Nov 01

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In this second article under the above words we will be looking at the four phrases which the apostle of Christ wrote. Understanding that each word is God’s breath in the pen of the apostle Paul as it graces the page. It may be necessary for the reader to go back and refresh himself as to what was written in the first article. As there will not be a review of it.
We start with the apostle’s first word in the phrase and it is the Greek word “pro.” One might have expected to learn that Paul had used the Greek word “gar,” which assigns a reason, but he did not! However, we learn that he used the Greek word “pro” which is “a preposition of direction; forward to, that is, toward” (strong). This little Greek word must be important to the text, as Paul uses it with each phrase that follows. Therefore, as we learn the meaning of each word in the four phrases, we must remember that each is “forward looking!” But what are these four phrases looking at? This will not be explained until we get to verse seventeen.
The apostle will reveal what these inspired words can do. The apostle starts by telling us something that separates God’s word from all other writings; and it is the: “teaching, instruction.” There are books upon books written but not one of them has the ability that God’s word has, it is a teaching that is always profitable, it is always advantageous to the person who studies and learns with the intention of obeying the teaching! Let us here give attention to two passages; the first being Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” Now notice that Paul, being guided by the Holy Spirit, starts the next verse with the word “for,” which is the Greek “gar” and is “A primary particle; properly assigning a reason” (Strong). In other words, verse seventeen tells us why verse sixteen is true. So, why is verse sixteen true? Here is verse seventeen: “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.” The reason sixteen is true is because within it is “the righteousness of God!” Not that it reveals that God is righteous, but that it is the revelation of God’s means of making man righteous or justified. You can see that the little word “for” is most important to our understanding of the text! This “doctrine” or “teaching” is, as John the apostle wrote, “the teaching of Christ” and it is the means of our fellowship with God the Father and his Son, Jesus the Christ!
Paul’s second word is “reproof” and it comes from the Greek “elegchos” which means: “conviction” and carries with it “evidence” by which the “conviction” is made. It is a proof, that by which a thing is proved or tested. The “wiseman” of the Old Testament wrote: “Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die” (Pro. 15:10). The Christian is a person who is always subject to “correction!” In fact, as strange as it may sound in our world, the Christian is one who welcomes “correction.” Notice the words of Hebrews: “And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him” (Heb. 12:5). Now, why is this true, that Christians must not “despise” God’s “chastening?” Once more note that the little three letter word, “for,” as the writer starts the next verse: “For (“For” is the Greek “gar” assigning reason. frw) whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.” Yes, “the Lord loveth” those he “chasteneth,” and notice the “eth” on the end of the word and this tells us the “chastening” is continuous! So, do you welcome God’s “chastening?” Do you love the Lord’s “reproof?” The answer you give is revealing as to the direction your soul/spirit is going, it is going toward Heaven or Hell. The difference may be found in the word “chasteneth” and how we react to it!
It is hoped that this brief look into only two of Paul’s four phrases, that it has been “advantageous” to you. But, only you and God, can really know the answer to this question!

Frank R. Williams

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