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.
This week we are continuing our study of ὑπομονὴ, an essential quality in the life of the believer, as taught by Paul in 2 Timothy 2:8-13. The noun ὑπομονὴ (Strong's #5281) means patience, endurance, perseverance and contains the concept of remaining under or endurance in circumstances. In Parts 113 of this study, our emphasis was on the development of ὑπομονὴ as it is formed in believers through the Christian growth process. Last week our focus widened to include the importance of the development of ὑπομονὴ in believers because we live in a world which is being subjected to hopelessness, wherein only the maturity of the believer enables him/her to remain under the circumstances of life. In today's study, we widen our focus even more to include the importance of the development of ὑπομονὴ in the believer through the hardships of a life lived in service to Christ, as expressed in the verb form ὑπομὲνω (Strong's #5278), which expresses the activity of remaining under circumstances.
2 Timothy 2:8-13
- Remember Jesus Christ having been raised from out of the dead, having been raised from out of the seed of David, having been raised according to my gospel.
- in which I suffer hardship as far as chains as an evildoer; but the Word of God has not been chained.
Paul states that he suffers hardship, even that of being chained as a criminal, in order to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He reveals the spiritual principle motivating him to remain under his circumstances by stating that even though he is chained and limited by physical circumstances, the Word of God has not been chained. Paul lives with the conscious reality that, no matter what hardship he suffers for the gospel, no circumstance can prevent the Word of God from being proclaimed.
- On account of this I endure (ὑπομὲνω) all things on account of the elect, in order that they might obtain salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.
Paul states it is because of this spiritual principle, found in verse 9, that he endures all things, on account of the elect; so that they might obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus. This teaching reveals the key to the message of Christ as seen through Paul's lifethat of enduring, or remaining under circumstances. Paul remains under his circumstances, not looking for an escape; because he knows that the Word of God cannot be chained even though he himself is being physically restrained. Paul then quotes what appear to be the lines of a hymn well known to the contemporary Christian community:
- Faithful is the word:
we will also live with Him.
- If we endure (ὑπομὲνω),
If we deny Him,
that One also will deny us.
- If we are unfaithful,
He is not able to deny Himself.
Paul uses the words of this hymn to teach that what we suffer in this life will turn into life with Christ. If we endure or remain under here, we will one day reign with Him. But if we deny Him here, He will also deny us. And even if we are unfaithful, He remains faithful; because He is not able to deny Himself. Through these verses, Paul states that endurance, or remaining under circumstances, in this present life carries with it the promise of one day reigning with the Lord. Jesus Himself teaches this in Matthew 24:13 when He says, "But the one who has endured unto the end, this one will be saved."
Endurance is a major characteristic being developed in each believer through the maturation process. It is only through endurance that the gospel is preached, and it is only through the development of endurance that a believer is able to hold steady through the tribulations and hardships of life to reach the end when all believers will reign with Christ. Paul, in encouraging the Thessalonians concerning the patient waiting for the coming of Christ, writes in 2 Thessalonians 3:5, "Now may the Lord guide your hearts into the love of God, and into the endurance (ὑπομονὴ) of Christ." Enduring circumstances is a fundamental characteristic of the person who is saved.
*hUPOMONE is the English font spelling of the Greek word ὑπομονὴ.
'Greek Thoughts' Copyright 2013© Bill Klein. 'Greek Thoughts' articles may be reproduced in whole under the following provisions: 1) A proper credit must be given to the author at the end of each article, along with a link to www.studylight.org/ls/gt/ 2) 'Greek Thoughts' content may not be arranged or "mirrored" as a competitive online service.