Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries - The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.
In the previous parts of this study, we established the meaning of μὲνω (meno Strong's #3306- to remain, to abide, to stay) through an examination of its many uses in Scripture. This helped us understand that the word denotes a permanency of something/someone remaining or abiding in something/someone else.
So far we have studied the following scriptures:
Relationship with the Lord
The non-believer remains in darkness while the Lord abides with the believer (John 12:46; 6:56; 15:4-7).
Relationship with the Spirit of God
The Comforter is to remain with the disciples of the Lord forever and the abiding Spirit of God produces fruit within their lives (John 14:16; John 15:4).
Relationship with the Word of God
The Word of God remains forever. The Word of God is not abiding in non-believers; but, in contrast, the genuine believer is remaining in the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23-25; John 5:38; 8:31).
Relationship with the Body of Christ
The ones who are antichrist will not remain with the Body of Christ, but those who belong to Christ cannot leave because of the anointing abiding in them (1 John 2:19; 2:27).
Relationship of Every Person to Sin
The one practicing sin is from the devil. Every one who has been born of God does not practice sin because God's seed is abiding in him/her (1 John 3:8-9).
Relationship with Christ Himself
We know that we are abiding in Him from the Spirit whom He has given to us (1 John 3:24; 1 John 4:13).
Relationship with God's Love
The one not loving his/her brother is abiding in death. God is abiding in the one who is loving his/her brother (1 John 3:14; 1 John 4:12).
This week our focus is on μὲνω as it is used in II John to show how this "abiding" is the evidence that one is dwelling in truth.
2 John 1-2
- The elder to the elect lady and her children, whom I love in truth, and not I only, but also all the ones having known the truth,
- on account of the truth abiding (μὲνω) in us, and will be with us for ever.
John writes both II and III John to present that love and truth are inseparable. One cannot compromise with truth and be motivated by God's love at the same time. II John was written to a woman and her children who lived in the area of Asia Minor. John states in verse one that his love for them is in truth. He goes on to say that he not only loves them in truth, but also all of the believers who have come to know the truth.
In verse two, John presents the basis for this love: "on account of the truth abiding in us." The word "abiding" in this sentence is our word of study. "Abiding" is in the present participial form of μὲνω, which expresses a continual abiding. The participle would represent the fact that the truth abiding in us is constant and does not come and go. Not only does John say that the truth is abiding in us, but also "will be with us for ever." This entire expression teaches a truth abiding permanently within believers.
After these introductory remarks, John goes on to teach about the doctrine of the Christ in verse 9:
- Everyone turning aside and not continuing (μὲνω) in the doctrine of the Christ does not have God. The one continuing (μὲνω) in the doctrine of the Christ, this one has both the Father and the Son.
John presents two expressions that describe a person who does not have God. The first expression is from the Greek word translated "turning aside," παραβαὶνω (pronounced parabaino - Strong's #3845), which is the normal word for "trespass." Some of the older Greek manuscripts use the word προὰγω (pronounced proago - Strong's #4254), which means to go forward or beyond the doctrine of the Christ as John is teaching it. John is describing someone who "turns aside" or "goes beyond" the path of the true doctrine of the Christ. The second expression describes a person who will "not be continuing in the doctrine of the Christ." The word translated "continuing" is our word of study, μὲνω, again used in the present participial form expressing a continuous, uninterrupted walk based on the doctrine of the Christ as John has presented it. John is stating that a person who does not have God will not stay continuously in the true doctrine of the Christ, but will rather turn off of the path into false doctrine. This is another evidence of a person who does not belong to Christ.
Throughout Church history, many false doctrines have circulated through the Body of Christ. There is a system of false teaching circulating today that is based on mental training. This system states that in order to abide and remain in the Lord, one must practice certain mental exercises to keep one's mind on the Lord and His Word. This teaching also holds that the one who is not thinking about the Lord and His Word is a person who is no longer abiding or remaining in the Lord. The Bible, however, clearly teaches that our relationship with Jesus Christ is not mental, but spiritual. The principle governing whether one is abiding in the Lord or not is the indwelling presence of the Spirit of God (refer to 1 John 3:24 and 1 John 4:13). Paul emphasized this same truth in Romans 8:9 when he wrote, "Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this one is not of Him." He also writes, in Romans 8:14, "For as many as are being led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God." Again, in Romans 8:16, he says, "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are children of God." Paul's expressed challenge to the Christians in Corinth is found in 2 Corinthians 13:5: "Examine yourselves, if you are in the faith; prove you own selves, or do you not know that Jesus Christ is in you, except you are reprobates?"
As we have seen from previous studies in this series, a believer's mind can wander; but his/her spirit cannot; since it is the power of God's Spirit that keeps a believer abiding in Christ. This understanding is found in many scriptures: 1 Peter 1:5, believers are "the ones being kept in the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time;" Jude, verse 24, " to the One being able to keep you without stumbling and to set you before His glory blameless in exultation;" John 10:27-29, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me. And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish forever and not anyone will seize them from out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to seize them from out of the hand of my Father."
Once a person has experienced a spiritual birth by receiving Christ, that person is then abiding and remaining in the Lord because of the Spirit of God abiding in him. This position, or condition, can never change; because the Spirit of God forever lives within the spirits of His people.
*MENO is the English font spelling of the Greek word μὲνω.
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