Greek Quick Reference Guide


What's On this Page?

(1) Tense of verb

(2) General guidelines for translating verbs into English

(3) Voice of verb

(4) Mood of verb

(5) How to Determine Verb Tense, Voice, Mood

(6) More Resources on Greek

(7) Diagram Illustrating Use of Greek Prepositions

(8) All the Commands in the New Testament - How do you obey them? This is a vital truth every saint must comprehend in order to ensure a worthy walk, a walk of holiness! (Eph 4:1+, Col 1:10+, 1 Th 2:12+)

Related Resources:










1Peter 1:5-note who are protected (word study) (PPPMPA) (5746) by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time

PPPMPA = Present Tense, Passive Voice, Participle, Masculine, Plural, Accusative

From Peter's use of Present tense one can see that in context (see also discussion of context) he is referring to born again ones, describing them as those who are "continually being protected by the power (dunamis) of God". God's protection of His children isn't fickle, present one day and absent the next. You can see how even the most basic understanding of verb tense can add so much to the meaning.

Knowledge of the tense of a verb can sometimes be critical for accurate interpretation. For example read the following verse...

1Jn 3:9: "No one who is born of God practices (present tense) sin (noun), because His seed abides in him and he cannot sin (verb), because he is born of God."

Look at the verb sin. At first glance the verse seems to imply that one who is "born of God" can never commit a sin and yet all genuine believers know that this is not a reality (cf 1Jn 1:8, 2Chr 6:36, Ec 7:20, Jas 3:2). When you understand that the verb sin is in the present tense, it becomes clear that John is saying that one who is born of God cannot habitually commit sins as their general pattern of life. The verb "practices" is also present tense and conveys the same thought. All believers commit sins but not habitually or as their lifestyle. Application: if one's lifestyle is that of continual sinning in conjunction with no desire for holiness (cf He 12:14), these individuals need to examine whether they are genuinely new creatures in Christ (2Cor 5:17-note) born from above (Jn 3:3, 5, 2Co 13:5-note). And so one can see that in 1Jn 3:9 (as in most of chapter 3 of first John) the accurate interpretation of the passage is aided by a proper understanding of the verb tense.

Depending on the context, the following adverbs may be useful to "amplify" the meaning of a verb in the present tense:

"Continuously, constantly, habitually".

Present Tense with the indicative mood represents contemporaneous action, as opposed to action in the past or future. In moods other than in the indicative mood, it refers only to continuous or repeated action.







States that an action occurs without regard to its duration. It is analogous to a snapshot which captures an action at specific point in time.

In indicative mood, aorist can indicate punctiliar action (happens at a specific point in time) in past


1Peter 1:3-note Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again (AAPMSN) (5660) to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

AAPMSN = Aorist Tense, Active Voice, Participle, Masculine, Sing., Nominative

The Aorist tense conveys the truth that the believer's new birth (indicative mood is mood of reality) has occurred at a point in the past without specifying when this event occurred. The passive voice indicates this new birth was produced by a Source outside of the recipient and in context that Source is "the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ".

Depending on the context the following adverbs may be useful to "amplify" the meaning of the action portrayed by the aorist tense:

"Effectively, successfully, completely, even once, actually, really".

Aorist tense is somewhat difficult to grasp, so don't be frustrated if you don't receive any glowing practical insights initially. If you continue to perform Word Studies (including verb tense, voice and mood) as an integral part of your Bible study, you will begin to appreciate the meaning of the aorist tense and you will begin to receive insights from this understanding.

One writer adds "strictly speaking, the aorist denotes past time only in the indicative; in the other moods the aorist is not confined exclusively to action in the past. Unlike the imperfect, the aorist is used to express an action that is not continuous or habitual." (Learning the Basics of New Testament Greek. AMG Publishers)

PROLEPTIC AORIST - In certain contexts, this variant of the aorist tense describes a future event that is so certain to occur that it is spoken of as if it has already taken place (past tense). It is as good as done. even though it is still in the future! E.g., Ro 8:30+ speaking of believers says "He also glorified" (or "He has glorified" = past tense) Our glorification is clearly a future event but it is so certain of fulfillment (because God is sovereign!) that Paul speaks of it as if it had already been accomplished! In other words, this is not a "hope so" but a "hope sure!" The best is yet to come! Hold fast beloved! Persevere! He is coming quickly (Rev 22:7+). This tense is also sometimes called the "prophetic aorist" especially in apocalyptic literature (e.g., "fallen, fallen is Babylon the great" even though she does not actually fall until Rev 16:19+.)


ACTION COMPLETED at a SPECIFIC POINT of TIME in PAST (●) with results CONTINUING into the PRESENT (▬►). In certain contexts the results are PERMANENT.

Schematically illustrated by a "dot" (●) denoting a definite action in the past followed by a line (▬►) indicating effect of that action continuing into present



1Peter 1:4-note to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved (word study) (RPPFSA) (5772) in heaven for you

RPPFSA = Perfect Tense, Passive Voice, Participle, Fem, Sing, Accusative

In this verse Peter uses the Perfect Tense to convey the truth of the "living hope" (not "hope so" but a certain expectation of future good. Click more on "hope") that believers have an inheritance that has been reserved for us at a point of time in the past (when we were born again) and remains in a state of being "reserved". What a great picture. When taking a long road trip we have all had the misfortune of arriving at our motel late at night, only to discover that our reservation has been given away! Peter says that this "mistake" will not happen to believers when we reach our final destination in heaven, for our future home (and inheritance) have been reserved for us in the past and that reservation is valid for all eternity because the "reservation price" has been "paid in full" when Jesus' cried out "It is finished (notes)" (Jn 19:30).

"Finished" (teleo - word study) in Jn 19:30 is also in the perfect tense and refers to Messiah's work of having obtained "once for all eternal redemption" (He 9:12-note), making possible "so great a salvation" (He 2:3-note) (eternal life) through the payment of His precious blood (1Pe 1:18, 19-note) on Calvary, so that all the sinful sons of Adam (Ro 5:12-note) who justly deserved their wages for sin (eternal death) might receive "the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Ro 6:23-note) by grace through faith (Ep 2:8-note, cp 1Pe 1:3-note, 1Pe 1:21-note, Jn 5:24, 8:24, Ac 16:31).

The entire sense of Jesus' poignant cry is “It was finished and as a result it is forever done!” “It stands finished!”. The priests in the tabernacle always stood when ministering the sacrifices. But Jesus Christ our great High Priest is seated because His work is forever finished. He need never arise and offer another sacrifice because full payment for our sins has been paid in the past with His sacrificial blood and the effect of that payment will endure throughout eternity! This is indeed good news, beloved of the Lord!

In short, the perfect tense is very expressive for it speaks of an action that took place in the past, which was completed in past time, and existence of its finished results. For instance one might say “I have closed the door" which speaks of a past completed action. But the implication is that as a result the door is still closed. Thus, the entire meaning is, “I have closed the door and it is closed at present.” You can see how a simple understanding of the perfect tense can often amplify the meaning which may not be readily apparent in the English translation, because the perfect tense has no exact equivalent in English.

In Matthew 4:4, our Lord answers Satan, “It is written” and "written" is in the perfect tense. Here Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy which had been written by Moses 1500 years before, but is still on record. David said, “Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven.” A good paraphrase would be “It stands written forever.” It is the eternal word of God and you can stake your life on it yesterday, today and tomorrow! (cf He 13:8, Mt 24:35, Ps 89:34, Is 40:8, 55:11, 1Pe 1:25)

In Ephesians 2:8-note we read, “For by grace you have been saved through faith” where "have been saved" (sozo-word study) is in the perfect tense. The picture therefore for every believer is that each we were given the gift of salvation at a specific time in the past when we believed, and as a result of that past completed work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and our past acceptance of the same, we at present are eternally "safe" (saved) and continue in that state forever in Christ. Amen. A believer's present possession of salvation therefore is based upon one thing only -- what Jesus did on the Cross for us and our acceptance of His finished work which means that the works of an individual, past or present, good or bad, do not enter into our acceptance or retention of salvation (Titus 3:5-note; 2Ti 1:9-note). Salvation is the work of Christ alone and our reception of that salvation is by faith alone in Christ alone. The believer is the recipient which means that the believer is saved and saved forever, for the present results of the perfect tense are always present with the reader.




Acts 16:7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying (3PIAI) (5707) to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them

3PIAI = 3rd Person, Plural, Imperfect Tense, Active Voice, Indicative Mood

The Imperfect tense denotes continuous, ongoing or repeated action in past. Thus the imperfect tense often "paints" a vivid picture of an action ("motion picture") as one which happens over and over. E.g., in Acts 16:7 Luke uses the imperfect tense to portray Paul attempting to enter Bithynia, being hindered in some way by the Holy Spirit and yet trying again and again to enter! Interesting! This dramatic picture gives us an intriguing insight into the heart of Paul that cannot be gleaned without a basic understanding of the imperfect tense. Doesn't the added insight help make this verse literally "come alive"? This is often the effect of the imperfect tense.

Michael Heiser on the imperfect tense = "The verb tense where the writer portrays an action in process or a state of being that is occurring in the past with no assessment of the action’s completion."

Imagine repeated or extended activity as a motion-picture — re-live the scene!

Look at some other examples of the picture painted by the imperfect tense...

Mark 4:37 And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over (imperfect tense) the boat so much that the boat was already filling up.

Comment: Can't you picture yourself in the boat with the waves pounding again and again (imperfect tense conveys this picture) against the side and even beginning to fill the boat with water.

Luke 9:16 Then He took (aorist) the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up (aorist) to heaven, He blessed (aorist) them, and broke (aorist) them, and kept giving (imperfect) them to the disciples to set before (aorist) the people.

Comment: The blessing and breaking of the loaves and fish happened in a moment of time, while the "giving" of the bread and fish occurred over and over, which paints a vivid picture of the miraculous nature of the event. Try to place yourselves in the disciples' "sandals" for a moment!

These examples should help you see the wonderful added insights that are possible with just a simple understanding of the verb tenses. If you are intrigued, take some time and practice applying your new understanding to a few other NT verses that use the imperfect tense and see if you do not glean some added insights which help make the texts "come alive" as you envision the action suggested by the imperfect tense (this exercise will be most beneficial if you read verses in context)...

Mt 2:4 "he began to inquire" (imperfect)

Mt 26:59 "kept trying to obtain (imperfect) false testimony"

Mt 27:23 "they kept shouting (imperfect) all the more"

Mk 7:26 Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking (imperfect) Him to cast the demon out of her daughter." (what a vivid scene!).

If you have meditated on (Click Primer on Meditation) the pictures portrayed by the over and over (imperfect tense) actions in each of the preceding verses, you are beginning to see the incredible value of a simple understanding of this tense. You were probably familiar with each of the scenes depicted, but heretofore you had viewed them only as "black and white stills", whereas now illumined by your understanding of the imperfect tense, you can see them as vividly "colorized motion pictures".

Gary Hill on imperfect - The NT (Greek) imperfect dramatically re-enacts how action repeated or was prolonged. Readers vividly imagine the action in keeping with the context.  The NT (Greek) imperfect re-enacts the original scene – a real-time video stimulating sanctified-imagination to re-live the original drama.  It portrays activity in its vivid progression or repetition. The context shows if the action repeated or was prolonged (and both senses can apply simultaneously).  This process-action may have unfolded over a short or long period of time.

Illustrating "in plain English"

  • "Paul sought God's will" – habitually, over-and-over again (not just once).
  • "Phoebe conquered her fears" – repeatedly, ongoingly, again-and-again (not just a single occasion).

Scripture examples

  • (Mk 6:13) "And they were casting  out many demons and were anointing with oil…" – A. T. Robertson, "The imperfects express continued repetition" (WP, 1, 309).
  • (Lk 23:23) "But they persistently insisted, with loud voices asking that He be crucified.  And their voices were prevailing" – prolonged, repeated actions re-played as a video before the mind's eye.
  • (Ro 15:22) "For this reason I have been hindered from coming to you" – "denoting continuousness, and implying a succession of hindrances" (M. Vincent, WS, 751).

In summary - The Greek imperfect moves readers to envision (re-live) the graphic narrative played out step-by-step in living color.  It carries them back to the original scene like a time-machine to catch the repetition or prolongment of the activity as though they were there. (The Discovery Bible)


Note: These are only general guidelines



Continually, habitually follow this command! The Present Imperative is often a call to a long-term commitment and calls for the attitude or action to be one's continual way of life (lifestyle). (See all NT occurrences of the present imperative - makes for an interesting study)

1Pe 2:17-note Honor (5657) all people, love (2PPAM) (5720) the brotherhood, fear (2PPPM) (5737) God, honor (2PPAM) (5720) the king

2PPAM: 2nd Person, Plural, Present Tense, Active Voice, Imperative Mood

These actions are not "suggestions" but commands to make each attitude/action our habitual practice. Remember that whatever God commands of us, He always provides the grace and empowerment in Christ Jesus and His Spirit so that we might be enabled to carry out the command.



‘’STOP an action which is already going on’’. CEASE an act in progress.

Keep on refusing to do this and/or, stop doing this if it has already started!

1Pe 4:12-note Beloved, do not be surprised (2PPPM) (5744) at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you;

2PPPM: 2nd person, Plural, Present Tense, Passive voice, Imperative Mood

The implication is that they were being surprised by the fiery ordeals (but aren't we all frequently caught off guard by God's "pop tests"?) so Peter says stop doing this!'.



Calls for a SPECIFIC, DEFINITE, DECISIVE choice. "DO THIS NOW, AT ONCE, ONCE FOR ALL and in one quick action (in contrast to present imperative which commands a habitual action). Often expresses a note of URGENCY. (See all the NT occurrences of the aorist imperative)

Check it off, get it done! Focus on the first opportunity to complete it!

1Pe 1:17-note If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct (2PAPM) (5649) yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;

2PAPM: 2nd person, Plural, Aorist Tense, Imperative Mood




As explained below the Voice highlights the relationship of the subject to the verbal action.

Verbs in active voice picture the subject as the one who performs or produces the action or exercises a certain activity. Active voice represents the action as being accomplished by the subject of the verb. The Active voice is the most common voice in the NT, occurring 20,697 times compared to 3500 for middle voice and 3933 for passive voice.

1Pe 1:13-note Therefore, gird (the loins of) your minds for action, keep sober (PAPMPN) (5723) in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

PAPMPN = Present Tense, Active Voice, Participle, Masc, Plural, Nominative


The passive voice conveys the idea that the SUBJECT is being ACTED UPON by an OUTSIDE force or power. SUBJECT is the RECIPIENT or the RECEIVER of the verbal action or effect. In English passive voice is usually indicated by the phrase "to be".

1 Pe 1:15+ but like the Holy One Who called you, be (2PAPM) (5676) holy yourselves also in all your behavior

2PAPM = 2nd person, Plural, Aorist Tense, Passive Voice, Imperative Mood

Peter's point then is that it is not believers who make themselves holy (eg, by keeping a list of do's and don't's) but it is God Who makes us progressively more and more holy as we surrender our will to His sweet will. (See related topic: LORD Who Sanctifies)

Passive voice signifies that the subject is being acted upon; i.e., the subject is the receiver of the verbal action. A verb in the passive voice with God as the stated or implied Agent is an example of the so-called "divine passive (see note)."


This voice means that the SUBJECT initiates the action and participates in the results of the action. In other words the subject is both doing and receiving the action. The middle voice indicates the subject performs an action upon himself or herself (reflexive action) or for their own benefit. E.g., “The boy groomed himself.”

The middle voice is reflexive which describes an action directed back on the subject (“he perjured himself”). It is often translated with words like "-self" (himself, herself, themselves, etc).

Middle voice speaks of the personal involvement of the subject in the act or action.

1Pe 1:6-note In this you (yourselves) greatly rejoice (2PPMI) (5736) even though now for a little while, if necessary , you have been distressed by various trials


2PPMI = 2nd person, Plural, Present Tense, Middle Voice, Indicative Mood

1Pe 1:13-note Therefore, (you plural) gird (yourselves) (5671) (AMPMPN) (the loins of) your minds for action...

AMPMPN = Aorist Tense, Middle Voice, Participle, Masc., Plural, Nominative




MOOD of CERTAINTY = simply states a thing as being a FACT. There is no doubt that the action occurred. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.

1Pe 1:8 -note and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice (5736) (2PPMI) with joy inexpressible and full of glory

2PPMI = 2nd person, Plural, Present Tense, Middle Voice, Indicative Mood


COMMAND = Calls for the recipient to perform a certain action by the order and authority of one commanding. Imperative mood can also indicate a request or entreaty (Lk 11:3)
1Pe 1:13-note Therefore, gird (the loins of) your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope (2PAAM) (5657) completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

2PAAM = 2nd Person, Aorist Tense, Active Voice, Imperative Mood


MOOD of PROBABILITY (possibility, potentiality) = expresses an action which may or should happen but which is not necessarily true at present. In other words subjunctive expresses some doubt that an action occurred (or will occur). It suggests that the action is dependent upon some condition being met. This description is simplistic and for more detailed description click here (or here)

Conditional sentences (click summary of conditional sentences) of the third class (ean + the subjunctive) are all of this type, as well as many commands following conditional purpose clauses, such as those beginning with “hina.” ("in order that")

1Pe 1:7 -note so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found (3SAPS) (5686) to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

3SAPS = 3rd person, Aorist Tense, Passive Voice, Subjunctive Mood


EXPRESSES A WISH or DESIRE most often specifically indicates a PRAYER. In a few cases the optative mood expresses the STRONGEST POSSIBLE WISH regarding an event, especially in the phrase "May it never be" (NASB) with 15/16 uses by Paul (see Ro 6:2-note)

1Pe 1:2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure (5684) (3SAPO) [Literally = be multiplied]

3SAPO = 3rd person, Aorist Tense, Passive Voice, Optative Mood


The easiest way to do this on the web is to use the Interlinear Bible on

Here is an example from the Hebrew of Genesis 1:1  The Strong's number is at the top (1254) followed by the transliterated word, the original Hebrew (or Greek), the meaning and the verb tense, voice, mood at the bottom (V‑Qal‑Perf‑3ms) . This pattern is the same for the Greek in the New Testament. 

1254 [e]



Click here for another excellent diagram of Greek Prepositions



You are probably having a visceral reaction to the preceding statement! You might even be quoting me Paul's words in Romans 7:6+ that "now we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter." Yes, that is absolutely true, but being released from the Law, does not mean we are free to live lawlessly. Unbelievers are deceived and think that real freedom means you can live as you please. The truth according to God is that real freedom is not the right to live as you please, but the power to live as you should. And so, in what almost seems like a paradox, to aid us to walk in the freedom of the newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter (law) the New Testament gives us approximately 1642 commands, 880 Present Imperatives in 705 verses and 762 Aorist Imperatives in 616 verses! (See the entire list below).

And so it is crystal clear that God still places considerable emphasis on His holy Commands in Scripture, and for followers of Jesus Christ, our obedience to His commands (specifically those commands which in context apply to us today) is our tangible way to say we really do love Jesus! (John 14:15, 23, 24, Paul adds 1 Cor 16:22) Beloved, don't miss this point! Love is not a sentimental emotion, as too often portrayed in modern day Christianity. Yes, God is love (1 Jn 4:8, 16+), but John also writes God is Light (1 Jn 1:5+). Love and Light (holiness) counterbalance one another. We cannot say we love God and choose to walk in the darkness! That is a lie and we are not practicing the truth (1 Jn 1:6+). The way we live our life, the choices we make each daily, will resound clearly in heaven either "I love You Lord" or "I don't love You Lord"!

There is no middle ground regarding love of Jesus and walking in the light.

But praise God, Jesus knows that the old flesh nature (still present in all believers) continually calls us to run from God's commands (leading to licentiousness) or to carry them out in our own fleshly strength (leading to legalism). But thanks be to God for He has given us the Helper, the Holy Spirit, Who indwells every believer (Romans 8:9+) and provides us with both the desire and the power (Philippians 2:13NLT+, cp Ezekiel 36:27+) to walk in His enabling power and not carry out the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-note). Our part, our responsibility under grace not law (Romans 6:14+) is to make choices (Php 2:12+, but even the desire for such "holy" choices being "energized" or enabled by the Spirit who gives us the "holy want to"!) motivated by His love which constrains (controls, compels, urges, impels) us (2 Cor 5:14+) to choose to obey His non-burdensome commands (1 Jn 5:3+). And oh what a reward He promises us in John 14:21!. Thank You Lord. Amen.

THOUGHT: Every encounter with a command to obey, is our opportunity to jettison self-reliance and to yield to the enabling power of the Holy Spirit. Supernatural commands from the supernatural God can only be carried out with reliance on His supernatural power! The Spirit is called the Helper, but don't let His Name mislead you. To say that we need His help is to imply we have some ability of our own to obey and are in need of a little "push" so to speak. It is better to say that we need Him to enable us to obey divine commands, for the word enable indicates that without His power we cannot obey. Webster says enable means "to supply with power, physical or moral, to furnish with sufficient power or ability!" In Philippians 2:12-13+, Paul describes the incomprehensible, mysterious balance between man's free will and God's sovereign provision of His Spirit! (See the related discussion of the Paradoxical Principle of 100% Dependent and 100% Responsible" 100/100) Remember that God’s commandment is always God’s enablement, and to win the victory, His people need only trust and obey (for there's no other way to be happy [blessed] in Jesus than to trust and obey - He does His part but we must do our part (albeit that even enabled by His Spirit - Amazing Grace indeed!).

And lest you think this is just my own personal view regarding the keeping of the NT commands, below is a discussion by Dr John Piper which underscores the premise that all of the NT commands can ONLY be obeyed by reliance on the enablement of the Spirit, NOT on reliance on our fallen, sinful flesh. Dr Piper says...

If it is true that the sinning of a Christian diminishes joy in Christ, and Christian acts of love increase joy in Christ, then the fight for joy is the fight to kill sin and pursue obedience to the commands of love.....When Christ shed the blood of the new covenant (Luke 22:20) He secured, at infinite cost, not only the forgiveness of our sins (Jeremiah 31:34), but also God’s writing of the law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33). He secured infallibly for all the elect the new covenant promise “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:27). And he did this not by giving us his Spirit and removing all commandments from the New Testament and replacing them with the Holy Spirit. He did it by giving us hundreds of commandments that describe the narrow path of love that leads to life, and then giving us His Spirit so that we would love these commandments, and they would not be burdensome (1 John 5:3), but his yoke would be easy (Matthew 11:30), indeed, more joyful than if there were no commandments at all....

(Dr Piper then goes on to describe what he feels are two defects in Gospel preaching)... Second, these preachers tend to shrink back from the apostolic intention of “the law of Christ” unfolded in hundreds of New Testament commands (ED: 880 present imperatives and 762 aorist imperatives!) that define the path of love that leads to life (1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2). And instead of calling for obedience like the apostles do (1 Thessalonians 4:1), they (ED: REFERRING TO THE WEAKNESS OF SOME GOSPEL PREACHING) only use the commandments to say, “You can’t do that. Christ did it for you. Trust in the imputation of his obedience. End of sermon. Celebrate grace.”

That’s a half-gospel based on a half-grace, offering a half-joy. By all means say, “You can’t obey these commands in your own strength. Christ obeyed them perfectly on your behalf. Trust in the imputation of that perfect obedience as the ground of your happy acceptance.” Yes!

And then look to the rest of what he purchased for you at the cost of his life. He purchased the Holy Spirit and gave him to you. He purchased the writing of the law on your heart so that you love his commandments. He purchased the sovereign promise, “I will...cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules” (Ezekiel 36:27).

This is the grand achievement of the blood of the new covenant. And the commandments of the New Testament are not given merely to expose our sin. They are given to show us the kind of life Christ died to create in his church. They are given to us so that by doing them by faith in Christ’s blood-bought power — gospel power! — we might have more joy as his power is perfected in our weakness — that we might have more joy in Christ himself. (See full sermon - Is It Right to Seek More Joy Than We Have Through Justification?)

And here is Dr John MacArthur’s explanation -

So, answer to the question, “How did Jesus do the will of God, the work of God in the way that God did it? How did He render perfect love toward God, perfect obedience toward God?” The answer, “By the power of the Holy Spirit.” The very person who empowered the perfect obedience of Christ is the very person that takes up residence in our lives as believers. So Jesus obeyed the word of God perfectly in the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:6+ says “The one who says he abides in Him (in Christ) ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” If you say you abide in Christ you ought to walk as He walked. How did He walk? He walked in the Spirit; He walked in the power of the Spirit.” (Read his excellent analysis of Jesus' life The Perfect Model of a Spirit-Empowered Life). 

Charles Swindoll adds...

I don’t know of a more important verse in the New Testament for the Christian than Ephesians 5:18—honest, no exaggeration. This verse tells the believer how to live an authentic, empowered life: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit.” It begins with a negative command: “Don’t get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation” (which means excess, existing hopelessly out of control). When you’re drunk with alcohol, you lose control. You also lose self-respect and the respect of others. “Don’t get drunk.” A positive command follows: “But be filled with the Spirit.”...This is a command, not a suggestion. It’s an urgent imperative, not a casual option...“Be filled” is a command, which means I play a part in it. For example, I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I have unconfessed sin within me. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while at the same time conducting my life in the energy of the flesh. I cannot be filled with the Spirit while I am resisting God’s will and relying only on myself. I need to be sure that I have taken care of the sins that have emerged in my life, that I have not ignored the wrong that I have done before God and to others. I need to walk in conscious dependence on the Lord on a daily basis. Many a morning I begin my day by sitting on the side of the bed, saying:

This is your day, Lord. I want to be at Your disposal. I have no idea what these next twenty-four hours will contain. But before I sip my first cup of coffee, and even before I get dressed, I want You to know that from this moment on throughout this day, I’m Yours, Lord. Help me to lean on You, to draw strength from You, and to have You fill my mind and my thoughts. Take control of my senses so that I am literally filled with Your presence and empowered with Your energy. I want to be Your tool, Your vessel today. I can’t make it happen. And so I’m saying, Lord, fill me with Your Spirit today.

I challenge you to begin every day with a similar prayer. “Lord, today, enable me to live out the authentic Christian life for Your glory.” Customize it with your own details depending on what may be the needs of that particular day. (Embraced by the Spirit: the Untold Blessings of Intimacy with God)

All the Present Imperatives in the New Testament - 880x in 705 verse in NT (in Bibleworks Greek NT Morphology) -

Matt 2:13, 20; 3:2f; 4:10, 17; 5:12, 24f, 37, 41, 44; 6:1, 9, 16, 19f, 25, 33; 7:1, 7, 12, 15, 23; 8:4, 9, 13, 22, 32; 9:2, 5f, 9, 22, 24, 30; 10:6ff, 16f, 23, 28, 31; 11:15; 13:9, 43; 14:18, 27; 15:4, 10, 25; 16:6, 11, 23f; 17:5, 7, 17; 18:10, 15, 17; 19:6, 12, 14, 19, 21; 20:4, 7, 14; 21:2, 28; 22:9, 44; 23:3; 24:4, 6, 15f, 20, 33, 42ff; 25:6, 9, 13, 41; 26:18, 38, 41, 45f, 49; 27:29, 65; 28:5, 9f; Mark 1:3, 15, 44; 2:9, 11, 14; 3:3; 4:3, 9, 23f, 39; 5:19, 34, 36, 41; 6:10, 38, 50; 7:10, 29; 8:15, 33f; 9:7, 19, 24, 39, 50; 10:9, 14, 19, 21, 49, 52; 11:2, 22, 24f; 12:15, 29, 36, 38; 13:5, 7, 9, 11, 14, 18, 21, 23, 29, 33, 35, 37; 14:13, 34, 38, 41f, 44; 15:18; 16:6f; Luke 1:13, 28, 30; 2:10; 3:4, 11, 13f; 5:10, 23f, 27; 6:8, 27ff, 35ff; 7:6, 8, 13, 50; 8:8, 18, 39, 48ff, 52, 54; 9:3ff, 23, 35, 50, 59f; 10:3ff, 7ff, 11, 20, 28, 37; 11:2f, 7, 9, 35; 12:1, 7, 15, 19, 22, 29, 31f, 35, 39f; 13:14, 24, 31; 14:12f, 17ff, 35; 15:23; 17:3, 8, 10, 19, 32; 18:16, 20, 22; 19:17, 19, 30; 20:42, 46; 21:8, 21, 31, 34, 36; 22:19, 26, 40, 42, 46, 51; 23:18, 21, 28; John 1:39, 43, 46; 2:8, 16; 4:16, 21, 50; 5:8, 11f, 14, 28, 39, 45; 6:20, 27, 43; 7:3, 24, 37; 8:11; 9:7, 11; 10:37f; 11:34; 12:15, 19, 26, 35f; 14:1, 11, 27, 31; 15:18, 20, 27; 16:24, 33; 19:3, 21; 20:17, 27; 21:15ff, 19, 22; Acts 1:20; 2:14, 34, 36; 3:6; 4:10; 5:20, 35; 8:26; 9:15; 10:15, 20; 11:9; 12:8; 13:15, 38, 40; 16:15, 36; 18:9; 19:38; 20:10, 28, 31; 21:14, 28, 36; 22:10, 21f, 27; 23:11; 24:25; 25:5, 24; 27:24f; 28:28; Rom 3:4; 6:11ff; 11:18, 20; 12:2, 14, 16, 20f; 13:1, 3f, 8, 14; 14:1, 3, 5, 15f, 20, 22; 15:2, 7, 11; 16:17; 1 Cor 1:26, 31; 3:10, 18, 21; 4:1, 5, 16; 6:9, 18; 7:2f, 5, 11ff, 15, 17f, 20f, 23f, 27, 36; 8:9; 9:24; 10:7, 10, 12, 14, 18, 24f, 27f, 31f; 11:1, 6, 24f, 28, 33f; 12:31; 14:1, 12f, 20, 26ff, 34f, 37, 39f; 15:33f, 58; 16:2, 10, 13f, 18, 22; 2 Cor 6:14, 17; 10:7, 11, 17; 11:1; 12:16; 13:5, 11; Gal 1:8f; 3:7; 4:12, 21; 5:1, 13, 15f; 6:1f, 4, 6f, 17; Eph 2:11; 4:25ff, 32; 5:1ff, 6ff, 11, 14f, 17f, 25, 33; 6:1f, 4f, 9f; Phil 1:27; 2:5, 12, 14f, 18, 29; 3:1f, 17; 4:1, 3f, 6, 8f; Col 2:6, 8, 16, 18; 3:1f, 9, 15f, 18ff; 4:1f, 5, 17f; 1Thess 2:9; 4:18; 5:11, 13ff, 25; 2 Th 2:15; 3:1, 10, 14f; 1 Tim 2:11; 3:10, 12; 4:7, 11ff; 5:1, 3f, 7, 9, 11, 16f, 19f, 22f; 6:1f, 11f, 17; 2 Tim 1:13; 2:1, 7f, 14, 16, 22f; 3:1, 5, 14; 4:5, 11, 13, 15; Titus 1:13; 2:1, 6, 15; 3:1, 9f, 14; Philemon 1:18, 22; Heb 1:13; 3:12f; 7:4; 8:5; 10:32; 12:5, 7, 13f, 25; 13:1ff, 7, 9, 16ff, 22f; Jas 1:4ff, 9, 13, 16, 19, 22; 2:1, 3, 12, 16; 3:1, 14; 4:11, 13; 5:1, 9, 12f, 16, 20; 1 Pet 1:6, 8; 2:5, 17; 3:3; 4:12f, 15f, 19; 2 Pet 3:8, 15, 17f; 1 John 2:15, 24, 27ff; 3:7, 13; 4:1f; 2 John 1:8, 10; 3 John 1:11, 15; Jude 1:22f; Rev 1:17; 2:5, 10; 3:2f, 11, 19; 5:5; 6:1, 3, 5, 7; 10:8; 11:1; 12:12; 16:1; 18:20; 19:5, 10; 22:9, 17, 20

All the Aorist Imperatives in the New Testament - 762x in 616 verses in NT (in Bibleworks Greek NT Morphology) -

Matt 2:8, 13, 20; 3:3, 8, 15; 4:3, 6; 5:16, 24, 29ff, 39f, 42; 6:3, 6, 9ff, 17, 26, 28; 7:4f, 13; 8:3f, 8f, 13, 21f, 25, 31; 9:6, 13, 18, 27, 29, 38; 10:8, 11ff, 27; 11:4, 29; 12:13, 33; 13:18, 30, 36; 14:8, 15f, 28ff; 15:14f, 22f, 28; 16:24; 17:7, 15, 20, 27; 18:8f, 15ff, 26, 28f; 19:14, 17, 21; 20:8, 14, 21, 30f; 21:2, 5, 21, 33; 22:4, 9, 13, 17, 19, 21; 23:3, 26, 32; 24:3, 17f, 32; 25:8f, 11, 21, 23, 28, 30, 34; 26:18, 26f, 36, 38f, 42, 48, 52, 68; 27:22f, 40, 42f, 49, 64f; 28:6f, 10, 13, 19; Mark 1:3, 25, 41, 44; 2:9, 11; 3:5; 5:8, 12, 19; 6:11, 22, 31, 36ff; 7:14, 27, 34; 8:34; 9:22, 25, 43, 45, 47; 10:14, 21, 37, 47ff; 11:2f, 23, 29f; 12:17; 13:4, 15f, 28; 14:6, 13ff, 22, 32, 34, 36, 44, 65; 15:4, 13f, 30, 32, 36; 16:7, 15; Luke 3:4, 8, 11; 4:3, 9, 23, 35; 5:4, 8, 13f; 6:8, 10, 23, 42; 7:7f, 14, 22, 40; 8:50; 9:12ff, 23, 41, 44, 59ff; 10:2, 10, 35, 40; 11:1f, 4f, 41; 12:5, 13, 19, 24, 27, 33, 58; 13:7f, 25, 27, 31f; 14:9f, 21, 23; 15:6, 9, 12, 19, 22f; 16:2, 6f, 9, 24f, 29; 17:3, 5ff, 13f, 31; 18:3, 6, 13, 16, 22, 38f, 42; 19:5, 13, 24, 27, 30, 39; 20:2f, 24f; 21:14, 19f, 28f; 22:8, 10, 12, 17, 32, 36, 42, 64, 67; 23:18, 30, 34f, 37, 39, 42; 24:6, 29, 39, 49; John 1:23, 46; 2:5, 7f, 16, 19; 4:7, 10, 15f, 29, 31, 35, 49; 5:8, 11f; 6:10, 12, 34; 7:3f, 8, 52; 8:7; 9:7, 11, 21, 23f; 10:24; 11:34, 39, 44; 12:7, 27f; 13:27, 29; 14:8f; 15:4, 7, 9; 17:1, 5, 11, 17; 18:8, 11, 21, 23, 31; 19:6, 15; 20:15, 17, 22, 27; 21:6, 10, 12; Acts 1:20, 24; 2:14, 22, 38, 40; 3:4, 19; 4:19, 29; 5:8, 38; 6:3; 7:2f, 33, 40, 59; 8:19, 22, 24, 26, 29; 9:6, 11, 34, 40; 10:5, 13, 20, 26, 32; 11:7, 13; 12:7f, 17; 13:2, 16, 41; 14:10; 15:13; 16:9, 31, 35, 37; 21:23f, 39; 22:1, 13, 16, 18; 23:15, 17, 23; 24:20; 26:16; 28:26; Rom 6:13, 19; 11:9f, 22; 12:19; 13:7, 14; 14:13; 15:10f; 16:3, 5ff; 1 Cor 3:18; 5:7, 13; 6:20; 7:9, 11, 21; 10:15; 11:6, 13; 15:34; 16:1, 11, 20; 2 Cor 5:20; 6:13, 17; 7:2; 8:11; 11:16; 12:13; 13:12; Gal 4:27, 30; 6:11; Eph 4:31; 5:14; 6:11, 13f, 17; Phil 2:2; 4:5, 21; Col 3:5, 8, 12; 4:10, 15ff; 1 Thess 5:26; 1 Tim 6:12, 20; 2 Tim 1:8, 14; 2:2f, 15, 19; 4:2, 5, 9, 19, 21; Titus 3:12f, 15; Philemon 1:17, 20; Heb 1:6; 3:1; 8:11; 12:3, 12; 13:24; Jas 1:2, 21; 2:3, 5, 18; 3:13; 4:7ff; 5:1, 7f, 10, 14; 1 Pet 1:13, 15, 17, 22; 2:2, 13, 17; 3:10f, 15; 4:1, 7; 5:2, 5f, 8f, 12, 14; 2 Pet 1:5, 10; 3:14; 1 John 3:1; 5:21; Jude 1:17, 21; Rev 1:11, 19; 2:1, 5, 7f, 11f, 16ff, 25, 29; 3:1ff, 6f, 13f, 19, 22; 4:1; 6:16; 9:14; 10:4, 8f; 11:1f, 12; 13:9, 18; 14:7, 13, 15, 18; 18:4, 6f; 19:9f, 17; 21:5; 22:9, 11, 17


Journal Articles by Kenneth Wuest (small charge to view entire article)




1) Literal Interpretation: A Plea for Consensus by Elliot Johnson

2) From Tony Garland at…

3) Issues in Hermeneutics from Andy Woods at…

a). Grammatico Historical Method

b). Matter Of Genre

4) Basics of Bible Interpretation by Bob Smith - chapters below

  • Words of Life
  • Is Anybody Listening?
  • The Goal of Bible Study
  • Interpretive Principles
  • The Interpretive Process
  • Bible Study Approaches
  • Figures of Speech
  • The Language of Analogy (especially Parables)
  • Allegories and Types
  • The Greeks Had a Word for It
  • Helps on Hebrew
  • Getting It All Together

5) History of Interpretation by Michael Patton - Audio and Video only

6) The Bible: Understanding Its Message J. Hampton Keathley, III

7) Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics

8) Contemporary Problems in Biblical Interpretation by John Walvoord

9) Interpreting Prophecy Today by John Walvoord

(10) David Hocking's Article on Interpretation - "When we come to the interpretation of the Bible, we are talking about one of the most serious subjects as it relates to our Bibles. The authenticity of the Bible-I've often said-is revealed in or manifested in the field of hermeneutics, which means interpretation."