Amplified: Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: for you are well aware that the testing of your faith produces unswerving constancy. (Daily Study Bible)
KJV: Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
NLT: For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: Realise that they come to test your faith and to produce in you the quality of endurance. (Phillips: Touchstone)
WBC: in the knowledge that the testing of your faith produces patient endurance.
Wuest: knowing experientially that the approving of your faith, that faith having been put to the test for the purpose of being approved, and having met the test, has been approved, produces a patience which bears up and does not lose heart or courage under trials. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: knowing that the proof of your faith doth work endurance,
|KNOWING THAT THE TESTING OF YOUR FAITH PRODUCES ENDURANCE: ginoskontes (PAPMPN) hoti to dokimion humon tes pisteos katergazetai (3SPMI) hupomonen: (Romans 5:3,4; 8:28; 2Co 4:17) (Ro 2:7; 8:25; 15:4; Col 1:11; 2Th 1:4; 3:5; Heb 10:36; 12:1; 2Pe 1:6)
Knowing (see below for study of verb ginosko) - The Greek reads more literally "because you know". Wuest amplifies it "knowing experientially that the approving of your faith."
Paul records a similar truth in Romans 5...
Commenting on "knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" Steven Cole explains that...
Knowing (1097) (ginosko [ginōskō]; English derivatives - prognosis, gnostic, Gnosticism) means to acquire information through some modality, as through sense perception (hearing). However ginosko involves experiential knowledge, not merely the accumulation of known facts. Ginosko is one of the major verbs of the Bible and because of its numerous uses, it is not surprising that Greek lexicographers ascribe a number of nuances of meaning including to get to know, come to understand, to ascertain, to have intimate relations with another, etc. The various meanings are outlined, discussed and illustrated in the notes that follow. Keep in mind that the basic meaning of ginosko is to know by experience.
Knowledge possessed through the intellectual process of learning is one thing. Knowledge gained by experience, by an active relationship between the one who knows and the person or thing known, is far superior to the former. Ginosko describes the latter quality of knowledge and is what every Christ follower should desire as their personal, permanent possession regarding the Person of Christ (e.g., see ginosko in Jn 8:32, Jn 17:3, Php 3:10).
In many of the NT uses ginosko refers not just to knowledge in a secular sense but to spiritual knowledge. As Puritan Stephen Charnock said "A man man be theologically knowing (Ed: "Pharisee-like") and spiritually ignorant. (See discussion of Jn 7:17 below which clearly links spiritual gnosis or knowledge with obedience.) In a related aphorism Charnock quipped that "Knowledge in the head is as money in the purse; knowledge in the heart is as money for our use."
A common definition in many references is "to know by experience or observation." This definition of ginosko is seen in James 1:4 MacArthur commenting that...
Ginosko is when you experientially learn something, either in a classroom or more often in the "classroom of life". Ginosko is that knowledge that comes by obeying the Lord. You may intellectually know some truth but you don’t really "know" it experientially until you surrender and obey the truth. In other words ginosko speaks of knowledge that goes beyond the merely factual and into the realm of the experiential (Christianity is to be "felt"!).
By extension, ginosko was used of the intimate relationship between husband and wife (see Mt 1:25 below) and between God and His people (Jn 17:3). Stated another way ginosko frequently implies an active relation between the one who knows and the person known.
Charles Swindoll adds that ginosko...
Robertson McQuilkin in his subsection "Prerequisites for Interpreting Scripture" has this comment on John 7:17
Vine writes that...
Carpenter differentiates two similar words for know in Greek...
Donald Grey Barnhouse has the following summary of the nuances of ginosko...
Louw Nida summarizes the different nuances of meaning of ginosko in the NT as follows...
BDAG summarizes ginosko as follows...
Nelson Study Bible says ginosko...
Ginosko - 222x in 205v - Mt 1:25; 6:3; 7:23; 9:30; 10:26; 12:7, 15, 33; 13:11; 16:3, 8; 21:45; 22:18; 24:32f, 39, 43, 50; 25:24; 26:10; Mark 4:13; 5:29, 43; 6:38; 7:24; 8:17; 9:30; 12:12; 13:28f; 15:10, 45; Luke 1:18, 34; 2:43; 6:44; 7:39; 8:10, 17, 46; 9:11; 10:11, 22; 12:2, 39, 46ff; 16:4, 15; 18:34; 19:15, 42, 44; 20:19; 21:20, 30f; 24:18, 35; John 1:10, 48; 2:24f; 3:10; 4:1, 53; 5:6, 42; 6:15, 69; 7:17, 26f, 49, 51; 8:27, 28, 32, 43, 52, 55; 10:6, 14f, 27, 38; 11:57; 12:9, 16; 13:7, 12, 28, 35; 14:7, 9, 17, 20, 31; 15:18; 16:3, 19; 17:3, 7f, 23, 25; 19:4; 21:17; Acts 1:7; 2:36; 8:30; 9:24; 17:13, 19f; 19:15, 35; 20:34; 21:24, 34, 37; 22:14, 30; 23:6; Rom 1:21; 2:18; 3:17; 6:6; 7:1, 7, 15; 10:19; 11:34; 1 Cor 1:21; 2:8, 11, 14, 16; 3:20; 4:19; 8:2f; 13:9, 12; 14:7, 9; 2 Cor 2:4, 9; 3:2; 5:16, 21; 8:9; 13:6; Gal 2:9; 3:7; 4:9; Eph 3:19; 5:5; 6:22; Phil 1:12; 2:19, 22; 3:10; 4:5; Col 4:8; 1Th 3:5; 2Ti 1:18; 2:19; 3:1; Heb 3:10; 8:11; 10:34; 13:23; Jas 1:3; 2:20; 5:20; 2 Pet 1:20; 3:3; 1 John 2:3ff, 13f, 18, 29; 3:1, 6, 16, 19f, 24; 4:2, 6ff, 13, 16; 5:2, 20; 2 John 1:1; Rev 2:23f; 3:3, 9
Ginosko in the NAS - ascertaining(1), aware(7), certainty(1), come to know(1), comprehend(1), felt(1), find(3), found(2), kept...a virgin*(1), knew(13), know(104), know how(1), knowing(3), known(25), knows(14), learn(1), learned(1), perceived(1), perceiving(2), put(1), realize(3), recognize(7), recognized(1), recognizing(1), sure(4), take notice(1), unaware*(2), understand(11), understood(6), virgin*(1).
Ginosko is used over 500x in the non-apocryphal Septuagint (Lxx). Gen 2:17; 3:5, 7, 22; 4:1, 9, 17, 25; 8:11; 9:24; 12:11; 15:8, 13; 18:21; 19:8; 20:6f; 21:26; 22:12; 24:14, 16, 21, 44; 27:2; 29:5; 30:26, 29; 33:13; 38:9, 16, 26; 39:8, 23; 42:33f; 44:27; Exod 2:25; 6:7; 7:5, 17; 9:29; 10:2; 14:4, 18; 16:6, 12; 18:11; 22:10; 25:22; 29:42, 46; 30:6, 36; 31:13; 33:13; Lev 4:14, 23, 28; 5:3f, 17; Num 11:23; 12:6; 14:34; 16:5, 28, 30; 17:4; 22:19; 31:17, 35; 32:23; Deut 4:39; 7:9, 15; 8:5; 9:3, 6, 24; 11:2; 18:21; 29:6; 34:10; Josh 3:7, 10; 4:24; 22:22, 31; 23:13f; Jdg 2:7, 10; 3:1f, 4; 4:9; 6:29, 37; 11:39; 13:16, 21; 14:4, 18; 16:9, 20; 17:13; 18:5, 14; 19:22, 25; 20:34; 21:12; Ruth 3:4, 14; 4:4; 1 Sam 1:19; 2:10; 3:7, 20; 4:6; 6:9; 10:24; 12:17; 14:29, 38; 17:46f; 20:3, 7, 9, 33, 39; 21:2; 22:3, 6, 17; 23:9, 22f; 24:11, 20; 25:17; 26:4, 12; 28:1f, 14; 2 Sam 3:25, 36f; 5:12; 14:1, 20, 22; 15:11; 17:19; 18:29; 19:6, 20, 35; 22:44; 24:2, 13; 1 Kgs 1:4, 11, 18; 2:5, 9, 32, 35, 37, 42, 44; 8:38f, 43, 60; 17:24; 18:36f; 20:7, 13, 22, 28; 2 Kgs 2:3, 5; 4:1, 9, 39; 5:7f, 15; 7:12; 17:26; 19:19, 27; 1 Chr 12:32; 14:2; 21:2; 28:9; 29:17; 2 Chr 6:29f, 33; 12:8; 13:5; 25:16; 32:13; 33:13; Ezra 4:15; 5:17; Neh 2:16; 4:11, 15; 6:16; 9:10; 13:10; Esth 4:11, 17; Job 5:24f, 27; 9:11; 11:6; 12:9, 20; 19:3, 6, 13, 29; 20:4; 21:19; 22:13; 23:3, 5; 24:14; 28:7; 34:4, 33; 35:15; 36:5, 26; 37:7; 39:1; Ps 1:6; 4:3; 9:10, 16, 20; 14:3f; 18:43; 20:6; 35:8, 11, 15; 36:10; 37:18; 39:4, 6; 40:9; 41:11; 44:21; 46:10; 48:3; 50:11; 51:3; 53:4; 56:9; 59:13; 67:2; 69:5, 19; 71:15; 73:11, 16, 22; 74:4, 9; 77:19; 78:3, 6; 79:6, 10; 81:5; 82:5; 83:18; 87:4; 88:12; 89:15; 90:11; 91:14; 92:6; 94:11; 95:10; 100:3; 101:3; 103:14; 104:19; 109:27; 119:75, 79, 125, 152; 135:5; 138:6; 139:1f, 4, 14, 23; 140:12; 142:3; 144:3; Pr 1:2; 4:1; 9:10; 10:9; 13:15, 20; 15:14; 22:17; 24:12, 22; 27:1; 29:20; 30:3f; Eccl 1:17; 2:14; 3:12, 14; 4:13; 6:5, 10; 7:25; 8:5, 7, 12, 16f; 9:5, 11f; 10:14f; 11:2, 5f, 9; Song 1:8; 6:12; Isa 1:3; 5:19; 7:15f; 8:4, 9; 9:9; 11:9; 15:4; 19:21; 26:11; 29:15, 24; 30:15; 33:13; 37:20; 40:13, 21, 28; 41:20, 22f, 26; 42:16, 25; 43:10, 19; 44:18ff; 45:3f, 6, 20f; 47:8, 10f; 48:4, 6ff; 49:23; 50:4, 7; 51:12; 52:6; 56:10; 58:2f; 59:12; 60:16; 61:9; 63:16; 66:14; Jer 2:16, 19, 23; 3:13; 5:1, 4; 6:15, 27; 8:7; 9:3, 16, 24; 11:18f; 12:3; 13:12; 14:20; 15:12, 15; 16:21; 17:9; 18:23; 22:16; 26:15; 28:9; 30:24; 31:19, 34; 32:8; 33:3; 36:19; 38:24; 40:14f; 41:4; 42:19; 44:3, 15, 28; 48:30; 50:24; Ezek 2:5; 6:13; 7:27; 10:20; 12:15f; 13:9, 23; 17:24; 20:5, 9, 12, 20; 22:16; 23:49; 26:6; 28:22ff, 26; 29:6, 9, 16, 21; 30:8, 19, 25f; 32:9, 15; 33:29, 33; 34:15, 27, 30; 35:4, 9, 11f, 15; 36:11, 23, 36, 38; 37:6, 13f, 28; 38:16, 23; 39:6ff, 22f, 28; Dan 1:4; 2:3, 9, 22, 30; 3:15; 4:9, 17, 25f, 32; 5:21ff; 6:10, 15; 9:25; 10:20; 11:32, 38; 12:7; Hos 2:8; 5:3; 6:3; 7:9; 8:2; 9:2; 11:3, 12; 13:4; Amos 3:2, 10; 5:12; Jonah 1:10, 12; 4:2, 11; Mic 3:1; 4:9, 12; 6:5; Nah 1:7; 3:17; Hab 2:14; 3:2; Zeph 3:5; Zech 2:9; 4:5; 6:15; 7:14; 11:11;
Here are some representative OT uses of ginosko...
Below are representative uses of ginosko in the NT. The first use of ginosko is
If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know (ginosko) of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. (Jn 7:17)
So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue (remain, abide, remaining in the sphere of and under the influence of the Word of God) in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know (ginosko) the truth, and the truth will make you free (eleutheroo).” (Jn 8:31-32).
I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. (Jn 10:14, 15)
Wayne Barber reminds us that ginosko speaks of a process of getting spiritual knowledge a process which is intimately related to obedience to the Word of God (see Jn 7:17 above). As I obey, (chose to deny my fleshly way of thinking and chose God's thinking regardless of what He says) I began to learn truth and as this truth sinks down into my life, the final product is gnosis. The process of getting the finished product, gnosis, is called ginosko.
Examination of some of the uses of ginosko in the Greek translation of the Hebrew OT gives us a sense of the depth of meaning of ginosko. For example, in Genesis 4:1 Moses records that "Adam knew (Hebrew - yada`) Eve his wife; and she conceived and bore Cain". The Hebrew word yada` (to know) is translated by ginosko in this verse and clearly alludes to the knowing vis a vis sexual intercourse. We can see from this example that ginosko indicates the most intimate knowledge of another person. Paul’s aim is not to know about Christ, but to know Him personally, intimately, experientially. This should be the heartbeat of ever true believer. May the Father grant it be so in the body of Christ in these last days for His glory through His Son Christ Jesus. Amen.
Gerald Cowen summaries ginosko...
Testing (1383) (dokimon from dokimazo from dokimos = proved, tried as metals by fire and thus purified, in turn from dechomai = to accept deliberately and readily, receive) describes both the process of determining the genuineness of something (in this case of our faith) or the result, this latter specifically referring to the genuineness of something (our faith) as the result of testing.
The verb dokimazo describes putting someone or something to the test with a view of determining whether it is worthy of being approved or not, the test being made with the intention of approving if possible. Dokimazo was used of the act of examining candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
Thomas Manton explained that "Trial is not only to approve, but to improve."
The genuine element in the faith of James' readers would be proven by a process similar to that of metal refining and ultimately would be found to be something more precious than even these precious metals. The trials would lead to a purging and purifying of this faith.
Barclay - Dokimon is an interesting word. It is the word for sterling coinage, for money which is genuine and unalloyed. The aim of testing is to purge us of all impurity.
Johnstone explains that...
Peter in the only other NT use of dokimon reminds tried saints that
As Matthew Henry says
J. Vernon McGee adds
Roger M. Raymer writes that
Genuine faith is indestructible. Job suffered more intense "multi colored trials" in one day than probably any other individual in history and yet he was able to say
Wiersbe comments that
Later Job declared
God knew that Job was in the furnace of affliction, but it was a furnace of God’s appointment and was not because of Job’s sin. Furthermore, God would use Job’s affliction to purify him and make him a better man. This is not the only answer to the frequently asked question, “Why do the righteous suffer?” but it is one of the best, and it can bring the sufferer great encouragement.
Warren Wiersbe aptly describes the process of divine testing writing that
Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego were literally tested by an "extremely hot...furnace of blazing fire". The Babylonian furnace proved their faith to be real and burned away the ropes that held them, setting them free. King Nebuchadnezzar in utter astonishment observed
In their "multi colored fiery trial", they also came to experience the companionship of a fourth Person in the fire Who many consider to be “the Son of God” Who provided just the right "color" of grace to meet their need. (Da 3:12-30)
Gold is tested by fire
F. B. Meyer (Our Daily Walk, Feb 21) on The Refiner's Fire...
From Moody's Today in the Word -
Good timber does not grow in ease;
God wants to use our difficulties to make us better--not bitter.
The testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:3).
One of the delights of my carefree days of childhood was flying a kite. What happy, peaceful hours I enjoyed with that soaring paper bird tugging on the string anchored to my finger! But if that kite could have talked, it might have said, "Look how high I'm flying and how gracefully I'm floating through the sky. And I'm doing all this in spite of that aggravating boy down there hanging onto the end of the string. I don't need that. Look, I have a tail and broad wings, but that pesky kid is hanging onto that cord as if he expects me to lift him into the wind. Why, if I didn't have the handicap of this string he is holding, I could fly up and reach the moon. If only I were not tied down in this irritating way."
Sometimes when flying my kite I would be distracted and I'd let go of the string. The kite would go wobbling down and become tangled in the branches of a tree. What might that proud paper bird have said then? If it had been an honest kite, it would have admitted, "The very thing I thought was tying me down was holding me up."
Likewise, much of our Christian growth and spiritual progress can be credited to our trials and testings, which so often make us fret. If God were to remove the restrictions that go with these difficult experiences, our lives would be wobbly and weak like that wandering kite. "The testing of your faith produces patience," James said. These testings are the rewarding restraints of One who desires to see His children soar to spiritual heights. —P. R. Van Gorder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Adversity is only sand on your track to prevent you from skidding.
The testing of your faith produces patience (James 1:3).
While visiting an inlet of the sea that reached deep into land, leaving a sheltered bay, I noticed that the pebbles on that protected beach were rough and jagged—not smooth and polished. But out on the open shore where fierce waves break over the rocks, the pebbles were sleek and round.
The same is true of Christian character. Just as the harsh treatment of the ocean waves makes the rough stones smooth, our trials, difficulties, and testings can produce in us the luster of Christian maturity. When circumstances become difficult, we can rest assured that God has only one design in view—the perfection of our character. That's why the psalmist could testify, "It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes" (Ps. 119:71-Spurgeon's note). Echoing that statement, Scottish pastor Samuel Rutherford declared that he "got a new Bible" through the furnace of adversity. The Scriptures took on fresh meaning for him when his faith had been tested and his character enriched.
The popular idea that bad things happen because we are being punished is contrary to what God says. The Word of God indicates that troubles can be a badge of honor for the Christian. Through them we can see that God is at work in us to produce the patience that James said would help us become mature, lacking nothing (James 1:4). Through the rough seas of trouble, God "rounds" the stone of our character and conforms us to the likeness of His Son. —P. R. Van Gorder (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
God sends trials not to impair us but to improve us.
In promoting the glory of God -John 9:1, 2, 3; 11:3,4; 21:18,19
In exhibiting the power and faithfulness of God -Ps 34:19,20; 2Co 4:8, 9, 10, 11
In teaching us the will of God -Ps 119:71; Isaiah 26:9; Micah 6:9
In turning us to God -Deut 4:30,31; Neh 1:8,9; Ps 78:34; Is 10:20,21; Ho 2:6,7
In keeping us from again departing from God -Job 34:31,32; Is 10:20; Ezek 14:10,11
In leading us to seek God in prayer -Jdg 4:3; Je 31:18; Lam 2:17-19; Ho 5:14,15; Jonah 2:1
In convincing us of sin -Job 36:8,9; Ps 119:67; Lk 15:16-18
In leading us to confession of sin -Nu 21:7; Ps 32:5; 51:3,5
In testing and exhibiting our sincerity -Job 23:10; Psalms 66:10; Pr 17:3
In trying our faith and obedience -Ge 22:1,2; He 11:17; Ex 15:23-25; Deut 8:2,16; 1Pe 1:7; Re 2:10
In humbling us -Deut 8:3,16; 2Chr 7:13,14; Lam 3:19,20; 2Co 12:7
In purifying us -Eccl 7:2,3; Is 1:25,26; 48:10; Je 9:6,7; Zech 13:9; Mal 3:2,3
In exercising our patience Ps 40:1; Ro 5:3; James 1:3; 1Pe 2:20
In rendering us fruitful in good works -John 15:2; Heb 12:10,11
In furthering the gospel -Acts 8:3,4; 11:19-21; Php 1:12; 2Ti 2:9,10; 4:16,17
Joseph’s brethren -Genesis 42:21
Joseph -Genesis 45:5,7,8
Israel -Deuteronomy 8:3,5
Josiah -2 Kings 22:19
Hezekiah -2 Chronicles 32:25,26
Manasseh -2 Chronicles 33:12
Jonah -Jonah 2:7
Prodigal’s son -Luke 15:21
Hiebert observes that James'
Your faith - This phrase again supports the premise that the readers are genuine believers (cp "my brethren").
Faith (4102) (pistis) 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. 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 Doctrine 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)
As pistis relates to God, it is the conviction that God exists and is the Creator and Ruler of all things well as the Provider and Bestower of eternal salvation through Christ. As faith relates to Christ it represents a strong and welcome conviction or belief that Jesus is the Messiah, through Whom we obtain eternal salvation and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Stated another way, eternal salvation comes only through belief in Jesus Christ and no other way.
Maclaren writes that
Wayne Grudem defines faith that saves one's soul...
See In Depth Studies on these Related Topics
Produces (2716) (katergazomai from katá = intensifies meaning of verb + ergazomai = labor, work or engage in an activity involving considerable expenditure of effort. Ergazomai is the verb used in Jas 1:20, 2:9) means to work out fully and thoroughly, to accomplish or achieve an end (implying thoroughness), to finish or carry something to its conclusion. To work so as to bring something to fulfillment or successful completion and implies doing something with thoroughness. It means to do that from which something results. This verb always means to complete the effort and the work begun. The present tense indicates that the continual effect of a test is to bring about perseverance or endurance.
The preposition kata means "down" and gives this compound verb a perfective force, meaning that the work is continued until the task has been "worked down (kata)" to a successful conclusion, in the present case bringing about or producing endurance.
Katergazomai describes not the spirit in which some specific work is done, but the aim and issue—"carry through" and so it represents the full and final bringing of an enterprise to a successful conclusion.
Katergazomai is used 22 times in the NT - Ro 1:27; 2:9; 4:15; 5:3; 7:8, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20; 15:18; 1Co. 5:3; 2 Co. 4:17; 5:5; 7:10, 11; 9:11; 12:12; Ep 6:13; Phil. 2:12; Jas 1:3; 1Pe 4:3 (Jas 1:20 - ergazomai in the more modern manuscripts, katergazomai in the Greek Textus Receptus)
Katergazomai was used by the Romans to describe "working a mine" or "working a field" and in each case there were benefits that followed such diligence. The mine would yield precious metals...and the field would yield fruit and crops.
William Barclay says that katergazomai
TDNT writes that katergazomai is...
Endurance (5281)(hupomone from hupo = under + meno = stay, remain, abide) is literally abiding under. The root idea of hupomone is that of remaining under some discipline, subjecting one’s self to something which demands the acquiescence of the will to something against which one naturally would rebel. It portrays a picture of steadfastly and unflinchingly bearing up under a heavy load and describes that quality of character which does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. It presents the picture of being under a heavy load and resolutely staying there instead of trying to escape
Hupomone has in it a forward look, the ability to focus on what is beyond the current pressures. And thus as Hiebert says "triumphant faith finds power to persevere by
And so hupomone does not describe a grim resignation or a passive "grin and bear" attitude but a triumphant facing of difficult circumstances knowing that even out of evil God guarantees good. It is courageous gallantry which accepts suffering and hardship and turns them into grace and glory.
Barclay - Hupomone is not simply the ability to bear things; it is the ability to turn them to greatness and to glory. The thing which amazed the heathen in the centuries of persecution was that the martyrs did not die grimly, they died singing. One smiled in the flames; they asked him what he found to smile at there. "I saw the glory of God," he said, "and was glad." Hupomone is the quality which makes a man able, not simply to suffer things, but to vanquish them. The effect of testing rightly borne is strength to bear still more and to conquer in still harder battles. (James 1 - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
James uses hupomone in Jas 1:4 and also in his description of Job writing...
Perseverance is something we should pray for as Paul did for the saints at Thessalonica...
Perseverance is not something that develops automatically; we must work at it (in the sense of accepting and submitting to the trials God allows to strengthen our faith) and James provides the template we need to follow in this practical section of Scripture.
Hupomone is the ability to endure when circumstances are difficult - not a passive sitting down and bearing things but a triumphant facing of them so that even out of evil there can come good, a bearing up in a way that honors and glorifies our heavenly Father.
The difficulties in our lives,
Perseverance is that spiritual staying power that will die before it gives in. It is the virtue which can endure, not simply with resignation, but with a vibrant hope.
Perseverance involves doing what is right and never giving in to the temptation or trial. It is a conquering patience or conquering endurance. Hupomone is the ability to deal triumphantly with anything that life can do to us. It accepts the blows of life but in accepting them transforms them into stepping stones to new achievement.
Self-control has to do with handling the pleasures of life, while perseverance relates to the pressures and problems of life.
Hupomone describes that spirit which remains under (hupo = under + meno = remain) trials in a God-honoring way so as to learn the lesson they are sent to teach, rather than attempt to get out from under them in an effort to be relieved of their pressure.
Hiebert adds that perseverance
fosters the ability to withstand the two Satanic agencies of opposition from the world without and enticement from the flesh within. This quality was especially important in view of those who doubted Christ's return because of its seeming delay. (2Pe 3:3, 4- see notes).
Morris says hupomone
is the attitude of the soldier who in the thick of battle is not dismayed but fights on stoutly whatever the difficulties.
Thayer says that hupomone is
the characteristic of a man who is unswerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings.
Trench says that hupomone
does not mark merely endurance, or even patience, but the perseverance, the brave patience with which the Christian contends against the various hindrances, persecutions, and temptations that befall him in his conflict with the inward and outward world.” He adds that hupomone is "that temper of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good, and therefore without disputing or resisting. (Trench, R. C. Synonyms of the New Testament)
Barclay writes that hupomone does not mean...
Amy Carmichael in Candles in the Dark writes that
Amplified: But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. (Amplified Bible - Lockman)
Barclay: And let constancy go on to work out its perfect work that you may be perfect and complete, deficient in nothing. (Daily Study Bible)
KJV: But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
NLT: So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. (NLT - Tyndale House)
Phillips: But let the process go on until that endurance is fully developed, and you will find you have become men of mature character with the right sort of independence. (Phillips: Touchstone)
WBC: Let endurance yield its complete work so that you may be complete and blameless with no deficiency at all.
Wuest: But be allowing the aforementioned patience to be having its complete work in order that you may be spiritually mature and complete in every detail, lacking in nothing. (Eerdmans)
Young's Literal: and let the endurance have a perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire--in nothing lacking;
|AND LET ENDURANCE HAVE ITS PERFECT RESULT: e de hupomone ergon teleion echeto, (3SPAM): (James 5:7, 8, 9, 10, 11; Job 17:9; Ps 37:7; 40:1; Hab 2:3; Mt 10:22; Lk 8:15; 21:19; Gal 6:9 )
Trial > faith >
James now describes the outcome to be realized.
And (de) can also be translated with the contrast word "but". Hiebert explains...
Let...have (echo) is present imperative a command calling for us to continually submit to endurance (Ultimately our submission is to God) as one submits to an athletic trainer whose goal is to strengthen their student. This letting is not to be out of legalism but out of love, love for God and confident understanding of His love for us, knowing that He is not trying to destroy us but to mold us. And so as a bond slave whose will is willingly submitted to the master, we submit to the command to allow this process to transpire, realizing that our obedience is enabled by God's indwelling Spirit and His all sufficient grace (cp 1Co 15:10, 2Co 12:8, 9,10, Php 2:12-note; Php 2:13-note).
Hiebert writes that let...have...
Steven Cole writes that...
David emphasizes the need for saints to submit to whatever God is allowing in their lives, writing...
The writer of Hebrews adds his exhortation that...
Although the context is good works (good deeds), the principle applies to James' exhortation, when Paul encourages believers to hang in there
Endurance (5281)(hupomone from hupo = under + meno = stay, remain, abide) means literally abiding under and thus remaining under some discipline or some person or some thing which calls for the acquiescence of one's will to when our natural tendency would be to rebel. Hupomone portrays the picture of steadfastly and unflinchingly bearing up under a heavy load. It describes the quality of one's character which does not cause them to give in to circumstances or succumb under trial. Inherent in the concept of hupomone is a forward look or the ability to focus on what is beyond the current pressure, trial or affliction. Clearly this is a supernatural work in the believer's heart by the Spirit of God, as we interact with the trials God allows or sends into our life.
How important is endurance? It is so important in the life of a saint that James discusses it again in chapter 5...
Perfect result (5046) (teleios from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal) means complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, in good working order. Teleios signifies consummate soundness and includes the idea of being whole. Gnostics used teleios of the one fully initiated into their mysteries.
Hiebert - James does not identify what that "perfect work" is. The reference may be to the development of perfect endurance: "Let endurance show itself perfectly in practice." More probably the reference is to the development of perfect character as perseverance or endurance is allowed to work out its intended effect in our lives. Maturity of character is not the result of the number of trials encountered but the way in which those trials are met, allowing them to achieve their divinely intended impact on us. "Mature Christians are the end-product of testing."
Barclay - The Greek word is teleios which nearly always describes perfection towards some given end. Now, if a man obeys the law of Christ, he will fulfil the purpose for which God sent him into the world; he will be the person he ought to be and will make the contribution to the world he ought to make. He will be perfect in the sense that he will, by obeying the law of God, realize his God-given destiny. A sacrificial animal is teleios if it is fit to offer to God. A scholar is teleios if he is mature. A person is teleios if he is full grown. This constancy born of testing well met makes a man teleios in the sense of being fit for the task he was sent into the world to do. Here is a great thought. By the way in which we meet every experience in life we are either fitting or unfitting ourselves for the task which God meant us to do. (James 1 - William Barclay's Daily Study Bible)
Teleios has at least three shades of meaning:
In all the above variations of meaning the underlying idea is that a purpose has been achieved or that a thing or person has reached its intended goal or end. The basic meaning of teleios in the New Testament is always that the thing or person so described fully carries out the purpose for which designed. And so when Greek speaks of "perfect" (teleios) it is in fact such if it perfectly carries out the purpose for which it was designed.
Richards explains teleios (and related words in this group such as teleioo, teleiotes) writing that the emphasis is on...
Wayne Detzler writes that the root meaning of teleios is...
SO THAT YOU MAY BE PERFECT AND COMPLETE, LACKING IN NOTHING: hina ete (2PPAS) teleioi kai holokleroi, en medeni leipomenoi. (PPPMPN): (Jas 3:2; Pr 4:8; Mt 5:48; Jn 17:23; 1Co 2:6; Php 3:12, 13, 14, 15; Col 4:12; 2Ti 3:17; Heb 13:21; 1Pe 5:10; 1Jn 4:17,18 ) (Jas 1:5; Mt 19:20; Mk 10:21; Lk 18:22; 2Pe 1:9)
So that (hina - always pause to query this term of conclusion) introduces James' conclusion, the result (perfected at the end of the task and complete in all parts) of submitting to your trials and your "strength" coach named "endurance", all made possible by grace and the Spirit.
Hiebert - So that you may be indicates that the intended outcome is in the realm of character development. The intended outcome is stated both positively and negatively... (Ibid)
May be (ete from eimi) is in the present tense signifying James' desire that believers would continually be perfect and complete. It pictures a progressive growth toward this desired goal.
Perfect (5046) (teleios from telos = an end, a purpose, an aim, a goal) means complete, mature, fully developed, full grown, brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness, in good working order.
John MacArthur commenting on perfect (teleios) in Mt 5:48 writes that...
Teleios used of a believer in the present context describes one who has attained moral/ethical maturity, wanting in nothing, having reached the goal, purpose or end for which he or she was created and which man possessed before the fall.
Hiebert adds that teleios here in James...
Vincent commenting on perfect and complete writes that...
Richards in his discussion of perfect (maturity) writes that...
In chapter 3 James gives one of the "indicators" that a saint is growing in Christlike maturity writing that...
Complete (3648) (holokleros from holos = all, complete, the whole [holos gives us holograph, a 360-degree, three-dimensional depiction of an object] + kleros = a part, share, lot, allotment or all that has fallen by lot) literally is the "whole lot" and thus means having the entire allotment, complete in all its parts and in no part wanting or unsound. James is saying this man is the one who fulfills his lot, the one who fully attains to his high calling. The idea is that this man retains all that was initially allotted to him and is wanting nothing for its wholeness. He is without lack or deficiency, complete and whole in all his parts which conveys the idea of "with integrity" (English word integrity is from Latin "integer" meaning entire, intact, whole - cp English word "integer" meaning a whole number, a complete entity, a thing complete in itself!)
Hiebert writes that holokleros
Knowling explains James use of these two adjectives (teleios and holokleros) this way...
Observe that in the next phrase James tells us in essence the "definition" of holokleros -- "lacking in nothing." The idea is complete in all respects. Consummate.
Holokleros was used of unhewn stones, as having lost nothing in the process of shaping and polishing.' Josephus (Ant. iii. 12, 2) uses holokleros of an unblemished victim for sacrifice.
Barclay writes that holokleros means...
Moulton and Milligan write that holokleros...
Vine comments on the distinction between perfect and complete noting that complete...
Lacking (3007)(leipo) means falling short, being destitute or being in need. It pictures one not possessing something which is necessary. James does not want his readers to be deficient in anything that reflects Christian maturity.
Barclay on the meaning of leipo - it is used of the defeat of an army, of the giving up of a struggle, of the failure to reach a standard that should have been reached. If a man meets his testing in the right way, if day by day he develops this unswerving constancy, day by day he will live more victoriously and reach nearer to the standard of Jesus Christ himself. (Online Commentary - Daily Bible Study)
Lacking in nothing (literally "in nothing being left behind") is the antithesis of holokleros. As Hiebert says this negative phrase...
Vincent - Note James’ characteristic corroboration of a positive statement by a negative clause: entire, lacking in nothing; God that giveth and upbraideth not; in faith, nothing doubting.
C H Spurgeon writes
Steven Cole concludes his message on this section of James with the following story...
Faith Tested - Alexander Maclaren, in a sermon entitled “Faith Tested and Crowned,” (Ge 22:1) distinguished between being tempted and being tested or tried. He said that “the former word conveys the idea of appealing to the worst part of man, with the wish that he may yield and do the wrong. The latter means an appeal to the better part of man, with the desire that he should stand. Temptation says, ‘Do this pleasant thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is wrong.’ Trial or proving says, ‘Do this right and noble thing; do not be hindered by the fact that it is painful.’ The one is a sweet, beguiling melody, breathing soft indulgence and relaxation over the soul; the other is a pealing trumpet-call to high achievements.”
Every hardship of life holds the possibility of being a temptation and a trial. By resisting all suggestions we know are wrong and accepting all circumstances as opportunities for growth, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit in His sanctifying work in us. We move toward that desired goal of being “perfect and entire, lacking nothing” (James 1:4). - D. J. De Haan (Our Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved)
Octavius Winslow - Are you a child of affliction, dear reader? Ah! How many whose eye falls on this question shall say, "I am the man that has seen affliction!" Dearly beloved, so too was your Lord and Master and so too have been the most holy and eminent of His disciples. Then "think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: but rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when His glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy." This is the path along which all the Lord's covenant people are led; and in this path, thorny though it be, they pluck some of their choicest flowers, and find some of their sweetest fruits.
I am not addressing myself to those who are strangers to sanctified sorrow-whose voyage thus far has been over a smooth and summer sea-whose heart's affections have never been sundered, whose budding hopes have never been blighted-whose spring blossoms have never fallen, even while the fruit was beginning to appear-or whose sturdy oaks around which they fondly and closely clung, have never been stricken at their side: to such, I speak a mystery when I speak of the peculiar and costly blessings of sanctified affliction. Not so the experienced child of God, the "man that has seen affliction by the rod of His wrath." He is a witness to the truth of what I say. From this mine, he will tell you, he has dug his richest ore-in this field he has found his sweetest fruit. The knowledge of God to which he has here attained-His tender, loving, and wise dealings with His people-of His glorious character and perfections, His unchangeable love and faithfulness-his knowledge of Christ-His all-sufficiency and fullness, His sympathy and love-the knowledge of himself-his poverty, vileness, unworthiness-oh where, and in what other school, could these high attainments have been made, but in the low valley of humiliation, and beneath the discipline of the covenant of grace? thus does the Spirit sanctify the soul through the medium of God's afflictive dispensations; thus they deepen the work of grace in the heart-awaken the soul from its spiritual drowsiness-empty, humble, and lay it low-thus they lead to prayer, to self-examination, and afresh to the atoning blood; and in this way, and by these means, the believer advances in holiness, "through sanctification of the Spirit."
Blessed school of heavenly training! By this afflictive process, of what profounder teaching, what deeper purification, have we become the favored subjects! It is good for us to have been afflicted. Now have we, like our Lord, learned obedience by the things which we have suffered; and like Him, too, are being made perfect through suffering. The heart has been emptied of its self-confidence-the shrine has been despoiled of its idol-the affections that had been seduced from God, have returned to their rest-the ties that bound us to the vanities of a world, perishing in its very using, have become loosened-the engagements that absorbed our sympathies, and secularized our minds, have lost their fascination and their power-the beguiling and treacherous enjoyments that wove their spell around us, have grown tasteless and insipid-and thus by all these blessed and hallowed results of our trial, the image of the earthy has become more entirely effaced, and the image of the heavenly more deeply engraved, and more distinctly legible
J C Philpot writes...
But let patience have her perfect work." James 1:4
Patience then has its work; and what is that?
1. To ENDURE all trials, live through all temptations, bear all crosses, carry all loads, fight all battles, toil through all difficulties, and overcome all enemies.
2. To SUBMIT to the will of God, to own that he is Lord and King, to have no will or way of its own, no scheme or plan to please the flesh, avoid the cross, or escape the rod; but to submit simply to God's righteous dealings, both in providence and grace, believing that he does all things well, that he is a Sovereign, "and works all things according to the counsel of his own will."
Now until the soul is brought to this point, the work of patience is not perfect; it may be going on, but it is not consummated. You may be in the furnace of temptation now, passing through the fiery trial. Are you rebellious or submissive? If still rebellious, you must abide in the furnace until you are brought to submission; and not only so, but it must be thorough submission, or else patience has not its perfect work. The dross and slag of rebellion must be scummed off, and the pure metal flow down. It is all of God's grace to feel this for a single moment.
But are there not, and have there not been, times and seasons, in your soul, when you could be still and know that he is God? when you could submit to his will, believing that he is too wise to err, too good to be unkind? When this submission is felt, patience has its perfect work. Look at Jesus, our great example--see him in the gloomy garden, with the cross in prospect before him on the coming morn. How he could say, "Not my will, but your be done!" There was the perfect work of patience in the perfect soul of the Redeemer. Now you and I must have a work in our soul corresponding to this, or else we are not conformed to the suffering image of our crucified Lord.
Patience in us must have its perfect work; and God will take care that it shall be so. As in a beautiful piece of machinery, if the engineer sees a cog loose or a wheel out of gear, he must adjust the defective part, that it may work easily and properly, and in harmony with the whole machine; so if the God of all our salvation sees a particular grace not in operation or not properly performing its appointed work, he by his Spirit so influences the heart that it is again brought to work as he designed it should do.
Measure your faith and patience by this standard; but do not take in conjunction, or confound with them the workings of your carnal mind. Here we often mistake--we may be submissive as regards our spirit, meek and patient, quiet and resigned, in the inward man, yet feel many uprisings and rebellings of the flesh; and thus patience may not seem to have her perfect work. But to look for perfect submission in the flesh is to look for perfection in the flesh, which was never promised and is never given. Look to what the Spirit is working in you--not to the carnal mind, which is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be, and therefore knows neither subjection nor submission. Look at that inward principality of which the Prince of peace is Lord and Ruler, and see whether in the still depths of your soul, and where he lives and reigns, there is submission to the will of God. (J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers)
December 22 - The word "perfect" in the Scripture does not mean, as applied to a saint of God, anything approaching to the usual idea of perfection, as implying spotless, sinless holiness, but one who is 'matured' and ripened in the life of God, no longer a child but a grown man. As a tree grown to its full stature is said to have attained perfection; so when the Lord the Spirit has brought forth the work of patience in your soul, as far as regards that work you are perfect, for it is God's work in you; and so far you are "entire," that is, possessing all which that grace gives, and "lacking nothing" which that grace can communicate.
To submit wholly to the will of God, and be lost and swallowed up in conformity to it, is the height of Christian perfection here below; and he that has that, lacks nothing, for he has all things in Christ. What, then, is the greatest height of grace to which the soul can arrive? Where did grace shine forth so conspicuously as in the Lord Jesus Christ? and where did grace manifest itself more than in the gloomy garden and on the suffering cross? Was not the human nature of Jesus more manifestly filled with the Spirit, and did not every grace shine forth in him more conspicuously in Gethsemane and on Calvary than when enraptured upon the Mount of Transfiguration?
So there is more manifested grace in the heart of a saint of God who, under trial and temptation, can say, "Your will be done," and submit himself to the chastening rod of his heavenly Father, than when he is basking in the full beams of the Sun of righteousness. How often we are mistaken in this matter; longing for enjoyment, instead of seeing that true grace makes us submit to the will of God, whether in the valley or upon the mount! (J. C. Philpot. Daily Words for Zion's Wayfarers)