Our helper. Our companion. Human being or Lord God? Flesh or Spirit? Our companion. Our helper. The upholder of our life who guides us into all the truth.
Ps 19:14 – Let the sayings of my mouth, And the meditation of my heart, Be for a pleasing thing before Thee, O Jehovah, my rock, and my redeemer! (YLT)
The sayings of my mouth.
Expressions that expose what I perceive to be truth and wisdom.
The meditation of my heart.
To earnestly, deeply think and to murmur with tenderness, evoking a strong emotional response.
My soul is cast down. My soul is in turmoil within me. Why?
The oppression of my enemy [hating adversary]. (Ps 42)
Who is our enemy?
Are you aware of the oppression of your enemy on a regular basis? The control and domination through your attachment to your passions; physical senses, emotions, rational intellect, and imagination that attract and hold your attention.1
How do we escape this oppression of vanity, falseness, deception, self-will?
Luke 2:34-35 – and Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, ‘Lo, this [one] is set for the falling and rising again of many in Israel, and for a sign spoken against — (and also thine own soul shall a sword pass through) — that the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.’ (YLT)
This one [Christ Jesus] is set.
Set. To lie outstretched literally or figuratively. To place in a passive or horizontal posture; utterly prostrate.
Set. For the falling and rising again of many
Set. That the reasonings of many hearts may be revealed.
Words. Thoughts. Meditations. Heart. Mind. Will. Motives. Emotions.
Revealed. To take the cover off; disclose.
The process of falling
Gen 3:6-7 – So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
We’re all in the same boat with Eve. Susceptible to being beguiled. Seduced. Having our minds corrupted from a state of simplicity and singleness of devotion to the Lord God. Dominated by our attachment to our physical senses, emotions, rational intellect, and imagination.1
She saw. It was a delight to the eyes. It was desired to make one wise. She took and ate, not the flesh of Christ, but the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
1 Tim 2:14 – and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. (ESV)
Adam was not deceived by the serpent, yet he took and ate the forbidden fruit along with Eve. Why? Could he have saved himself from death by refusing to remain joined to Eve? Was it possible for Adam to sever his union with Eve?
Mark 10:9 – What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” ESV
Gen 2:18 – Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” (ESV)
Gen 2:21-25 – So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed. (ESV)
A helper fit for him
I will make him a helper fit for him
The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man
The man said, “This…Woman”
Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh
I will make a helper fit for him.
Fit: a front, part opposite; specifically, a counterpart, mate. To stand boldly out opposite; causatively, to manifest, to make clear or evident, reveal, to appear to the senses; figuratively, to announce, always by word of mouth to one present; specifically, to expose, predict, explain, praise.2
Mal 2:15 – Did he [Lord God] not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union? And what was the one God seeking? Godly offspring. So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth. (ESV)
Was the Lord God displeased with Adam for sticking by Eve, or did Adam do exactly what the Lord God intended for him to do, what he was created, chosen, called and destined to do? Was Adam’s failure not in the fact that he stuck by Eve, but that he was faithless to her in not guarding himself in his spirit? His flesh, his dust, was in control through his attachment to his passions; his physical senses, emotions, rational intellect and imagination. His flesh, his dust, and not spirit attracted and held his attention.
Rom 5:12-14 – Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come. (NIV)
Missing the mark
Sin entered the world through one man
Sin: to miss the mark and so not share in the prize. To err.3
Sin. To remain in the state of being dominated through attachment to the passions, intense emotions that attract and hold attention; senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination4; self-will, self-pleasing, the opposite of God’s essential nature, love.
Death entered the world through wandering, going astray, being mistaken, deviating from the course marked out; one, union, in their spirit.
In this way death came to all men, because all missed the mark. All erred. All wandered off-course. Self-will and self-pleasure in opposition to love, union, in their spirit.
Even over those who did not err by breaking a command as Adam did
Adam was a pattern, a resemblance, of the one who was to come.
A pattern. A shape. A statue. Resemblance. A model for imitation or instance for warning.5
Who is the one that Adam resembled who was to come?
All die, all shall be made alive
1 Cor 15:22 – For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)
1 Cor 15:44-49 – It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being“; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (ESV)
The vessel of wrath. A living being. From the earth. Of dust. Bearing the image of the man of dust, in a state of being dominated through attachment to the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination. Faithless in not guarding himself or his wife in his spirit.
The vessel of mercy. A life-giving spirit. From heaven. Bearing the image of the man of heaven. Union, in their spirit. Faithful in guarding himself and all in his spirit.
The vessel of wrath, the natural, of dust, from the earth is first. The vessel of mercy, the spiritual, from heaven is second.
If there is a natural body,
There is also
there is also a spiritual body.
Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.
1 Cor 15:50 – I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. (ESV)
1 Cor 15:50 – I need to emphasize, friends, that our natural, earthy lives don’t in themselves lead us by their very nature into the kingdom of God. Their very “nature” is to die, so how could they “naturally” end up in the Life kingdom? (MSG)
This is our predicament. Death reigns. And there’s not a single thing we, flesh and blood, can do to escape death’s power over us.
The Lord God said, “I will make him a helper fit for him”
The Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man
Deep sleep. Lethargy; a trance. To stun, overpower, bewilder, stupefy with sleep or death.6
Sin entered the world through one man
Through a man under the influence of a deep sleep.
Sin: to miss the mark and so not share in the prize. To err. To wander away, off-course, beguiled, seduced. The state in which we remain dominated by attachment to passion of self-will and self-pleasing in opposition to love, contrary to the essential nature of God in whose image and likeness we were made.
Rom 5:13 – for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. (ESV)
Sin is not counted, is not assigned to, is not set down or thought of as belonging to, produced by, resulting from, or originating in, is not ascribed as a quality or characteristic peculiar to one where there is no law.7
Law came in
Rom 5:20-21 – Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (ESV)
The law did not come in to relieve or decrease human beings’ errors, missing the mark, state of being dominated by passions. The law did not come in to fix human beings’ errors. The law came in to point out every error and flaw, to persuade human beings that we desperately need a helper fit for us, a helper to stand out boldly opposite us, to be present, to expose, predict, explain, praise.
The law came in to increase the trespass.
Trespass/offense: lapse, deviation, unintentional error or willful transgression. To fall aside. Abandoning what one has believed in.8
The law came in to increase the trespass by revealing, uncovering, disclosing all lapses and deviations from the simplicity and singleness of devotion to the Lord God that is in Christ.
Rom 9:22-25 – What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (ESV)
If we aren’t made aware of missing the mark, missing what life is all about, how can we ever become aware of the Lord God’s grace?
Where sin abounded, grace super-abounded
So that, as sin reigned in death
Grace also might reign (rule)
Through [the channel of an act]
Leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Through Jesus Christ
Leading to eternal life.
Righteousness: The character or quality of being right or just. Rightwiseness. Faithfulness. Truthfulness. Conforming to the revealed will of God.
Righteousness: The gracious gift of God that brings us back into intimate relationship with him. This righteousness is unattainable by obedience to any law, or by any merit of our own. The one who trusts in Christ becomes in Christ all that God requires, all that s/he could never be in him/herself. Accepting the Word of God, making it his/her own, submitting to its control.9
How did Adam’s sinning and transgression differ from Eve’s since he was not deceived as she was?
Rom 5:14 – Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come. (ESV)
The Lord God’s desire
Hos 6:6-7 – For I [Lord God] desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me. (ESV)
Transgressed the covenant. Dealt faithlessly with the Lord God. Mind corrupted from a state of simplicity and singleness of devotion to the Lord God. Adam did not know God. Adam did not know steadfast Love. Adam did not know Faithfulness. Adam did not know Truth. Adam did not know Righteousness. Adam did not know the gracious gift of God. Consequently, he transgressed the covenant.
Covenant: God takes the sole initiative in covenant making and fulfillment. God’s covenant is a relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and his chosen people. Man’s response contributes to covenant fulfillment; yet man’s action is not causative. God’s grace always goes before and produces man’s response. A covenant is a will that distributes one’s property after death according to the owner’s wishes. It is completely unilateral, done or undertaken by one only, by God. The Bible relates God’s covenant purpose, that man be joined to him in loving service and know eternal fellowship with him through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.10
Of love and loyalty.
God’s grace always goes before
God’s grace always produces man’s response.
That man be joined to him
In loving service
That man be joined to him
And know eternal fellowship, companionship, a mutual sharing
Through receiving freedom from the state of being attached and dominated by the passions
Freedom from intense emotions that attract and hold attention
The freedom that Jesus Christ purchased for us
With his body broken
With his blood shed.
Transgressing the covenant
Adam transgressed the covenant. To transition. To cover. To cover in copulation. Alienate. Alter. Deliver.11
2 Kings 17:38-39 – …You shall not fear other gods, but you shall fear the Lord your God, and he will deliver you out of the hand of all your enemies.” (ESV)
In transgressing the covenant, it is as if Adam changed his identity. His identity and allegiance changed from Creator/Potter Father, to murdering, lying father, as Jesus later described the adversary:
John 8:43-45 – [Jesus speaking to the religious leaders of his day] Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. (ESV)
Did Adam’s transgression have something to do with the sayings of his mouth and the meditation of his heart?
The Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” The Lord God made a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said, “This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.
Did Adam err in thinking the woman was the helper that God referred to when he said he’d make a helper fit for him?
1 Cor 7:32-35 – I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to please the Lord. But the married man is anxious about worldly things, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried or betrothed woman is anxious about the things of the Lord, how to be holy in body and spirit. But the married woman is anxious about worldly things, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to lay any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and to secure your undivided devotion to the Lord. (ESV)
Free from anxieties
I want you to be free from anxieties.
I will make a helper fit for you
To secure your undivided devotion to the Lord.
Have we human beings struggled with the very same corrupted thinking about our helper as Adam did? Is it possible for the man of dust and the woman of dust, being of one flesh, to obey the words of the Lord God, to keep covenant with him without the assistance of the helper that God had in mind for us, the helper fit for us? Is it possible for the man/woman of dust to give undivided devotion to the Lord, when in a state dominated by attachments to the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination?
What do the following Bible texts say about the helper that the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction, the self attached and dominated by the passions seeks?
1 Sam 8:4-7 – Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel [prophet] …and said to him, “…Now appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel… And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. (ESV)
Isa 31:3 – The Egyptians are man, and not God, and their horses are flesh, and not spirit. When the Lord stretches out his hand, the helper will stumble, and he who is helped will fall, and they will all perish together. (ESV)
Hos 13:9-11 – He [Lord God] destroys you, O Israel, for you are against me, against your helper. Where now is your king, to save you in all your cities? Where are all your rulers—those of whom you said, “Give me a king and princes”? I gave you a king in my anger, and I took him away in my wrath. (ESV)
Appoint for us a king to judge us like all the nations
They have rejected me, the Lord God, from being king over them
For help, they look to man, and not to God
For help, they look to flesh, and not to spirit
You are against me [the Lord God], against your helper
This describes the vessel of wrath. A living being. From the earth. Of dust. Bearing the image of the man of dust, in a state dominated by attachments to the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination.
How does the Lord God respond when the sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart becomes corrupt and we lose the simplicity, the singleness and sincerity of undivided devotion to him, without self-seeking?
The Lord God gives us what we selfishly ask for in his anger. Then he takes it away again in his wrath when he cuts away this foreskin of our old nature to reveal who we really are, united with him in spirit.
When David entreated the Lord God, “O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!” he was asking the Lord God to give him a heart that was simply, singularly, sincerely, undividedly devoted to the Lord God. He did not want a corrupt heart that would request something in opposition to the Lord God’s will for him only to have it taken away later through the discipline of God’s wrath.
What did David know and experience of his helper?
Ps 54:4-5 – Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the upholder of my life. He will return the evil to my enemies; in your faithfulness put an end to them. (ESV)
Ps 118:6-9 – The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. (ESV)
Ps 131:2 – I have calmed and quieted my soul (ESV) Link to Blog11-I Have Calmed and Quieted My Soul
What did the Lord Jesus Christ reveal about our true helper and companion?
John 16:7-15 – Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you. (ESV)
Heb 13:5-6 – Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (ESV)
God is my helper
The Lord is the upholder of my life
I have calmed and quieted my soul.
Will convict the world
Will convict me
Will guide me into all truth.
Be content with what you have
He has said
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
The Lord is my helper
I will not fear.
Are you content with what you have? Do you know that you already have what you want and need; the helper who is fit for you? Are you intimately familiar and singularly devoted to your helper? Do you, can you hear the words of your helper? “I will never leave you nor forsake you. I will convince you, and I will guide you into all the truth.”
Or are you pursuing a different helper? Who is your helper? Human being or Lord God? Flesh or Spirit? Who is your companion? Who do you acknowledge as the upholder of your life who guides you into all the truth?
Establishing relationship with our Helper
What did David, the man after God’s heart, reveal about his relationship with his Helper?
Ps 123:2 – Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, till he has mercy upon us. (ESV)
Ps 69:3 – I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God. ESV)
Ps 119:37 – Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. (ESV)
Ps 25:15 – My eyes are ever toward the Lord, for he will pluck my feet out of the net. (ESV)
Interact with the words of Scripture through deep, careful study.
Then move beyond logic and reason; move from head to heart to spirit. Anticipate unifying of body, mind and spirit to mirror and imitate the mind and life of Jesus.
Meditate. Experience the word of Scripture bodily by moaning, growling, uttering, speaking aloud each word, syllable by syllable. Experience the words of Scripture expressing the longing and desire and hope in the depth of your own soul. Become acquainted with your longing. Anticipate that your soul’s longing will be satisfied, its hunger will be filled with good things, and it will be healed and made complete again. Let the inspired word of God arouse feelings of awe.
2 Cor 13:14 – the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, [is] with you all! Amen. (YLT)
Contemplate. Sit quietly without thinking, without murmuring. Simply be. Become conscious of your companions.
Stay in this place of rest and fellowship for as long as you can.
When finished, select just one word or phrase and carry it with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Let it soak deep into your soul. Tomorrow, meditate on the entire text again. Select the same word or phrase or a different one to carry with you all day, thinking about it, murmuring it, holding it, treasuring it. Do this practice every day. Let God’s Word begin to fill your soul with good things.
I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it. (Ps 119:15-16 MSG)
But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8)
I encourage you to look for ways and practices to help you become aware of Holy Spirit and to relinquish all that you have and all that you are to Holy Spirit’s convicting, enlightening, restorative ministrations.
A practice that has been life-changing for me comes from Psalm 46:10.
Ps 46:10 – “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” (ESV)
It’s a paradox.
Be still. A state of being. Am. Is. Stay, remain as in was, were.
It’s a process of letting go in order to rediscover Life that was forfeited.
It’s a process of ceasing, stopping, to be destroyed, and dying in order to be redeemed.
It’s a process of abandoning and neglecting in order to be healed and made whole.
It’s a process of opposing, contending, and striving in order to give up, renounce, leave, and abandon self-interest that is death, forfeiture of Life.
It’s a process of becoming weak, feeble, to be wept over in order to return to the original Life that was forfeited, but is bought back by the only One who has Life in himself.
Be still, consequently
Know, not in the sense of accumulating facts and figures, receiving answers about what to do to get a good life, but know as in relationship. Know as in Being. Awareness, consciousness, discernment, recognition, acquaintance, familiar friend, feel, perceive, have respect, have understanding, instruction, presence, fellowship.
Letting the vessel of wrath prepared for destruction go in order to know the riches of God’s glory for vessels of mercy.
2 Peter 3:18 – But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (ESV)
Resources/For deeper study:
1Hesychasts describe two types of consciousness: ego-centered and ego-transcendent. The former is a state dominated by attachments to the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination. The latter involves detachment from those faculties. Originally printed in the March-April 2000 issue of Quest magazine. Citation: Mitchell B., Liester. “Hesychasm: A Christian Path of Transcendence.” Quest 89.2 MARCH-APRIL 2000): 54-59, 65.
2OT:5048 <START HEBREW>dg#n#<END HEBREW> neged (neh’-ghed); from OT:5046; a front, i.e. part opposite; specifically a counterpart, or mate; usually (adverbial, especially with preposition) over against or before:
OT:5046 <START HEBREW>dg^n*<END HEBREW> nagad (naw-gad’); a primitive root; properly, to front, i.e. stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively, to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically, to expose, predict, explain, praise: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
3Sin: NT:264<START GREEK>a(marta/nw<END GREEK> hamartano (ham-ar-tan’-o); perhaps from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and the base of NT:3313; properly, to miss the mark (and so not share in the prize), i.e. (figuratively) to err, especially (morally) to sin: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
4Sin. The Greek word hamartia means “to miss the mark.” Hesychasts used this word to refer to the state in which one remains attacted to the passions; ego-centered consciousness; a state dominated by attachments to the senses, emotions, intellect, and imagination. Originally printed in the March-April 2000 issue of Quest magazine. Citation: Mitchell B., Liester. “Hesychasm: A Christian Path of Transcendence.” Quest 89.2 MARCH-APRIL 2000): 54-59, 65.
5Pattern/Type: NT:5179 <START GREEK>tu/po$<END GREEK> tupos (too’-pos); from NT:5180; a die (as struck), i.e. (by implication) a stamp or scar; by analogy, a shape, i.e. a statue, (figuratively) style or resemblance; specifically, a sampler (“type”), i.e. a model (for imitation) or instance (for warning): KJV – en- ex-) ample, fashion, figure, form, manner, pattern, print. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
deigma (<START GREEK>dei=gma<END GREEK>, NT:1164), primarily “a thing shown, a specimen” (akin to deiknumi, “to show”), denotes an “example” given as a warning, Jude 7. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
6Deep sleep: OT:8639 <START HEBREW>hm*D@r=T^<END HEBREW> tardemah (tar-day-maw’); from OT:7290; a lethargy or (by implication) trance:
OT:7290 <START HEBREW><d^r*<END HEBREW> radam (raw-dam’); a primitive root; to stun, i.e. stupefy (with sleep or death): (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
7Not counted/attributed. (Webster’s Dictionary)
8Trespass/offense: NT:3900<START GREEK>para/ptwma<END GREEK> paraptoma (par-ap’-to-mah); from NT:3895; a side-slip (lapse or deviation), i.e. (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression:
NT:3895 <START GREEK>parapi/ptw<END GREEK> parapipto (par-ap-ip’-to); from NT:3844 and NT:4098; to fall aside, i.e. (figuratively) to apostatize: (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)
9RIGHTEOUSNESS: 1. dikaiosune (<START GREEK>dikaiosu/nh<END GREEK>, NT:1343) is “the character or quality of being right or just”; it was formerly spelled “rightwiseness,” which clearly expresses the meaning. It is used to denote an attribute of God, e. g., Rom 3:5, the context of which shows that “the righteousness of God” means essentially the same as His faithfulness, or truthfulness, that which is consistent with His own nature and promises; Rom 3:25,26 speaks of His “righteousness” as exhibited in the death of Christ, which is sufficient to show men that God is neither indifferent to sin nor regards it lightly. On the contrary, it demonstrates that quality of holiness in Him which must find expression in His condemnation of sin.
“Dikaiosune is found in the sayings of the Lord Jesus, (a) of whatever is right or just in itself, whatever conforms to the revealed will of God, Matt 5:6,10,20; John 16:8,10; (b) whatever has been appointed by God to be acknowledged and obeyed by man, Matt 3:15; 21:32; (c) the sum total of the requirements of God, Matt 6:33; (d) religious duties, Matt 6:1 (distinguished as almsgiving, man’s duty to his neighbor, vv. 2,3,4, prayer, his duty to God, vv. 5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15, fasting, the duty of self-control, vv. 16,17,18).
“In the preaching of the apostles recorded in Acts the word has the same general meaning. So also in James 1:20; 3:18, in both Epp. of Peter, 1 st John and the Revelation. In 2 Peter 1:1, ‘the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ,’ is the righteous dealing of God with sin and with sinners on the ground of the death of Christ. ‘Word of righteousness,’ Heb 5:13, is probably the gospel, and the Scriptures as containing the gospel, wherein is declared the righteousness of God in all its aspects.
“This meaning of dikaiosune, right action, is frequent also in Paul’s writings, as in all five of its occurrences in Rom 6; Eph 6:14, etc. But for the most part he uses it of that gracious gift of God to men whereby all who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ are brought into right relationship with God. This righteousness is unattainable by obedience to any law, or by any merit of man’s own, or any other condition than that of faith in Christ…. The man who trusts in Christ becomes ‘the righteousness of God in Him,’ 2 Cor 5:21, i. e., becomes in Christ all that God requires a man to be, all that he could never be in himself Because Abraham accepted the Word of God, making it his own by that act of the mind and spirit which is called faith, and, as the sequel showed, submitting himself to its control, therefore God accepted him as one who fulfilled the whole of His requirements, Rom 4:3….
“Righteousness is not said to be imputed to the believer save in the sense that faith is imputed (‘reckoned’ is the better word) for righteousness. It is clear that in Rom 4:6,11, ‘righteousness reckoned’ must be understood in the light of the context, ‘faith reckoned for righteousness,’ vv. 3,5,9,22. ‘For’ in these places is eis, which does not mean ‘instead of,’ but ‘with a view to.’ The faith thus exercised brings the soul into vital union with God in Christ, and inevitably produces righteousness of life, that is, conformity to the will of God.” From Notes on Galatians, by Hogg and Vine, pp. 246, 247.
- dikaioma (<START GREEK>dikai/wma<END GREEK>, NT:1345) is the concrete expression of “righteousness”: see JUSTIFICATION, A, No. 2.
Note: In Heb 1:8, KJV, euthutes, “straightness, uprightness” (akin to euthus, “straight, right”), is translated “righteousness” (RV “uprightness”; KJV, marg., “rightness, or straightness”). (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
10COVENANT: berit OT:1285, “covenant; league; confederacy.” This word is most probably derived from an Akkadian root meaning “to fetter”; it has parallels in Hittite, Egyptian, Assyrian, and Aramaic. Berit is used over 280 times and in all parts of the Old Testament. The first occurrence of the word is in Gen 6:18: “But with thee [Noah] will I establish my covenant.”
The KJV translates berit fifteen times as “league”: “…now therefore make ye a league with us” Josh 9:6. These are all cases of political agreement within Israel 2 Sam 3:12-13,21; 5:3 or between nations 1 Kings 15:19. Later versions may use “covenant,” “treaty,” or “compact,” but not consistently. In Judg 2:2, the KJV has: “And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land….” The command had been also given in Ex 23:32; 34:12-16; and Deut 7:2-6, where the KJV has “covenant.”
The KJV translates berit as “covenant” 260 times. The word is used of “agreements between men,” as Abraham and Abimelech Gen 21:32: “Thus they made a covenant at Beer-sheba….” David and Jonathan made a “covenant” of mutual protection that would be binding on David’s descendants forever 1 Sam 18:3; 20:8,16-18,42. In these cases, there was “mutual agreement confirmed by oath in the name of the Lord.” Sometimes there were also material pledges Gen 21:28-31.
Ahab defeated the Syrians: “So he made a covenant with [Ben-hadad], and sent him away” 1 Kings 20:34. The king of Babylon “took of the king’s seed [Zedekiah], and made a covenant with him, and hath taken an oath of him…” Ezek 17:13, NIV, “treaty”. In such “covenants,” the terms were imposed by the superior military power; they were not mutual agreements.
In Israel, the kingship was based on “covenant”: “…David made a covenant [KJV, “league”] with them [the elders of Israel] in Hebron before the Lord…” 2 Sam 5:3. The “covenant” was based on their knowledge that God had appointed him 2 Sam 5:2; thus they became David’s subjects (cf. 2 Kings 11:4,17).
The great majority of occurrences of berit are of God’s “covenants” with men, as in Gen 6:18 above. The verbs used are important: “I will establish my covenant” Gen 6:18 — literally, “cause to stand” or “confirm.” “I will make my covenant” Gen 17:2, RSV. “He declared to you his covenant” Deut 4:13. “My covenant which I commanded them…” Josh 7:11. “I have remembered my covenant. Wherefore… I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians” Ex 6:5-6. God will not reject Israel for their disobedience so as “to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them…” Lev 26:44. “He will not… forget the covenant… which he sware unto them” Deut 4:31. The most common verb is “to cut [karat] a covenant,” which is always translated as in Gen 15:18: “The Lord made a covenant with Abram.” This use apparently comes from the ceremony described in Gen 15:9-17 (cf. Jer 34:18), in which God appeared as “a smoking furnace, and a burning lamp [flaming torch] that passed between those pieces” Gen 15:17. These verbs make it plain that God takes the sole initiative in covenant making and fulfillment.
“Covenant” is parallel or equivalent to the Hebrew words dabar (“word”), hoq (“statute”), piqqud (“precepts” — Ps. 103:18>, NASB), ±edah (“testimony” — Ps. 25:10>), torah (“law” — Ps. 78:10>), and checed (“lovingkindness” — Deut. 7:9>, NASB). These words emphasize the authority and grace of God in making and keeping the “covenant,” and the specific responsibility of man under the covenant. The words of the “covenant” were written in a book Ex 24:4,7; Deut 31:24-26 and on stone tablets Ex 34:28.
Men “enter into” Deut 29:12 or “join” Jer 50:5 God’s “covenant.” They are to obey Gen 12:4 and “observe carefully” all the commandments of the “covenant” Deut 4:6. But above all, the “covenant” calls Israel to “love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” Deut 6:5. God’s “covenant” is a relationship of love and loyalty between the Lord and His chosen people.
“…If ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people… and ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and a holy nation” Ex 19:5-6. “All the commandments… shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers” Deut 8:1. In the “covenant,” man’s response contributes to covenant fulfillment; yet man’s action is not causative. God’s grace always goes before and produces man’s response.
Occasionally, Israel “made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep his commandments…, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book” 2 Kings 23:3. This is like their original promise: “All that the Lord hath spoken we will do” Ex 19:8; 24:7. Israel did not propose terms or a basis of union with God. They responded to God’s “covenant.”
The wholly gracious and effective character of God’s “covenant” is confirmed in the Septuagint by the choice of diatheke to translate berit. A diatheke is a will that distributes one’s property after death according to the owner’s wishes. It is completely unilateral. In the New Testament, diatheke occurs 33 times and is translated in the KJV 20 times as “covenant” and 13 times as “testament.” In the RSV and the NASB, only “covenant” is used.
The use of “Old Testament” and “New Testament” as the names for the two sections of the Bible indicates that God’s “covenant” is central to the entire book. The Bible relates God’s “covenant” purpose, that man be joined to Him in loving service and know eternal fellowship with Him through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)
11Transgress: OT:5674 <START HEBREW>rb^u*<END HEBREW> `abar (aw-bar’); a primitive root; to cross over; used very widely of any transition (literal or figurative; transitive, intransitive, intensive, causative); specifically, to cover (in copulation): KJV – alienate, alter, at all, beyond, bring (over, through), carry over, (over-) come (on, over), conduct (over), convey over, current, deliver, do away, enter, escape, fail, gender, get over, (make) go (away, beyond, by, forth, his way, in, on, over, through), have away (more), lay, meddle, overrun, make partition, (cause to, give, make to, over) pass (-age, along, away, beyond, by, -enger, on, out, over, through), (cause to, make) proclaim (-amation), perish, provoke to anger, put away, rage, raiser of taxes, remove, send over, set apart, shave, cause to (make) sound, speedily, sweet smelling, take (away), (make to) transgress (-or), translate, turn away, [way-] faring man, be wrath. (Biblesoft’s New Exhaustive Strong’s Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003, 2006, 2010 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)