MAKROTHUMIA* - Part 3- εχηγεομαι Patience, longsuffering, forbearance

MAKROTHUMIA* – Part 3- εχηγεομαι Patience, longsuffering, forbearance

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 with the third part of our study of the Greek nounμακροθυμὶα (Strong’s #3115), which means patience, longsuffering, forbearance, and its verb form μακροθυμὲω (Strong’s #3114), which means to persevere, to endure, to suffer long. Μακροθυμὶα is used to express a slow human reaction toward another human being or to express God’s waiting long to bring judgment against man.

Part One of our present study was taken from Galatians 5:22-23 and focused on the source producing long-suffering in the life of the believer. We learned thatμακροθυμὶα is part of the fruit of God’s Spirit and is used to describe the controlling of human reaction toward others for the purpose of allowing the Spirit of God to perform His will. Part Two of our study was taken from Ephesians 4:1-6, which taught us the necessity of μακροθυμὶα in Christian fellowship. We saw that true fellowship within the Church and successful ministry to other believers happens only when the Holy Spirit is in control of the human reaction; since believers need the ministry of God’s Spirit, not the fleshly reactions and opinions of others. This week we study the necessity of μακροθυμὶα in the life of anyone serving the Lord in a ministry capacity.

While both of his letters to Timothy contain warnings that there will be, within the Church itself, false teachings and people who rebel against the truth of God’s Word; it is in 2 Timothy 3 that Paul presents a foundation upon which the young pastor must base his life and ministry in order to counter apostasy in the Church. It is found in2 Timothy 3:10-12.

The Public Ministry and Life10)But you have closely followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering (μακροθυμὶα), love, endurance,

Paul lays the foundation by recounting what Timothy has already been doing, reminding him that he has closely followed nine things in Paul’s life and ministry, seven of which are listed in verse 10. First on Paul’s list is doctrine, and he encourages Timothy to continue to closely follow him. (We see Paul using strong and direct words relating to doctrine in Galatians 1:8-9— “But even if we, or an angel from out of Heaven, should preach a gospel to you beside what we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone should preach a gospel to you beside what you received, let him be accursed.”)

Listed next is godly conduct or manner of life. Paul is reminding Timothy that he has seen an example of a godly lifestyle, in as much as he (Timothy) has observed Paul living out his own teachings. Paul then reminds Timothy of purpose or motivation with respect to ministry and life itself. Fourth on Paul’s list is faith or trust in the Lord.

Long-suffering (μακροθυμὶα), our word of study, is listed next. Paul presents himself as an example of the need to hold back the human response and reaction in order to be effective in ministry for Christ. Any believer, whose human reaction to others is unchecked, will soon be disqualified from ministry; since it is imperative for effective ministry that only God’s Spirit touches the lives of others. Therefore, those who proclaim the Gospel of Christ must be under the control of the Holy Spirit.

Love is next on Paul’s list, and then endurance—remaining under circumstances. Timothy has seen Paul remain under his circumstances, trusting the Lord through them all.

The Persecutions11)persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me in Antioch, in Iconium, in Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but from out of them all the Lord delivered me.

The last two things comprising Paul’s foundation for life and ministry are found in verse 11, namely his persecutions and afflictions. He specifies that these happened to him in Antioch, in Iconium, and in Lystra, the region in Asia Minor that Timothy was from. So, Timothy actually observed the things Paul suffered in order to represent the truth of God’s Word. Paul then reminds Timothy that while he, Paul, endured all of these persecutions and afflictions, the Lord delivered him from out of them all. Paul did not say that the Lord delivered him “from” the persecutions, but “from out of them.” The Greek text is very specific and presents the fact that the Lord did not prevent Paul from being persecuted; but rather that, while Paul was being persecuted, the Lord delivered him from out of them.

The Promise12)Indeed and all the ones desiring to live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted.

In verse 12, Paul tells Timothy that the ones desiring to live godly in Christ Jesus shall be persecuted, and this statement is presented as a promise.

Taken all together, Paul’s message to Timothy is that, in order to be effective for Christ and to represent the truth of God’s word, Timothy must remember how Paul conducted himself in ministry and in his personal life. Paul emphasizes the fact that as he suffered the hardships of proclaiming the truth of the Gospel, the Lord was faithful to deliver him from out of them all. Paul also states that everyone desiring to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. In this presentation, Timothy is being encouraged to continue to follow Paul’s example of ministry and personal life when he deals with apostasy within the church.

Next week we will continue our study, from 2 Timothy 4, focusing on the necessity of longsuffering in the lives of those who would be effective for Christ.

*MAKROTHUMIA is the English font spelling of the Greek word μακροθυμὶα.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© 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 https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

MAKROTHUMIA* – Part 2 – εχηγεομαι Patience, longsuffering, forbearance

Author: Bill Klein

This week we are continuing our study of the Greek noun μακροθυμὶα(Strong’s #3115), which means “patience, longsuffering, forbearance,” and its verb form μακροθυμὲω (Strong’s #3114), which means “to persevere, to endure, to suffer long.” Both words are made up of the adjective μακρὸς(Strong’s #3117), which means “long,” and θυμὸς (Strong’s #2372), which means “passion, heat, anger.” Μακροθυμὶα is used to express a slow human reaction toward another human being or of God waiting long to bring judgment against man. It is helpful for the understanding of makroqumi/a to consider it in contrast to ὑπομονὴ, which means a remaining under or endurance in circumstances.

Our study last week, from Galatians 5:22-23, focused on the source producing long-suffering in the life of the believer. We learned that μακροθυμὶα is part of the fruit of God’s Spirit and is used to describe the controlling of human reaction toward others in order for the Spirit of God to perform His will. Our study today is fromEphesians 4:1-6 and deals with the necessity of μακροθυμὶα in Christian fellowship. Fellowship among and ministry to other believers happens only when the Holy Spirit is in control of the human reaction; since believers need the ministry of God’s Spirit, not the fleshly reactions and opinions of others. Therefore, successful fellowship and ministry among believers requires that Christians have their human reactions under the Spirit’s control.

Ephesians 4:1-61)I appeal to you therefore, I the prisoner in the Lord, that you should walkF1 worthily of the calling of which you were called,

Paul begins this section of his letter by making an appeal to the Ephesian Christians which he bases on his own circumstance of being imprisoned in Rome. He refers to himself as a prisoner in the Lord, not the prisoner of Rome. This shows that he viewed his circumstance as being part of his service in the Lord, necessary to fulfill the Lord’s will for his life. His appeal is for Christians to walk “worthily of the calling” to which the Lord has called them. Please notice that Paul did not appeal for them to “be worthy,” but to walk worthily. “Worthily” is the adverb ἀχὶως (Strong’s #516), a word describing the balancing of the marketplace scales. When a transaction took place, the seller placed an item on one side of the scale, and then the buyer put money on the other side of the scale, continuing to place coins until the two sides balanced. Although believers are not worthy to walk with Christ, we are called, as Paul teaches here, to walk in a worthy manner, living up to or balancing in equality to, the calling we have been given in Christ. Paul then presents what components make up the believer’s calling.2)with all humble-mindedness and meekness, with longsuffering (μακροθυμὶα), bearing up with one another in love;3)while being diligent to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Paul lists two prepositional phrases, each beginning with the preposition μετὰ (Strong’s #3326) meaning “with,” to denote the characteristics of walking worthily. The first two characteristics are joined together in one phrase. Paul uses the word ταπεινοφροσὺνη (Strong’s #5012) meaning a lowly or humble frame of mind for the first of these two characteristics. It is made up of the word ταπεινὸς (Strong’s #5011) meaning “lowly” or “humble,” and the word φρὴν (Strong’s #5424) denoting the frame of mind or attitude. Paul is teaching that a believer’s attitude toward others must come from a frame of mind that is humble or lowly, esteeming others before one’s self. This word is connected to the word for the second characteristic, πραὸτης (Strong’s #4236), translated “meekness.” Πραὸτης in this context, denotes a lack of self-assertiveness. These two words taken together express a lowly or humble attitude toward others coupled with a non-aggressiveness that exhibits a trust in the Lord in all circumstances. The second prepositional phrase contains our word of study, longsuffering (μακροθυμὶα). This word represents a control of human reaction, whereby the Spirit of God can influence the life of other believers without interference from human opinion and reaction.

Paul then uses two participial phrases to express the manner in which believers are to walk. The first, found at the end of verse 2, uses ἀνὲξομαι (Strong’s #430), the word for “bearing up.” It means to hold up or to bear under someone or something. Paul is using a word that represents a continuous undergirding and tolerance for other believers.

The second participial phrase is found in verse 3 where Paul uses the word σπουδὰζω (Strong’s #4704), which is translated “diligence.” This word denotes a priority. He is presenting that a priority in the believer’s life is “to keep the unity of the Spirit…” The word translated “to keep” is τηρὲω (Strong’s #5083), which means “to guard.” In this context, it means to keep in the sense of preserving something. Believers are to preserve “the unity of the Spirit” and are to do it “in the bond of peace.” Paul is teaching that the unity of the Spirit among believers already exists and that believers have the responsibility to preserve that unity, that oneness which binds all believers together. In verses 4-6, Paul lists seven characteristics of that unity.

4) There is one body, and one Spirit, according as you were called in one hope of your calling;5)one Lord, one faith, one baptism,6)one God and Father of all, the One who is over all, and through all, and in you all.

Paul teaches that believers must function in the Body of Christ with a lowly or humble frame of mind, coupled with a lack of self-assertiveness, in order to maintain and preserve the unity that already exists among them. They must also be slow in human reaction toward each other and have a continual ministry of holding up and tolerating others, while simultaneously 
making the preservation of the unity of the Spirit their top priority. As this study shows, all of these verses taken together teach that total control of the human element—from the mind to the emotions and responses—is necessary in order for the Spirit of God to be effective within the unity that already exists among believers.
Next week we will study, from Chapters 3,4 of II Timothy, the necessity of longsuffering in the lives of those ministers who would be effective for Christ.

*MAKROTHUMIA is the English font spelling of the Greek word μακροθυμὶα.

F1: The aorist infinitive περιπατησαι, “to walk” is translated νᾶπεριπατὴσητε, “that you should walk.”


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© 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 https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

MAKROTHUMIA* – Part 1 – εχηγεομαι Patience, longsuffering, forbearance

Author: Bill Klein

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 begin a five-part study of the Greek noun μακροθυμὶα (Strong’s #3115) meaning “patience, longsuffering, forbearance,” and its verb formμακροθυμὲω (Strong’s #3114) meaning “to persevere, to endure, to suffer long.” Both words are made up of the adjective μακρὸς (Strong’s #3117), which means “long,” and θυμὸς (Strong’s #2372), which means “passion, heat, anger.” Μακροθυμὶα is used to express a slow human reaction toward another human being or of God waiting long to bring judgment against man. It is helpful for the understanding of makroqumi/a to consider it in contrast to uÕpomonhv, which means a remaining under or endurance in circumstances.

As we will establish in this study, μακροθυμὶα is a necessity in Christian fellowship, as well as in ministry. This is because successful fellowship and ministry among Christians happens only when human reactions are under control. People need the ministry of God’s Spirit, not the human reaction and opinions of others. This necessary control is brought about by the presence and ministry of God’s Spirit. Our study this week, fromGalatians 5:22-23, will focus on the source that produces long-suffering in the life of the believer.

It must first be noted that μακροθυμὶα, longsuffering or slow in human reaction, is produced by God’s Spirit alone. It is not an ability possessed by a human being, nor is it the result of human effort. A person can exercise discipline to control the flesh, but he/she cannot duplicate the control of his/her reactions toward other persons for the purposes of God.

Galatians 5:22-2322)But the fruit of the Spirit is love (ἀγὰπη – Strong’s #26), joy, peace, longsuffering (μακροθυμὶα), kindness, goodness, faith,
23) gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
In this very well-known presentation of Paul, we find the fruit (singular) of God’s Spirit presented. Although many commentators have labored over the seemingly difficult way in which the fruit of the Spirit is presented in this text, the Greek grammar helps to clarify the meaning. The word for “fruit” is singular indicating that there is only one fruit of God’s Spirit, with many parts making up the whole. That is to say that the one fruit of God’s Spirit is comprised of the nine components described here in these verses. Just as there are many elements making up one piece of fruit, so there are many elements working together to make up the one fruit of God’s Spirit. This tells us that one part of the fruit cannot be separated from the others.

This understanding of longsuffering as a component of the fruit of the Spirit, and of the concept of the one being inseparable from the whole, is expanded even more in 1 Corinthians 13:4, where we find Paul integrating longsuffering into his description of Agape (note that Agape is also a component of the fruit of the Spirit (vs. 22).

1 Corinthians 13:44)Love (ἀγὰπη) suffers long (μακροθυμὲω) and is kind; love is not envious; love is not boastful, is not puffed up.

In this text, Paul presents a description of Agape, the highest form of love, one originating from God. It is this love that causes believers to care about the spiritual welfare of others. It is this love causing believers to desire that others be ministered to by God’s Spirit, not by the reactions of the flesh. And, as Paul’s writing shows, this love is characterized by longsuffering.

Just as Agape is present in mature believers, so must μακροθυμὶα be present because each is an integral, inseparable part of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and each is a component of the other (Galatians 5:22-23; 1 Corinthians 13:4). The successful effect of God’s Spirit on others, whether that be simply in fellowship or in ministry, is accomplished only through their presence within the believer. Whether we, as mature believers, are emotionally up or down, whether we are angry with another or indifferent, God’s Spirit keeps our fleshly reactions under control, enabling His Spirit to flow in fellowship and ministry.

Next week we will study, from Ephesians 4:1-6, the necessity of longsuffering among believers in order to maintain the unity of fellowship.

*MAKROTHUMIA is the English font spelling of the Greek word μακροθυμὶα.


Copyright Statement
Greek Thoughts‘ Copyright 2020© 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 https://www.studylight.org/language-studies/greek-thoughts.html  2) ‘Greek Thoughts‘ content may not be arranged or “mirrored” as a competitive online service.

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