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Greek Thoughts


MENO* - Part 6 - 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.

We are continuing with the study of the word μὲνω (Meno – Strong's #3306- to remain, to abide, to stay) through an examination of its many uses in Scripture. This has helped us understand that the word denotes a permanency of something/someone remaining or abiding in something/someone else. This week we will see that the permanency denoted by μὲνω, as used in the Greek New Testament, is important in describing the relationship between every person and sin.

So far in our study of μὲνω, we have established the following truths:

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).

This week our focus is on the relationship that every person has with sin, as it is revealed in 1 John 3:4-9.

1 John 3:4-9

Everyone practicing sin also is practicing lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.

John begins this section by introducing the concepts of practicing sin and, conversely, not practicing sin. He states that anyone who is practicing sin is also practicing a lawless life - a life in rebellion to the law and rule of the Lord.

And you know that One was revealed in order that he might remove our sins, and sin is not in him.

John is clearly teaching that Jesus came to deliver people from living their lives in the continual practice of sin.

Everyone abiding (μὲνω) in Him does not practice sin. Everyone sinning has not seen him, nor has he known him.

In verse 6, John uses μὲνω to convey the understanding that those who abide or remain in the Lord do not practice sin. In 1 John 2:1, he gives further insight to this concept: "My little children, these things I am writing to you in order that you might not sin; and if anyone should sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one." John is speaking here to believers and says his reason for writing them is so that they "might not sin". The phrase, "might not sin" is presented in the Greek text in the aorist active subjunctive form. The aorist tense signifies a one-time act; while the subjunctive mood expresses a possibility or probability. John is saying that if a believer should commit an act of sin, he/she can confess that sin (1 John 1:9); and the Lord will be his/her advocate before the Father interceding on the believer's behalf. John makes it clear that while believers may commit acts of sin, they do not practice sin.

Little children, let no one lead you astray; the one practicing righteousness is righteous, according as that one is righteous.

In this verse, John presents another evidence of a person's salvation. He writes that the person who practices righteousness is doing so because he is righteous according as the Lord is righteous. The Lord's righteousness is active in the life of anyone who is saved.

The one practicing sin is from the devil, because the devil is sinning from the beginning. For this the Son of God was revealed, in order that he might loosen the work of the devil.

John now identifies the source causing a person to practice a lifestyle of sin: "because the devil is sinning from the beginning." The devil is the sinner; and, according to Paul (Ephesians 2:2-3), the devil energizes disobedient people to fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind. It is he who energizes people to live a lifestyle of sin, in lawlessness and rebellion against the Lord.

Everyone who has been born from God does not practice sin, because His seed is abiding (μὲνω) in him, and he is not able to practice sin, because he has been born from God.

In this verse, John explains how the Lord loosens the work of the devil in a person's life. He first makes a factual statement, "Everyone who has been born from God does not practice sin." Then he gives the reason for this: because the seed of the life of God is abiding (μὲνω) in him. The life of God abiding in every believer gives each the capacity to not practice sin, because he/she "has been born from God".
Further insight is given by Paul in Galatians 5:17, "For the flesh desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit is against the flesh; and these are opposing to one another; in order that whatever you might wish to do, these things you should not do." This verse shows that the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit of God living within, and the Spirit of God stands in opposition to the flesh. The result of this work of God's Spirit is that believers are kept from doing the things that their flesh wants to do.

John himself states, in 1 John 5:18, "We know that everyone who has been born from God does not practice sin, but the one who has been born from God, God is keeping him, and the evil one does not touch him." The abiding Spirit of God keeps the believer in Christ and prevents the evil one from taking the believer away from Christ through use of the flesh. Peter adds his voice to this same concept in 1 Peter 1:5 saying that believers are "The ones being guarded in the power of God for salvation..."

The relationship a believer has with sin is based upon the abiding presence of the Spirit of God within him/her. A genuine child of God —one who has experienced spiritual birth from God, who has received God's seed in him/her self —is not able to practice a lifestyle of sin, because the continuous abiding of God's Spirit keeps him/her by bringing conviction and confession. The person who is practicing sin —the one who continually functions under the influence of the energizing of the devil —is not saved, because that person does not have the Spirit of God abiding in him.

Next week we will continue this study of μὲνω from I John, Chapter 3, focusing on the relationship of the Lord remaining or abiding in His people.

*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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