but for
obtaining salvation through our Lord
Christ (see note
Hope as you can see is a deep well, which is well worth lingering over
if you have time. To renew your mind with this great Biblical truth go over
the following Scriptures, asking what each teaches about the "source" of
hope, the stabilizing effect of the truth, the sanctifying effect, etc. Then
study the chart summary at the end of the references -- (Job
8:13; 27:8, Ps 31:24; Ps 42:5-6; 71:5; Ps 119:49-50; Ps 130:7;
Ps 146:5 Pr 10:28; 13:12 Jer
14:8; 29:11; Jn 5:45 Acts 2:26; Acts 23:6, 24:15; 26:6; 28:20; Ro 4:18; 5:1-2; 8:25;
12:12; 15:4; 15:13 1Co 13:13; 15:19, 21-23 2Cor 3:12 Eph 1:15-18, 2:12; 4:2-5;
Gal 5:5, 6 Col 1:4, 5, 1:27 1Th 1:3; 1Thes 2:19; 4:13-18; 1Thes 5:8; 2Thes 2:16; 1Tim
1:1; Titus 2:11-13; 3:7 Heb 6:11, Heb 6:18-20; 7:19; 10:22-24; 1Pet 1:3; 1:21–22,
1Pet 3:15; 1Jn 2:25; 1Jn 3:2-3 ; Jude 1:21)
refers to the goal. It is used 5x in Hebrews...
Hebrews 3:6 (note)
- but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house --whose house we are, if
we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the
Hebrews 3:14 (note)
- For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of
our assurance firm until the end,
Hebrews 6:8 (note)
- but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being
cursed, and it ends up being burned.
Hebrews 6:11 (note)
- And we desire that each
one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of
hope until the end,
Hebrews 7:3 (note)
- Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither
beginning of days nor end of life, but made
like the Son of God, he remains a priest perpetually.
of regeneration is a faith that does not fail and continues to the end of
life. It may at times falter and grow dim as it faces various trials and
pressures, but it cannot be wholly abandoned. One wag has observed,
faith fizzles before you finish, it’s because it was faulty from the first!”
Ray Stedman writes...
recall once receiving a phone call from a young new Christian who said,
“I’ve decided to give up being a Christian; I can’t handle it anymore.”
Knowing him well, I said, “I agree. That’s probably what you ought to do.”
There was silence on the line for a moment, and then he said, “You know I
can’t do that!” And I said, “No, I know you can’t.” And he couldn’t—and he
so that you
will not be
In order that you
may not grow disinterested and become [spiritual] sluggards, but
imitators, behaving as do those who through faith (by their leaning of
the entire personality on God in Christ in absolute trust and
confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness) and by practice of
patient endurance and waiting are [now] inheriting the promises.
Bible - Lockman)
NLT: Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.
Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit
God's promises because of their faith and patience. (NLT
- Tyndale House)
Phillips: We do not want any of you to grow slack, but to
follow the example of those who through sheer patient faith came to
possess the promises. (Phillips:
Wuest:in order that you may become not sluggish, but imitators
of those who through faith and patience are now inheriting the
Young's Literal: that ye may not become slothful, but followers
of those who through faith and patient endurance are inheriting the
THAT YOU MAY NOT
BE SLUGGISH BUT IMITATORS: hina me nothroi genesthe (2PAMS) mimetai de:
(Heb 5:11, Pr 12:24, 13:4, 15:19, 18:9, 24:30-34, Mt 25:26, Ro 12:11, 2Pe 1:10
So that you - Hina (2443)
introduces a purpose clause (See importance of observing and
terms of purpose or result - so that, in order that, that, as a result).
The purpose for his reader's diligence, zealousness and eagerness (discussed
in the previous verse) is that they might not fall into the trap of "sloppy
spirituality", becoming veritable spiritual sloths.
Peter gave a similar sobering charge to diligence...
all the more diligent (aorist
= not a suggestion but a command to do this now! Do it effectively! Don't
delay!) to make certain (bebaios)
about His calling
and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never
stumble (see note
2 Peter 1:10)
May not be (1096)
(ginomai) means to become or come into existence in
or momentary tense can indicate a decisive act with
consequent results. They were already dull of hearing. The writer's
desire here is that they might not
become dull in conduct!
Spiritual sluggishness is an ever present danger for all believers and a
tendency we must fight against (enabled by the Spirit, cp Ezekiel 36:27 -
note the "balance" in God's promise of the New Covenant in Ezekiel - first
God's part, then our part!), for just as friction stops a train that
lacks a consistent source of power so will each of us wind down (or burn out) without complete dependence on His power (see
2 Timothy 2:1,
from negative nê = no + ôtheô = to push means no push in the
hearing) is literally "no push" and thus means slow, sluggish, "numbed" in
mind as well as in the ears. The idea is they are slow, slothful, slack,
obtuse, languid, lazy, sluggish.
In NT nothros is found only
Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you
have become dull of hearing.
Nothros was used in secular
Greek to describe the numbed limbs of a sick lion and the stupid hopes of
the wolf that heard the nurse threaten to throw the child to the wolves! In
the Greek papyri the corresponding verb is used of sickness. Plato calls
some students nôthroi (stupid). "When they have to face study they are
stupid (nothroi) and cannot remember.” (Theaet. 144 B)
nothros is used only in Proverbs 22:29 (slothful, lazy,
The great enemy of perseverance is sloth or laziness. Diligence yields
full assurance of hope which protects against becoming sluggish (when one's
hope is not in the world but on Christ Who is the personification of hope
[1Ti 1:1], for then the cares of this world will grow dim in the
light of His glory and grace - play
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus).
It is almost like the writer is offering up a request a prayer that his
not be sluggish, but instead become imitators of the faithful, patient
saints who have preceded them.
one who follows. Mimetes
basically means to copy or imitate someone's behavior and has many related
words in English - "mime" (one who acts out an imitation of another person
or animal), "pantomime" (a theater production which originally was without
words), "mimeograph" (a machine which makes many copies from one stencil).
one who does what others do, so it's not lip service.
ancient Greek mimetes referred to imitation. Aristotle used the word
to describe how people imitated animals, postulating that at the beginning
of civilization men learnt from animals-weaving and spinning from spiders,
and house-building from swallows.
writes that mimetes "is a call to reproduce in our own way of
life those godly qualities that result from salvation and that we see in
others. The idea is intimately linked with the thought that teachers and
leaders ought to be clear, living examples of the practical implications of
commitment to Jesus. (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
W. Bauder -
Very early on (in Democritus of the
pre-Socratics) the words were used to express ethical demands made on men.
One should take as one’s model the boldness of a hero, or one should imitate
the good example of one’s teacher or parents... The Rabbis were the first to
speak of imitation of God in the sense of developing the image of God in
men. In the Pseudepigrapha in addition to the exhortation to imitate men of
outstanding character (Test. Ben. 3:1; 4:1) one can also find the thought of
the imitation of God (i.e. keeping his commands, Test. Ash. 4:3) and of
particular characteristics of God (Aristeas 188, 210, 280 f.). (Brown,
Colin, Editor. New International Dictionary of NT Theology. 1986. Zondervan)
Teachers based their whole educational procedure on imitation, as students
imitated the behavior of teachers. Slowly the idea developed that people
should imitate the gods, and Plato emphasized this.
basic meaning of mimetes is seen in a mime. An English woman went to
France to study under the famous mime artist, Marcel Marceau. All day he
taught his students how to make the movements of mime, and each evening they
went to see him perform. Their performances were marked indelibly by the
style of the master. This is an excellent picture of a Christian who
imitates the Lord by exposure to Him.
A person who mimes acts a part with mimic
gesture and action, usually without words. Let your actions speak louder
than your words and then you will have a platform to proclaim the word of
truth, the gospel. As
believers in their message the Thessalonians began to pattern their lives
after the example set by the missionaries. This fact rejoiced the heart of
Paul as it was open evidence of the reality of the Thessalonian believers'
conversion and therefore of their divine election. The Thessalonians had
become third generation mimics of Christ. Christ is the first; Paul is the
second; and the Thessalonians are the third. The Thessalonian believers
imitated the Lord and Paul (Silvanus, Timothy) in that they responded to the
gospel in spite of affliction. Note that Paul did not write what reportedly
was said by one pastor "Do as I say; not as I do." Unfortunately this
saying has characterized numerous preachers, many of whom have reputations
as great teachers of God’s Word. However, when their lives are measured by
the Bible’s qualifications for communication and character, such ministers
come up woefully short. Make sure you mime the right model!
an African chief once said: "A good example is the tallest kind of
><> ><> ><>
Robert Morgan has an illustration
entitled "It Stirs Me Up Much"...
Jim Elliot, who gave
his life while trying to reach the Auca Indians, was largely shaped through
the reading of Christian biography.
“I see the value of
Christian biography tonight,” he wrote in his journal, “as I have been
reading Brainerd’s Diary much today. It stirs me up much to pray and wonder
at my nonchalance
while I have not power from God. I have considered
Hebrews 13:7 (note) just now,
regarding the remembrance of certain ones who spake the word of God,
‘consider the outcome of their life, and imitate their faith.’
I recall now the
and By My Spirit, read in the summer of
1947, the encouragement of
Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret,
and The Growth of a Soul. There are incidents which instruct me now from the
reading of J. G. Paton’s biography, read last winter. And now this fresh
Spirit-quickened history of Brainerd. O Lord, let me be granted grace to
‘imitate their faith.’ ”
It has since been
through the reading of Elliot’s journals that scores of young people have
given their lives to the service of the Gospel. (Morgan,
R. J. Nelson's Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations, and Quotes: Thomas
(I highly recommend reading
Hudson Taylor's "Spiritual Secret" which can be downloaded free at
FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERIT THE PROMISES: de ten dia pisteos kai makrothumias kleronomounton (PAPMPG) tas epaggelias:
Those who - The patriarchs like Abraham and prophets like Daniel and
Isaiah would surely come to the mind of his Jewish readers.
(dia) describes the channel through which the promises are inherited.
Through trusting the promise keeping God and clinging fast to His promises
we become inheritors of those same promises! Indeed, these promises are all
from Him, to Him and through Him. To God be the glory. Amen!
is synonymous with trust or belief and is the conviction of the truth of
anything, but in Scripture usually speaks of belief respecting man's
relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of
trust and holy fervor born of faith and joined with it.
Larry Richards has an excellent
discussion on faith writing that...
Originally this word group seems linked
with a more formal contract between partners. It stressed faithfulness to
the agreement made or trustworthiness in keeping promises. In time the use
expanded. In the classical period, writers spoke of trust in the gods as
well as trust in people. In the Hellenic era, "faith in God" came to mean
theoretical conviction about a particular doctrine, a conviction expressed
in one's way of life. As different schools of philosophy and religion
developed, the particular emphasis given pistis was shaped by the tradition
within which it was used. The NT retains the range of meanings. But those
meanings are refined and reshaped by the dynamic message of the gospel.
The verb (pisteuo) and noun (pistis) are
also used with a number of prepositions. "To believe through" (dia)
indicates the way by which a person comes to faith (Jn 1:7; 1Pe 1:21 a).
"Faith en" indicates the realm in which faith operates (Eph 1:15; Col 1:4; 2Ti 3:15). The most important construction is unique to the NT, an invention
of the early church that expresses the inmost secret of our faith. That
construction links faith with the preposition eis, "to" or "into."
This is never done in secular Greek. In the NT it portrays a person
committing himself or herself totally to the person of Jesus Christ, for our
faith is into Jesus. (Ed note: Leon Morris in
"The Gospel According to John"
agrees with Richards writing that “Faith, for John, is an activity which
takes men right out of themselves and makes them one with Christ”
indicating that Morris likewise understands the Greek preposition eis
in the phrase pisteuo eis, to be a significant indication that NT
faith is not just intellectual assent but includes a “moral element of
One other aspect of the NT's use of faith
words is fascinating. Usually the object of faith is Jesus. Only twelve
verses have God as the object of faith (Jn 12:44; 14:1; Ac 16:34; Ro 4:3, 5,
17, 24; Gal 3:6; 1Th 1:8; Titus 3:8; Heb 6:1; 1Peter 1:21). Why? The
reason is clearly expressed by Jesus himself: "I am the way and the truth
and the life. No one comes to the father except through me" (Jn 14:6). God
the Father has revealed himself in the Son. The Father has set Jesus before
us as the one to whom we must entrust ourselves for salvation. It is Jesus
who is the focus of Christian faith. (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
Wuest in his study of pistis
and the related words in this family, pisteuo and pistos, explains that "When these words refer to the faith which
a lost sinner must place in the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, they
include the following ideas; the act of considering the Lord Jesus worthy of
trust as to His character and motives, the act of placing confidence in His
ability to do just what He says He will do, the act of entrusting the
salvation of his soul into the hands of the Lord Jesus, the act of
committing the work of saving his soul to the care of the Lord. This means a
definite taking of one’s self out of one’s own keeping and entrusting one’s
self into the keeping of the Lord Jesus.
William Barclay notes that
- "Faith begins with receptivity. It begins
when a man is at least willing to listen to the message of the truth. It
goes on to mental assent. A man first hears and then agrees that this is
true. But mental assent need not issue in action. Many a man knows very well
that something is true, but does not change his actions to meet that
knowledge. The final stage is when this mental assent becomes total
surrender. In full-fledged faith, a man hears the Christian message, agrees
that it is true, and then casts himself upon it in a life of total
(Daily Study Bible Series)
Faith is relying on what God has done rather than on one’s own efforts.
In the Old Testament, faith is rarely mentioned. The word trust is
used frequently, and verbs like believe and rely are used to
express the right attitude to God. The classic example is Abraham, whose
faith was reckoned as righteousness (Ge 15:6). At the heart of the
Christian message is the story of the cross: Christ’s dying to bring
salvation. Faith is an attitude of trust in which a believer receives
God’s good gift of salvation (Acts 16:30,31) and lives in that awareness
thereafter (Galatians 2:20-note).
Note that this discussion of pistis is only an overview and not a detailed
treatise of this vitally important subject. Those interested are directed to
respected, conservative books on systematic theology for more in depth
discussion (eg, Dr Wayne Grudem's book
Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical
is an excellent, uncompromising, imminently readable resource for the lay
person. See especially Chapter 35 which addresses the question "What is
saving faith?" in an easy to understand manner.) Much of this "definition"
deals with the general word group for faith (pistis = noun, pistos
= adjective, pisteuo = verb)
Clearly faith is a key word in Hebrews. Study the 31 uses of
in context (click the Scripture links to go to the notes on each verse)...
- For indeed we have had good news preached to us, just as they also; but
the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith
in those who heard.
- Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press
on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works
and of faith toward God,
-so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith
and patience inherit the promises.
- let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having
our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed
with pure water.
- BUT MY RIGHTEOUS ONE SHALL LIVE BY FAITH; AND IF HE SHRINKS BACK, MY SOUL
HAS NO PLEASURE IN
- But we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those
who have faith to the preserving of the soul.
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things
- By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of
God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.
- By faith Abel offered to God a better sacrifice than Cain, through which
he obtained the testimony that he was righteous, God testifying about his
gifts, and through faith, though he is dead, he still speaks.
- By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; AND HE WAS NOT
FOUND BECAUSE GOD TOOK HIM UP; for he obtained the witness that before his
being taken up he was pleasing to God.
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God
must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.
- By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence
prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned
the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to
- By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which
he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he
- By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign
land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same
- By faith even Sarah herself received ability to conceive, even beyond the
proper time of life, since she considered Him faithful who had promised.
- All these died in faith, without receiving the promises, but having seen
them and having welcomed them from a distance, and having confessed that
they were strangers and exiles on the earth.
- By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had
received the promises was offering up his only begotten son;
- By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come.
- By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and
worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.
- By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons
of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.
- By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his
parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid
of the king's edict.
- By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of
- By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured,
as seeing Him who is unseen.
- By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that
he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them.
-By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing
through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.
- By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for
- By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were
disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.
-who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained
promises, shut the mouths of lions,
- And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive
what was promised,
- fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the
joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down
at the right hand of the throne of God.
- Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and
considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.
from makros = long, distant, far off, large +
thumos = temper, passion, emotion or thumoomai = to be furious or
burn with intense anger) is literally long-temper (as opposed to "short
tempered), a long holding
out of the mind before it gives room to action or passion. It describes a
state of emotional calm or quietness in the face of provocation, misfortune
or unfavorable circumstances.
Makrothumia is the capacity to be
wronged and not retaliate. It is the ability to hold one's feeling in
restraint or bear up under the oversights and wrongs afflicted by others
without retaliating. It is manifest by the quality of forbearance under
provocation. It is used of God's patience toward sinful men (see note
and of the attitude which Christians are to display.
Patience is the spirit which never gives
up for it endures to the end even in times of adversity, exhibiting
self-restraint such that it does not hastily retaliate a wrong.
Vine says makrothumia is the
opposite of anger. It follows that a lack of patience often leads to wrath
often used in the OT to translate the Hebrew phrase ('erekh 'appayim) which
is literally “long of nose” (or “breathing”), and, as anger was
indicated by rapid, violent breathing through the nostrils, “long of
anger,” or “slow to anger.” This Hebrew phrase ('erekh 'appayim) and the
LXX translation as makrothumia (and the cognates makrothumos,
makrothumeo) is included in the catalog of His attributes that runs through
the OT like a refrain, a God "slow
14 occurrences of this phrase in the OT).
J Vernon McGee writes that
"...means “long-burning”—it burns a long time. We shouldn’t have a short
fuse with our friends and Christian brethren. We shouldn’t make snap
J V: Thru the Bible Commentary: Thomas Nelson)
Evans writes that
"could be translated “large emotions,” signifying wells of endurance that
will not dry up, no matter how much is drawn from them. The Christian with
this patience will have refreshing water to sustain continual effectiveness
even in the face of unrelenting pressures. Those with such patience and
faith are those who receive or “inherit the promises.” (Briscoe,
D. S., & Ogilvie, L. J. The Preacher's Commentary Series, New Testament.
2003; Thomas Nelson)
Calvin said makrothumia
refers to that quality of mind that disposes us
“to take everything in good part and not to be easily offended.”
Larry Richards writes that...
The NT contains many exhortations to be patient. But just what is patience?
The Greek word group (makrothumeo/makrothumia) focuses our attention on
restraint: that capacity for self-control despite circumstances that might
arouse the passions or cause agitation....This is not so much a trait as a
way of life. We keep on loving or forgiving despite provocation, as
illustrated in Jesus' pointed stories in Mt 18." (Richards,
L O: Expository Dictionary of Bible Words: Regency)
This long-suffering is not added to faith but is an integral part of it,
because faith’s vision will produce patient tenacity. To the storm-tossed,
persecuted little church that was facing mounting waves, the message was
clear: fix your eyes on Jesus (see
Fix Your Eyes
On Jesus - 44 excellent meditations), looking by faith (seeing the unseeable 2Co
4:18, see notes
12:2) on the great unseen heavenly realities that await you
and do so with
longsuffering and do it diligently, which will make your hope sure.
= a lot + nemomai = to possess)
receive a share of that which has been "allotted"
and so to inherit a portion of something.
Peter uses this verb exhorting his readers...
not returning evil for evil,
or insult for insult, but giving a blessing instead; for you were called for
the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing. (see note
1 Peter 3:9)
The writer's strong desire is that they
not miss their "lot" because of slothfulness, disobedience or impatience
(unable to "wait" for those promises).
Kleronomeo is used
Genesis 22:17 describing the inheritance of Abraham's offspring...
indeed I will greatly bless you (blessing I will bless you = this Hebrew
construction stresses the intensive nature of the action; i.e., I will bless
you hyper-superabundantly!), and I will greatly multiply your seed as the
stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your
seed shall possess (Lxx = kleronomeo) the gate of
their enemies. (Comment: This verse is quoted in part by the writer - "I
WILL SURELY BLESS YOU, AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU.")
from epí = upon or intensifier of meaning +
aggéllo = tell, declare = to announce with certainty as to what one will
do) is a declaration to do something with implication of obligation to carry
out what is stated. Epaggelia was a legal term denoting promise to do
or give something. It was a legally binding declaration giving one to whom
it is made right to expect or claim performance of the specific act. Most
often epaggelia is used to describe the promises of God. and provides
firm assurance of His future action.
Epaggelia is used in Hebrews 14 times in 13 verses (27.4% of all 51
NT uses) (See notes
TDNT summarizes this word group writing that it has the following
nuances - a. The first sense is “to indicate,” “declare,” “declaration,”
“report.” b. When the state declares something, it becomes an
“order.” c. In law we find the senses “accusation” and “delivery of a
judgment.” d. We then find the senses “to declare an achievement,”
“to show one's mastery,” “to profess a subject.” e. Another sense is
“to offer,” “to promise,” “to vow.” As regards promises, tension between
word and deed is felt, so that promises are often seen as worthless. f.
A special type of promise is the “promise of money,” and in this sense the
idea of a “subscription” or “donation” arises (state liturgies, gifts to
rulers at their accession, priests promising gifts in support of their
candidature). g. In the Hellenistic period we also find a sacral use
for the “proclamation” of a festival. Among all the instances, only one
example has been found for the promise of a deity.
G., Friedrich, G., & Bromiley, G. W. Theological Dictionary of the New
And so the writer proceeds forthwith to remind
the Jewish readers of the example of "father Abraham" who serves as the
prototype illustration of a man who through faith and patience inherited
the promises. All the examples of faith in Hebrews 11 also serve to illustrate
and motivate a long outlook
of faith, for many of these examples are accompanied by patient waiting and endurance
(see notes on Abraham
The example of Abraham also reaffirms that the promise of God is sure and
trustworthy, because that
promise is founded on the absolute faithfulness of the covenant keeping God.
Covenant: Abrahamic vs Old vs New)
><> ><> ><>
- In a lighthearted Time
magazine essay, Sarah Vowell tells that she signed up for a 3-hour, $39
course called "Instant Piano for Hopelessly Busy People." Regretting that
she didn't stick with music lessons as a child, she made it her goal to
learn to play one piece by memory. What she found was that even this
seemingly simple task required hours of practice. There is no such thing as
"instant" piano. But as she continued to practice, a recognizable melody
began to emerge from her fingers.
Her experience is a good reminder that though we often desire immediate
results in our walk of faith, this too is a matter of patient practice. The
writer of Hebrews encouraged Christians to be spiritually diligent
throughout their lives. He urged them not to become sluggish but to "imitate
those who through faith and patience inherit the promises" (Hebrews 6:12).
Our efforts do not make God's promises come true. But like Abraham, who
patiently endured, we focus on the power and integrity of the living God,
whose promises give us hope. "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul"
Since there are no instant results, let's keep practicing the Lord's
instructions as we walk patiently by faith toward the fulfillment of all He
has promised. —David C. McCasland
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
We run with patience
day by day,
By drawing strength from Christ our Lord;
And if we falter by the way,
He will renew us through His Word. —D. De Haan
We conquer by continuing.
><> ><> ><>
The Treasure Chest --
When I was a young girl, my mother often let me rummage through her button
box as I recovered from an illness. It always cheered me to come across old,
familiar buttons and remember the garments they once adorned. I especially
liked it when she picked out an old, overlooked button and used it again.
Similarly, I often leaf through my Bible during distressing times and recall
familiar promises that have strengthened me. But I'm always encouraged to
find help from promises I've never noticed before.
I remember one dark morning during my husband's terminal illness when I was
looking for a word from God to sustain me in our painful circumstances. In
Hebrews 11, I noted that God had rescued His suffering people in some very
dramatic ways. Yet I couldn't always identify with their particular
situations. Then I read about some who "out of weakness were made strong"
(Heb 11:34). God used that phrase to assure me that I too could be made strong in
my weakness. At that very moment I began sensing His strength, and my faith
Are you being tested today? Remember, there are many promises in the Bible,
God's treasure chest. Generations have proven them true, and so can you.
—Joanie Yoder (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Standing on the
promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God. —Carter
God's promises are treasures waiting to be discovered