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Greek Thoughts


MENO* - Part 3 - εχηγεομαι (Strong's #1834)
To remain, to abide, to stay

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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 continue our study of the word μὲνω (meno – Strong's #3306), which means to remain, to abide, or to stay. The use of this word in the Greek New Testament is important in describing the relationship between every believer and Christ; in that the permanence of the believer in Christ and of Christ in him/her is elucidated through an understanding of μὲνω.

In the previous parts of this study, we established the meaning of μὲνω through an examination of its many uses in Scripture, which helped us understand that the word denotes a permanency of something or of someone remaining or abiding. This understanding is of the utmost importance because of errant teachings being circulated in the Church today; teachings which state that a believer must practice certain mental principles in order to remain in or continue to dwell in Christ.

Last week, we focused on μὲνω to show the permanence of a believer's relationship with God's word. Our texts were taken from the Gospel of John, Chapters 5,8, where Jesus Himself emphasizes the importance of a believer's relationship with God's Word. In John 8:31, He states that the genuine believer is one who is remaining in His Word; conversely, in John 5:38, He describes unbelievers as those who do not have God's Word abiding in them.

This week we shift our attention to John 14:15-17 and John 15:4-8 where μὲνω is used to give the understanding that the person who belongs to the Lord has the Spirit of God "abiding" or "remaining" in him.

John 14:15-17

If you should love Me, keep My commandments.

And I will ask the Father, and He will give to you another Comforter, in order that He might remain (μὲνω) with you forever,

Here the Lord is telling those who belong to Him that He is asking for another Comforter to be given to them; One that will remain with them forever. The word "remain" is our word of study, μὲνω. The word "another" is the Greek word ἄλλον (allon - Strong's #243) meaning "another of the same kind." Jesus is saying that another Comforter, of the same kind as He, will be given to them by the Father and this Comforter will remain or abide with them forever. In verse 16, the permanence inherent in μὲνω is further emphasized by the modifier "forever."

the Spirit of Truth, whom the world is not able to receive because it does not see Him nor know Him; but you know Him because He is abiding (μὲνω) alongside of you and will be in you.

Now Jesus explains that the Comforter to be sent is the "Spirit of Truth," whom the world
does not know and therefore does not receive. However, this "Spirit of Truth" is currently (at the time of Jesus speaking) remaining or abiding alongside of them and in the future will be remaining or abiding in them. At the time Jesus speaks these words, He has been their Comforter, the One who has been alongside them, during His time on the earth; but here He gives them understanding that after He ascends to the Father, this other comforter of the same kind will come to remain and abide in them. Again the emphasis is on the remaining and abiding of the Spirit of Truth within the believer.

John 15:4-7

Abide (μὲνω) in Me, and I in you. According as the branch is not able to produce fruit from itself, unless it should abide (μὲνω) in the vine, in this way neither are you able unless you should abide (μὲνω) in Me.

In John 15, Jesus continues His presentation of abiding. Comprehension of this passage comes from understanding the phrase "abide in Me." Jesus says that as the branch of the vine does not have the capacity to produce fruit from itself alone, neither are they (believers) able to produce fruit unless they abide or remain in the Lord. The branch abiding in the vine is presented as having the life of the vine flowing through it, which causes the production of fruit; but the unproductive branch, which might be attached to the vine, is described as not "abiding" in the vine.

I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one abiding (μὲνω) in Me, and I in him, this one is producing much fruit, because separate from Me you are not able to do one thing.

Based upon the truth presented in verse 4, Jesus says that the "The one abiding in Me" is
producing much fruit. The word "abiding" is the present participial form of μὲνω, which expresses a continuous condition. The phrase "The One abiding" represents a person who is permanently and continuously abiding in the Lord. The Lord then states a fact: this person who is continuously abiding in the Lord "is producing much fruit." Jesus did not say, "Should be producing much fruit;" He said, "is producing much fruit." Next He gives the reason why this is so: because separate from the Lord, a believer is not able to do one thing. It is the life of Christ "abiding" within a believer that produces fruit. This corresponds to Paul's teaching on the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22. These texts make it very clear that the fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit of God, not by human effort; and this fruit is being produced in the life of every believer because the Spirit of God is abiding in them. This fruit, which cannot be produced by human effort, is presented as evidence that a person belongs to Christ.

Jesus then goes on to describe the natural process of one who does not "abide" in Him: this one suffers the same fate as an unproductive branch, which is removed, dried up, and then thrown into the fire and burned.

Unless anyone should abide (μὲνω) in Me, he is thrown out as the branch and is dried up; and they gather them, and they throw it into the fire, and it is burned.

If you should abide (μὲνω) in Me, and My words should abide (μὲνω) in you, whatever you should desire you will ask, and it will happen for you.

Jesus finishes His description of the relationship between Himself and His true disciples
(branches) by saying that if the Lord is abiding in a person, and the Lord's Words are abiding in him, whatever that person will ask, it will happen for him. This guarantee is based on two things: the person has the abiding Spirit of Christ and has Christ's Word abiding in him. When a person is asking the Father in prayer, while under the influence of the Spirit of Christ, and is praying according to the Word of God, the Lord guarantees that what the person asks will happen.

The Word of God teaches that a person belonging to Christ has the Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, abiding and remaining in him. The word μὲνω does not describe a believer who has the Spirit of God abiding in him one moment and then does not have His abiding presence in the next moment. To the contrary, a genuine believer continuously has the Spirit of Truth abiding and remaining in him. This is not a qualification, but is rather an evidence that one truly belongs to Christ. This condition does not entail the mental practice of thinking upon the presence of the Spirit of God in order to have the Spirit of God abiding in one. A genuine believer never experiences the condition of not having the abiding Spirit of God. The Spirit of Truth isn't there one moment and gone the next. The abiding Spirit of God is in permanent relationship with the believer, just as is the vine with the branches.

Next week we will continue our study of μὲνω, from I John, Chapter 2, focusing on the evidences of those who are remaining or abiding in the Lord. Specifically, we will study the presentation that those who belong to Christ will not leave the truth, nor will they go out from the Body of Christ.

*MENO is the English font spelling of the Greek word μὲνω.

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Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, October 27th, 2020
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30
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Meet the Author
Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.
He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master's Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries - The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their website
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