Effective and Fruitful

Qualities that make us effective and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The sayings of our mouth and the meditation of our heart.

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)

What do the sayings of your mouth and the meditation of your heart reveal about who you think you are? Are they in agreement with the words of the Lord God and the meditation of his heart?

Do you have a regular and favorite way of meditating on God’s Word and resting in his promises?

Eugene Peterson describes meditation in his book Answering God as:

“Meditate (hagah) is a bodily action; it involves murmuring and mumbling words, taking a kind of physical pleasure in making the sounds of the words, getting the feel of the meaning as the syllables are shaped by larynx and tongue and lips. Isaiah used this word “meditate” for the sounds that a lion makes over its prey (Isa 31:4). They purr and growl in pleasurable anticipation of taking in what will make them more themselves, strong, lithe, swift.”1

A Carthusian monk called Guigo described a form of meditation called Lectio Divina:

“Lectio Divina”, a Latin term, means “divine reading” and describes a way of reading the Scriptures whereby we gradually let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us. In the 12th century, a Carthusian monk called Guigo, described the stages which he saw as essential to the practice of Lectio Divina. There are various ways of practicing Lectio Divina either individually or in groups but Guigo’s description remains fundamental.

He said that the first stage is lectio (reading) where we read the Word of God, slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into us. Any passage of Scripture can be used for this way of prayer but the passage should not be too long.

The second stage is meditatio (reflection) where we think about the text we have chosen and ruminate upon it so that we take from it what God wants to give us.

The third stage is oratio (response) where we leave our thinking aside and simply let our hearts speak to God. This response is inspired by our reflection on the Word of God.

The final stage of Lectio Divina is contemplatio (rest) where we let go not only of our own ideas, plans and meditations but also of our holy words and thoughts. We simply rest in the Word of God. We listen at the deepest level of our being to God who speaks within us with a still small voice. As we listen, we are gradually transformed from within. Obviously, this transformation will have a profound effect on the way we actually live, and the way we live is the test of the authenticity of our prayer. We must take what we read in the Word of God into our daily lives.

These stages of Lectio Divina are not fixed rules of procedure but simply guidelines as to how the prayer normally develops. Its natural movement is towards greater simplicity, with less and less talking and more listening. Gradually the words of Scripture begin to dissolve, and the Word is revealed before the eyes of our heart. How much time should be given to each stage depends very much on whether it is used individually or in a group. If Lectio Divina is used for group prayer, obviously more structure is needed than for individual use. In group prayer, much will depend on the type of group. Lectio Divina may involve discussing the implications of the Word of God for daily life but it cannot be reduced to this. The movement of the prayer is towards silence. If the group is comfortable with silence, more time could be spent resting in the Word.

The practice of Lectio Divina as a way of praying the Scriptures has been a fruitful source of growing in relationship with Christ for many centuries and in our own day is being rediscovered by many individuals and groups. The Word of God is alive and active and will transform each of us if we open ourselves to receive what God wants to give us.2

Remember:

2 Pet 1:1-7 – I, Simon Peter, am a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ. I write this to you whose experience with God is as life-changing as ours, all due to our God’s straight dealing and the intervention of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ. 2 Grace and peace to you many times over as you deepen in your experience with God and Jesus, our Master.

3 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! 4 We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you — your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust. 5 So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 6 alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, 7 warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others.

Lectio.

Reading. Read the Word of God slowly and reflectively so that it sinks into you.

2 Peter 1:3-7 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (ESV)

2 Pet 1:8 – For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

Meditatio.

Reflection. Think about the text and ruminate upon it so that you take from it what God wants to give you.

2 Peter 1:3-7 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (ESV)

2 Pet 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

What word or phrase stirs you? Take some time to murmur and mumble the word/s, taking a kind of pleasure in making the sounds and getting the feel of the meaning. Take in what God wants to give you that will make you more yourself, created in his image and likeness.

Make every effort to supplement your faith

Supplement/add: to furnish besides, i.e. fully supply aid or contribute; add, minister nourishment unto. Give, minister, to be a dance-leader; to lead, to bring forth, let go, keep, lead away, be open.3

For if these qualities:

Faith: persuasion, moral conviction of religious truth or the truthfulness of God, especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; to assent to evidence or authority, to rely by inward certainty, be confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.4

Virtue: intrinsic or attributed excellence; to lift up, to take up or away; by Hebraism to expiate sin.5

Knowledge: knowing, the act; allow, be aware of, feel, perceive, be resolved, be sure, understand.6

Self-control: temperance, self-restraint.7

Steadfastness: cheerful or hopeful endurance, constancy, patient continuance (waiting); bear trials, persevere, place under, especially of inferior position or condition.8

Godliness: piety, holiness; well-reverent, devout; to revere, i.e. adore.9

Brotherly kindness: fraternal affection; kindness, love of brothers and sisters, love feasts.10

Love: As used of God, love expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. The Spirit of revelation makes it known, to convey God’s will to his children concerning their attitude on toward another, and toward all men, and to express the essential nature of God. Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ. Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, and works no ill to any. Self-will, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.11

2 Pet 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For if these qualities be in you…

Be: To begin under (quietly), i.e. come into existence (be present or at hand); to exist as copula [something that connects or links together]; behave, live.12

For if these qualities be in you, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Why might these qualities be lacking in us?

You do not seek the glory that comes from the only God.

John 5:42-44 – But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? (ESV)

Are you living the life of trust?

2 Cor 13:5 – Examine yourselves to see whether you are living the life of trust. Test yourselves. Don’t you realize that Yeshua the Messiah is in you? — unless you fail to pass the test. (CJB)

Examine me, Lord.

Ps 26:2-3 – Examine me, Adonai, test me, search my mind and heart. For your grace is there before my eyes, and I live my life by your truth. (CJB)

How are these qualities developed in you?

Governed by your being in union with the Messiah.

Phil 2:5-8 – Let your attitude toward one another be governed by your being in union with the Messiah Yeshua: Though he was in the form of God, he did not regard equality with God something to be possessed by force. On the contrary, he emptied himself, in that he took the form of a slave by becoming like human beings are. And when he appeared as a human being, he humbled himself still more by becoming obedient even to death — death on a stake as a criminal! (CJB)

Give the Word of Christ room in your life.

Col 3:16-17 – Let the Word of Christ — the Message — have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives — words, actions, whatever — be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (MSG)

Keep praying.

Philem 6 – And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. (MSG)

For if these qualities be in you and are increasing…

Increasing/abound: to do, make or be more, increase, to superabound.13

United with the Lord your efforts are not in vain.

1 Cor 15:58 – So, my dear brothers, stand firm and immovable, always doing the Lord’s work as vigorously as you can, knowing that united with the Lord your efforts are not in vain. (CJB)

Remain deeply rooted in him.

Col 2:7 – Remain deeply rooted in him; continue being built up in him and confirmed in your trust, the way you were taught, so that you overflow in thanksgiving. (CJB)

May the Lord make you increase and overflow in love.

1 Thess 3:12-13 – And as for you, may the Lord make you increase and overflow in love toward each other, indeed, toward everyone, just as we do toward you; so that he may give you the inner strength to be blameless, by reason of your holiness, when you stand before God our Father at the coming of our Lord Yeshua with all his angels. (CJB)

For if these qualities be in you and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective…

Ineffective/baren: inactive, unemployed; lazy, useless; barren, idle, slow.14

Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep.

Prov 19:15-16 – Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger. Whoever keeps the commandment keeps his life; he who despises his ways will die. (ESV)

Be fervent in spirit.

Rom 12:11-12 – Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. (ESV)

So you won’t become spiritually dull and indifferent.

Heb 6:11-12 – And we are anxious that you keep right on loving others as long as life lasts, so that you will get your full reward. Then, knowing what lies ahead for you, you won’t become bored with being a Christian nor become spiritually dull and indifferent, but you will be anxious to follow the example of those who receive all that God has promised them because of their strong faith and patience. (TLB)

For if these qualities be in you and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful…

Unfruitful: barren, without fruit.15

The cares of the world choke the word.

Matt 13:22 – As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. (ESV)

Learn to apply yourself to doing good deeds.

Titus 3:14 – And have our people learn to apply themselves to doing good deeds that meet genuine needs, so that they will not be unproductive. (CJB)

2 Pet 1:8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Knowledge: recognition, full discernment, acknowledgment; to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize; to become fully acquainted with.16

Come to a full knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord.

2 Peter 1:2 – May grace and shalom be yours in full measure, as you come to a full knowledge of God and Yeshua our Lord. (CJB)

This is eternal life.

John 17:3 – And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. (ESV)

All the wisdom and understanding which the Spirit gives.

Col 1:9-10 – Therefore, from the day we heard of it, we have not stopped praying for you, asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will in all the wisdom and understanding which the Spirit gives; so that you may live lives worthy of the Lord and entirely pleasing to him, being fruitful in every good work and multiplying in the full knowledge of God. (CJB)

Be thirsty for the pure milk of the Word.

1 Peter 2:2-3 – and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. For you have tasted that Adonai is good. (CJB)

Oratio.

Response. Leave your thinking aside and simply let your heart speak to God. This response is inspired by your reflection on the Word of God.

2 Peter 1:3-7 – His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (ESV)

2 Pet 1:8 – For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)

But it is the spirit in man, the breath of the Almighty, that makes him understand. (Job 32:8 ESV)

Contemplatio.

Rest. Let go of your own ideas, plans and meditations, your holy words and thoughts. Simply rest in the Word of God. Listen at the deepest level of your being to God who speaks within you with a still small voice. As you listen, you are gradually transformed from within. Take what you read in the Word of God into your daily life. The way you live is the test of the authenticity of your prayer.

*****

Resources/For deeper study:

1Peterson, Eugene H. (1991). Answering God: The Psalms As Tools For Prayer (pg 26). New York, NY: HarperCollins.

2https://www.ocarm.org/en/carmelites/what-lectio-divina

3Supplement/add: NT:2023 <START GREEK>e)pixorhge/w <END GREEK> epichoregeo (ep-ee-khor-ayg-eh’-o); from NT:1909 and NT:5524; to furnish besides, i.e. fully supply, (figuratively) aid or contribute: KJV – add, minister (nourishment, unto).

4Faith: NT:4102 <START GREEK>pi/sti$ <END GREEK> pistis (pis’-tis); from NT:3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly, constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: KJV – assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

NT:3982 <START GREEK>pei/qw <END GREEK> peitho (pi’-tho); a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy, to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively, to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty): KJV – agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield. (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.)

5Virtue: NT:703 <START GREEK>a)re/th <END GREEK> arete (ar-et’-ay); from the same as NT:730; properly, manliness (valor), i.e. excellence (intrinsic or attributed): KJV – praise, virtue.

NT:730 <START GREEK>a&rrhn <END GREEK> arrhen (ar’-hrane); or arsen (ar’-sane); probably from NT:142; male (as stronger for lifting): KJV – male, man.

NT:142 <START GREEK>ai&rw <END GREEK> airo (ah’-ee-ro); a primary root; to lift up; by implication, to take up or away; figuratively, to raise (the voice), keep in suspense (the mind), specially, to sail away (i.e. weigh anchor); by Hebraism [compare OT:5375] to expiate sin: KJV – away with, bear (up), carry, lift up, loose, make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up). (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.)

6Knowledge: NT:1108 <START GREEK>gnw=si$ <END GREEK> gnosis (gno’-sis); from NT:1097; knowing (the act), i.e. (by implication) knowledge: KJV – knowledge, science.

NT:1097 <START GREEK>ginw/skw <END GREEK> ginosko (ghin-oce’-ko); a prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely) in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as follow, with others not thus clearly expressed): KJV – allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) know (-ledge), perceived, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand. (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.)

7Self-control: NT:1466 <START GREEK>e)gkra/teia <END GREEK> egkrateia (eng-krat’-i-ah); from NT:1468; self-control (especially continence): KJV – temperance.

NT:1468 <START GREEK>e)gkrath/$ <END GREEK> egkrates (eng-krat-ace’); from NT:1722 and NT:2904; strong in a thing (masterful), i.e. (figuratively and reflexively) self-controlled (in appetite, etc.): KJV – temperate. (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.)

8Steadfastness: NT:5281 <START GREEK>u(pomonh/ <END GREEK> hupomone (hoop-om-on-ay’); from NT:5278; cheerful (or hopeful) endurance, constancy: KJV – enduring, patience, patient continuance (waiting).

NT:5278 <START GREEK>u(pome/nw <END GREEK> hupomeno (hoop-om-en’-o); from NT:5259 and NT:3306; to stay under (behind), i.e. remain; figuratively, to undergo, i.e. bear (trials), have fortitude, persevere: KJV – abide, endure, (take) patient (-ly), suffer, tarry behind.

NT:5259 <START GREEK>u(po/ <END GREEK> hupo (hoop-o’); a primary preposition; under, i.e. (with the genitive case) of place (beneath), or with verbs (the agency or means, through); (with the accusative case) of place (whither [underneath] or where [below] or time (when [at]): KJV – among, by, from, in, of, under, with. In comp. it retains the same general applications, especially of inferior position or condition, and specifically, covertly or moderately.

NT:3306 <START GREEK>me/nw <END GREEK> meno (men’-o); a primary verb; to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): KJV – abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for),  thine own. (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.)

9Godliness: NT:2150 <START GREEK>eu)se/beia <END GREEK> eusebeia (yoo-seb’-i-ah); from NT:2152; piety; specially, the gospel scheme: KJV – godliness, holiness.

NT:2152 <START GREEK>eu)sebh/$ <END GREEK> eusebes (yoo-seb-ace’); from NT:2095 and NT:4576; well-reverent, i.e. pious: KJV – devout, godly.

NT:4576 <START GREEK>se/bomai <END GREEK> sebomai (seb’-om-ahee); middle voice of an apparently primary verb; to revere, i.e. adore: KJV – devout, religious, worship. (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.)

10Brotherly kindness: NT:5360 <START GREEK>filadelfi/a <END GREEK> philadelphia (fil-ad-el-fee’-ah); from NT:5361; fraternal affection: KJV – brotherly love (kindness), love of the brethren. (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.)

Love feasts: agape (<START GREEK>a)ga/ph<END GREEK>, NT:26) is used in the plural in Jude 12, and in some mss. in 2 Peter 2:13; RV marg., “many ancient authorities read ‘deceivings,'” (apatais); so the KJV. These love feasts arose from the common meals of the early churches (cf. 1 Cor 11:21). They may have had this origin in the private meals of Jewish households, with the addition of the observance of the Lord’s Supper. There were, however, similar common meals among the pagan religious brotherhoods. The evil dealt with at Corinth (l.c.) became enhanced by the presence of immoral persons, who degraded the feasts into wanton banquets, as mentioned in 2 Pet. and Jude. In later times the agape became detached from the Lord’s Supper. (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

11Love: A. Verbs. 1. agapao (<START GREEK>a)gapa/w<END GREEK>, NT:25) and the corresponding noun agape (B, No. 1 below) present “the characteristic word of Christianity, and since the Spirit of revelation has used it to express ideas previously unknown, inquiry into its use, whether in Greek literature or in the Septuagint, throws but little light upon its distinctive meaning in the NT. Cf, however, Lev 19:18; Deut 6:5.

“Agape and agapao are used in the NT (a) to describe the attitude of God toward His Son, John 17:26; the human race, generally, John 3:16; Rom 5:8, and to such as believe on the Lord Jesus Christ particularly John 14:21; (b) to convey His will to His children concerning their attitude one toward another, John 13:34, and toward all men, 1 Thess 3:12; 1 Cor 16:14; 2 Peter 1:7; (c) to express the essential nature of God, 1 John 4:8.

“Love can be known only from the actions it prompts. God’s love is seen in the gift of His Son, 1 John 4:9,10. But obviously this is not the love of complacency, or affection, that is, it was not drawn out by any excellency in its objects, Rom 5:8. It was an exercise of the divine will in deliberate choice, made without assignable cause save that which lies in the nature of God Himself, Cf. Deut 7:7,8.

“Love had its perfect expression among men in the Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Cor 5:14; Eph 2:4; 3:19; 5:2; Christian love is the fruit of His Spirit in the Christian, Gal 5:22.

“Christian love has God for its primary object, and expresses itself first of all in implicit obedience to His commandments, John 14:15,21,23; 15:10; 1 John 2:5; 5:3; 2 John 6. Selfwill, that is, self-pleasing, is the negation of love to God.

“Christian love, whether exercised toward the brethren, or toward men generally, is not an impulse from the feelings, it does not always run with the natural inclinations, nor does it spend itself only upon those for whom some affinity is discovered. Love seeks the welfare of all, Rom 15:2, and works no ill to any, 13:8,9,10; love seeks opportunity to do good to ‘all men, and especially toward them that are of the household of the faith,’ Gal 6:10. See further 1 Cor 13 and Col 3:12-14.”

From Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, p. 105.

In respect of agapao as used of God, it expresses the deep and constant “love” and interest of a perfect Being towards entirely unworthy objects, producing and fostering a reverential “love” in them towards the Giver, and a practical “love” towards those who are partakers of the same, and a desire to help others to seek the Giver. See BELOVED.

  1. phileo (<START GREEK>file/w<END GREEK>, NT:5368) is to be distinguished from agapao in this, that phileo more nearly represents “tender affection.” The two words are used for the “love” of the Father for the Son, John 3:35 (No. 1), and 5:20 (No. 2); for the believer, 14:21 (No. 1) and 16:27 (No. 2); both, of Christ’s “love” for a certain disciple, 13:23 (No. 1), and 20:2 (No. 2). Yet the distinction between the two verbs remains, and they are never used indiscriminately in the same passage; if each is used with reference to the same objects, as just mentioned, each word retains its distinctive and essential character.

Phileo is never used in a command to men to “love” God; it is, however, used as a warning in 1 Cor 16:22; agapao is used instead, e. g., Matt 22:37; Luke 10:27; Rom 8:28; 1 Cor 8:3; 1 Peter 1:8; 1 John 4:21. The distinction between the two verbs finds a conspicuous instance in the narrative of John 21:15-17. The context itself indicates that agapao in the first two questions suggests the “love” that values and esteems (cf. Rev 12:11). It is an unselfish “love,” ready to serve. The use of phileo in Peter’s answers and the Lord’s third question, conveys the thought of cherishing the Object above all else, of manifesting an affection characterized by constancy, from the motive of the highest veneration. See also Trench, Syn., Sec. xii.

Again, to “love” (phileo) life, from an undue desire to preserve it, forgetful of the real object of living, meets with the Lord’s reproof, John 12:25. On the contrary, to “love” life (agapao) as used in 1 Peter 3:10, is to consult the true interests of living. Here the word phileo would be quite inappropriate.

Note: In Mark 12:38, KJV, thelo, “to wish,” is translated “love” (RV, “desire”).

  1. Nouns. 1. agape (<START GREEK>a)ga/ph<END GREEK>, NT:26), the significance of which has been pointed out in connection with A, No. 1, is always rendered “love” in the RV where the KJV has “charity,” a rendering nowhere used in the RV; in Rom 14:15, where the KJV has “charitably,” the RV, adhering to the translation of the noun, has “in love.”

Note: In the two statements in 1 John 4:8 and 16, “God is love,” both are used to enjoin the exercise of “love” on the part of believers. While the former introduces a declaration of the mode in which God’s love has been manifested vv. 9,10, the second introduces a statement of the identification of believers with God in character, and the issue at the Judgment Seat hereafter v. 17, an identification represented ideally in the sentence “as He is, so are we in this world.”

  1. philanthropia (<START GREEK>filanqrwpi/a<END GREEK>, NT:5363) denotes, lit., “love for man” (phileo and anthropos, “man”); hence, “kindness,” Acts 28:2, in Titus 3:4, “(His) love toward man.” Cf. the adverb philanthropos, “humanely, kindly,” Acts 27:3. Note: For philarguria, “love of money,” 1 Tim 6:10, see MONEY (LOVE OF). For philadelphia, see BROTHER, Note (1). (from Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, Copyright © 1985, Thomas Nelson Publishers.)

12Be: NT:5225 <START GREEK>u(pa/rxw <END GREEK> huparcho (hoop-ar’-kho); from NT:5259 and NT:756; to begin under (quietly), i.e. come into existence (be present or at hand); expletively, to exist (as copula or subordinate to an adjective, participle, adverb or preposition, or as auxil. to principal (verb): KJV – after, behave, live.

NT:5259 <START GREEK>u(po/<END GREEK> hupo (hoop-o’); a primary preposition; under, i.e. (with the genitive case) of place (beneath), or with verbs (the agency or means, through); (with the accusative case) of place (whither [underneath] or where [below] or time (when [at]): KJV – among, by, from, in, of, under, with. In comp. it retains the same general applications, especially of inferior position or condition, and specifically, covertly or moderately.

NT:756 <START GREEK>a&rxomai <END GREEK> archomai (ar’-khom-ahee); middle voice of NT:757 (through the implication of precedence); to commence (in order of time): KJV – (rehearse from the) begin (-ning).

NT:757 <START GREEK>a&rxw <END GREEK> archo (ar’-kho); a primary verb; to be first (in political rank or power): KJV – reign (rule) over. (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.)

13Abound: NT:4121 <START GREEK>pleona/zw <END GREEK> pleonazo (pleh-on-ad’-zo); from NT:4119; to do, make or be more, i.e. increase (transitively or intransitively); by extension, to superabound: KJV – abound, abundant, make to increase, have over. (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.)

14Ineffective/barren: NT:692 <START GREEK>a)rgo/$ <END GREEK> argos (ar-gos’); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:2041; inactive, i.e. unemployed; (by implication) lazy, useless: KJV – barren, idle, slow. (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.)

15Unfruitful: NT:175 <START GREEK>a&karpo$ <END GREEK> akarpos (ak’-ar-pos); from NT:1 (as a negative particle) and NT:2590; barren (literally or figuratively): KJV – without fruit, unfruitful.

NT:2590 <START GREEK>karpo/$<END GREEK> karpos (kar-pos’); probably from the base of NT:726; fruit (as plucked), literally or figuratively: KJV – fruit.

NT:726 <START GREEK>a(rpa/zw <END GREEK> harpazo (har-pad’-zo); from a derivative of NT:138; to sieze (in various applications): KJV – catch (away, up), pluck, pull, take (by force). (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.)

16Knowledge: NT:1922 <START GREEK>e)pi/gnwsi$<END GREEK> epignosis (ep-ig’-no-sis); from NT:1921; recognition, i.e. (by implication) full discernment, acknowledgement: KJV – (ac-) knowledge (-ing, -ment).

NT:1921 <START GREEK>e)piginw/skw<END GREEK> epiginosko (ep-ig-in-oce’-ko); from NT:1909 and NT:1097; to know upon some mark, i.e. recognize; by implication, to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge: KJV – (ac-, have, take) know (-ledge, well), perceive. (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.)

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