DBG Weekend Spotlight (6-23-17)

DBG Weekend Spotlight (6-23-17)

In the recent 2017 Ligonier Regional Conference, Discovering the God of the Bible—John MacArthur preached on “The Lord is my light and my salvation” (Ps. 27:1).

In conjunction with the 2017 SBC in Phoenix, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary held a micro-conference.  I commend the following to you from that event—Why Church Membership Matters (Jason Allen), Why Baptism Matters (Mark Dever), and Why Biblical Manhood Matters (Owen Strachan).

4-Minute Clip: We Are Not All Missionaries — “The only way we’ll complete the Great Commission is if some of us accept God’s call to take the gospel to the unengaged and unreached peoples of our world.”

The First Martyr In Scripture — Paul Tripp writes about Abel, the first martyr in Scripture.  He writes, “I love the fact that Abel still speaks long after he died. We should pray too that, by grace, our legacies will continue long after we have gone home.”

Albert Mohler’s One Book Recommendation — When Albert Mohler talks books people often stop and listen.  When he recommends that everyone read just one book, it would be a good idea to take his advice.

$5 Friday: The Church, Predestination, & Scripture — Some good resources for only $5.

What Is Saving Faith? — “For the Roman Catholic Church, faith plus works equals justification; for antinomians, faith minus works equals justification; for the Protestant Reformers, faith equals justification plus works. In other words, works are the necessary fruit of true faith.”

Will All People Be Equal in Heaven? — “Our different personalities, rewards, positions, and names in Heaven (see Revelation 2:17) speak not only of our individuality but also of how God finds unique reasons to love us. I love my wife and daughters, and I love different things about each.”

YouTube has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users watching a ton of mobile video — The statistics of people who are watching videos online are quite staggering.

Are You Spiritually Malnourished?

Are You Spiritually Malnourished?

The Christian life is a long and arduous journey rather than a short swift sprint.  During the journey of faith, we will often face periods of intense struggle.  At one point, Jesus reminded Peter that Satan had asked to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31).  In short, the Christian life is not easy.  There will be times where we feel weak and anemic in the faith.  Have you ever left church feeling as if you’re not growing in your faith?  Is that your pastor’s fault?  Is that your church’s fault?  Can we blame Satan?  Who is to blame for your spiritual condition?  When you feel malnourished spiritually, you should take time to evaluate your spiritual life and ask yourself three very important questions.

Am I serving too much in my local church?

Every local church has needs and if we’re not careful, we will sign up for another area of service simply to fill a vacancy.  That may be alright for a short while, but in the long run, the whole church cannot rest upon the shoulders of one or two people.  The church is called to share the load, spread out the responsibilities, and help one another as a family, a team, and specifically as we see in Scripture—as a church.

Perhaps you need to learn to use a specific vocabulary word that’s often frowned upon.  That word is—no.  We must all learn to use that word at times and in certain circumstances we should not feel guilt for turning down a service role in the church.  If you are already serving in various areas of the church, is it going to make you more or less healthy to take on another responsibility?  Will this new role remove you from the life of the church?  Will you be forced to miss the prayer meeting of the church?  When you add up the number of Sunday morning services that you miss, what percentage of the year does it total?

It’s essential for you to recognize that you’re not Superman (or Wonder Woman) spiritually.  You need the church.  You need to gather with the church, pray with the church, sing with the church, and to be served by the church too.  Don’t over serve in the local church.

What effort am I putting into the study of God’s Word?

Where do you sit in church?  Are you sitting near the back?  Not always, but many times people choose to sit near the back in order to be less involved and more disconnected from the preaching of God’s Word.  That might not be why you’re sitting near the back, but it could be one evidence of your disconnect.

Do you know what your pastor is preaching on right now on Sunday mornings?  If your church gathers for evening worship, what series is being preached on Sunday evenings?  Supposing that those are expository studies, have you been reading through those particular books of the Bible and spending time in prayer?  Have you requested any resources from your pastors on those biblical passages or topics in order to deepen your faith and understanding?

When I was preparing to begin my seminary classes, I remember an older pastor explaining to me that it wasn’t about what school that I attended that would make the ultimate difference with me through my seminary years.  He explained that it was all about what effort I put into my studies.  You can find the best local church in your town, but if you’re not putting effort into learning the Word, knowing God, and progressing in your faith—you will continue to remain malnourished even in a good local church.  You cannot grow in grace by accident.  It requires work.  The greatest athletes don’t become great by accident.  The same thing is true for Christians.

When people come to me and want to talk about how they feel disconnected from the church or that they’re not growing at the rate they feel they should, one of the most basic questions I ask them is focused on their church attendance.  How can a baseball player expect to improve his game if he never shows up for practice?  Can we honestly expect a football player to make progress if he never dresses out and shows up on the field for practice?  Why would we expect Christians to grow in their walk with God if they’re constantly absent from the life of the church?

Am I under a spiritual attack?

The ministry of Satan is to deceive, destroy, and to discourage.  We often underestimate our enemy.  That’s why Paul commands us to put on the whole armor of God as we enter the spiritual battlefield (Eph. 6:11).  It’s very probable that your malnourishment is due to a wound you’ve received from your enemy because you didn’t have the shield of faith or you were going out to battle without the breastplate of righteousness.  Attacks come with great intensity at times, but they also come when you least expect it.

If you’re blaming your pastors, your church, your Sunday school class, or other aspects of your church for your spiritual condition—could it be that you are over worked in your church and that you haven’t been putting forth any effort to grow spiritually?  Could it be that Satan is attacking you and your church and you can’t see it?  Could it be that Satan’s ministry of division is playing itself out in your life and the life of your church?

Don’t blame others for your spiritual weakness.  If you have a lack of passion for God’s Word, a lazy spirit for evangelism, a lack of desire for God, or perhaps a lack of love for your pastors who serve you or your church as a whole—you’re either not a Christian or you’re standing in desperate need of revival.  Don’t play the blame game.  The problem might not be your church—it might be you.

If you feel spiritually sick, go to Jesus Christ who can change your heart, renew your spirit, revive your soul and bring you out of a state of spiritual malnourishment.  Find your hope and joy in God through Jesus Christ.  Spend time contemplating the great grace that’s yours in Jesus and how you can can find true meaning in life and purpose as a Christian through your local church.  Don’t remain in a state of spiritual lethargy.  Healing and renewal is much closer than you think.

In his excellent book, For the Love of God, D.A. Carson writes:

People do not drift toward holiness.

Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord.

We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated. [1]


  1.  D.A. Carson, For the Love of God: A Daily Companion for Discovering the Riches of God’s Word, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 1999), 23.
DBG Spotlight (6-21-17)

DBG Spotlight (6-21-17)

A few months ago, Les Lanphere interviewed Paul Washer for his own project. In this short (extended) interview, you will hear Paul Washer explain the essentials of the gospel.

Why Refusing to Resolve Conflict Hinders Prayer — Some helpful words about the need to pursue forgiveness.

A Faithful Steward of My Other Pulpit — “Every pastor has multiple responsibilities. But the pastor’s primary, central, and definitive function is to preach the word of God. A faithful pastor will not compromise the centrality of the pulpit…A pastor’s stewardship of his pulpit extends to others he invites to preach to his congregation. When a pastor invites anther pastor to preach at his church, it is never a light matter. There are huge spiritual implications involved.”

How to Do Ministry When You Don’t Have Money — There is a direct connection between money and ministry, but you must continue ministry even when money is not abounding.

Church Plants Need Pastors, Not Entrepreneurs — Daniel Gardner writes, “But if you’re the product you choose to promote, then you’re entering a lose-lose scenario. If you fail, you’ll have no one else to blame—and if your church takes off because of you, you’ll have built it on something other than biblical community. You will have won glory for yourself, not for God.”

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn — A helpful excerpt from Blessed Are Those Who Mourn, Matt Smethurst’s contribution to the June issue of Tabletalk.

Jesus Said He’d Return Soon, So Where Is He? — “A careful study of New Testament prophecy should never lead us to assume that Jesus and the apostles were wrong about the timing of Jesus’s return.”

Why should we read classic books? [Podcast] — Aaron Armstrong answers a couple of good questions:  Why is it important to read classic books? What do we gain from them—and what do we lose if we avoid them?

The Blessings and Burdens of A Church Planter’s Wife — Gloria Furman writes, “Blessings and burdens mingle together as we live in this world that groans for the Day of redemption—now several minutes closer than it was at the start of this article. There’s no way a finite heart can hold all the things a church planting wife will face in life and ministry. But Christ can, he does, and he will.”

Why Your Small Group Cannot Be Your Church

Why Your Small Group Cannot Be Your Church

When new people enter our church, we encourage them from the beginning to get involved in a small group or two.  The reality is, just attending church on Sunday is not sufficient for spiritual growth and relational growth among the church body.  In order for a family to be healthy, two things are required in the life of the church—spiritual progress in active obedience to the gospel and relational growth among genuine friendships in the church.  Small groups—both Sunday school and other avenues designed specifically for men and women are essential.

With all of the focus on small groups and how such groups are vital for healthy church growth, it would be wise to pause and consider the fact that something more than a small group is necessary.  It would be wise to recognize that your small group is not your church—in fact it can’t be.

You Need Preaching Too

While small groups often focus on good teaching and group discussion, you need something more than that in your spiritual life.  Each Christian needs to sit under the preaching of God’s Word on a weekly basis.  While preaching and teaching certainly have their common ground and overlap in many areas, they are not exactly the same thing.  That’s why we see different terms used in the Scriptures to reference teaching (διδάσκω) and preaching (κηρύσσω).

God uses the faithful preaching of the Bible to reprove, rebuke, and encourage the church in ways that may differ from teaching.  It is also God’s design to use the preaching of God’s Word as the message of a herald sent from the King in ways that may not allow for immediate dialogue and discussion. This is good for the heart, the mind, and the conscience.  This is God’s design for the church (Acts 15:35; Romans 16:25; 1 Corinthians 15:1).

You Need to Observe the Ordinances

While small groups certainly have their place, there is no place for the observance of baptism and the Lord’s Supper within those small groups to the exclusion of the whole church.  Although it may seem like a popular thing for youth to be baptized in the ocean at summer camp, since this is an ordinance of the local church it would seem most appropriate for new converts to be baptized when the local church can gather for that purpose.  The same thing must be stated regarding the Lord’s Supper.  A Bible study group on the college campus should refrain from observing the Lord’s Supper unless the entire church comes together for that purpose.

If you think that Sunday school is enough, you’re wrong.  If you think that your special group within the life of the church is all you need—you’re missing the big picture of the church.  You need more than your small group—you need to gather with the whole church and observe the Lord’s Supper and witness new converts follow Christ in believer’s baptism.  This is essential for your spiritual progress, and this can’t happen in your life if you’re excluded from the wider body of believers.

You Need the Whole Body—Not Just a Few Body Parts

Just as you need all of your body rather than just a small group of your body parts—so it is with the church.  You need more than your Saturday morning coffee group.  You need more than your Sunday school class.  Yes, those groups are essential and profitable for your spiritual growth—but you still need more.

You need the wider body of believers who have been redeemed by Christ and who come together as one body from different backgrounds, diverse age ranges—encompassing male and female.  This is evident as we read Titus 2 and see the exhortation for the older to invest into the lives of the younger.

Likewise, you need more than a group of people gathered to study the Bible. You need for the church’s leadership and servant roles to be employed in your life.  You need elders to oversee you and deacons to serve you.  The offices of the church are critical for spiritual growth—and these offices are often not fully functional in the context of your small group. You need the whole church.

You Need to Sing with the Whole Church

Finally, it’s important to consider the value and necessity of singing together as a church.  Not only is singing a vital part of worship, it also serves as a means of discipleship.  Singing the gospel not only praises God, but it helps people learn theology and affects their doxology.

Most small groups meet together, discuss theology, pray together (and for one another), but not many small groups sing together.  Singing is crucial to true worship and sanctification.  This is why the corporate gathering of believers made up of diverse ages, races, and sexes coming together to sing the gospel is so important.  This goes beyond what typically happens at Starbucks on Saturday morning.

The next time you gather together with your small group—be thankful for how that group works together for your spiritual growth, but never lose sight of this reality—that group is not your church and can’t be your church on several different levels.  You need the church and your small group, but don’t embrace your intimate reading group to the exclusion of the whole church.  That pattern is common, but it’s also extremely dangerous.  Don’t buy into the lie that you’re a special case and that you don’t need the whole church.  You could do without your small group before you could do without your church.

 

Clothe Yourself for Spiritual Warfare

Clothe Yourself for Spiritual Warfare

Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on Ephesians 6:14 in our series through Ephesians on Sunday mornings.  As Paul is coming to the close of his letter to the church in Ephesus and the surrounding cities, he points out the reality that the Christian life is a war—and this war is not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual beings surrounding us on a regular basis.

It is extremely important to know your enemy—in any type of war situation.  In modern warfare, before engaging in combat, the leaders teach soldiers about the enemy in order to gain as much knowledge before entering the battlefield.  Since our enemy is not flesh and blood, Paul points out the devil and the demonic band as our spiritual enemies.  Paul says that we should beware of the schemes “μεθοδεία” of the devil.  This particular word is from which we derive the English word methods.  It means cunning and craftiness.  Satan’s schemes are real:

  • Satan blinds spiritual eyes so people can’t see the gospel – 2 Corinthians 4:4.
  • Satan hinders God’s children – 2 Thessalonians 2.
  • Satan deceives the nations – Daniel.
  • Satan opposes the holy angels of God – we see this as he fights with Michael.
  • Satan influences the whole world – 1 John 5.

Satan is a real unique personal being – not a force.

  • Satan is called the anointed cherub.
  • Satan is referred to as the prince of the world.
  • Satan is called the prince of the power of the air.
  • Satan is called the spirit who works in the sons of disobedience.

This is why Paul describes the former lifestyle of the Christians in Ephesus in Ephesians 2:2 by saying, “in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”

  • Satan is referred to as the prince of the demons – Luke 11:15.
  • Satan is called “Satan” – meaning adversary – 52 times in the Bible.
  • Satan is called “the devil” – meaning slanderer or one who slanders.
  • Satan is called the “old serpent.”
  • Satan is called the “great dragon.”
  • Satan is depicted as a “roaring lion” – alluding to his power.
  • Satan is called the “Evil one” in John 17:15.
  • Satan is called the destroyer in Revelation 9.
  • Satan is the tempter in Matthew 4.
  • Satan is the accuser of the brethren in Revelation 12.

This is why Paul said earlier in Ephesians 4:27, “give no opportunity to the devil.”  Moving on from knowing your enemy, Paul points out that it’s essential to clothe yourself for battle by putting on the whole armor of God.  Putting on some of the armor will not be sufficient.  The entire armor is needed for protection on the battlefield.

The first two pieces of the armor Paul addresses are the belt of truth and the breastplate of righteousness.  First, it’s essential to remember that Paul was writing this letter from a prison in Rome—not a hotel beach resort.  As he penned this letter, he was chained to a Roman soldier.  He understood what soldiers looked like and how they were clothed for battle.  He employs this language with imagery to prove his point about the necessity of being prepared for the ongoing spiritual struggle that all Christians face.

In the culture of Paul’s day, everyone wore a long robe (tunic) as a typical outer garment. Men dressed in this manner which provided for comfort and protection against the dry and often windy climate since almost everyone worked outdoors exposed to the sun and elements.

Soldiers would pull up their robe – pulling up and folding their garments and holding everything together with a belt. They would fasten their belt around their waste and it would not only hold in place the outer garment, but it would also hold other pieces of the soldier’s gear.

Consider the purpose of a belt. It secures. It holds everything in place. In this particular scene, Paul is using great imagery. He is pointing to the necessary attitude of a Christian. The follower of Christ must have a mind and heart that is prepared, ready, sober, and fully committed for battle. A half dressed, loosely dressed, casually dressed, solider would never return from the battlefield. Everything has to be in place, secured, fastened, ready, and held tight for the heat of battle.

The word truth “ἀλήθεια” means, “truth; the quality of being in accord with what is true, truthfulness, dependability, uprightness; the context of what is true.”  The Christian is to be a person of truth, one who embraces the truth, one who teaches the truth, one who loves the truth, one who clings to the truth.  The idea here is that the Christian must be convinced of the truth of the gospel and living it out without hypocrisy as he goes off into the spiritual war.  There is no room for passive or loose Christians related to truth.

Paul moves on from the belt of truth to point to another piece of the armor, a very important piece indeed—the breastplate of righteousness.  The solider would go out to war and engage in battle with a breastplate covering his chest area. This plate would be made of metal often having a cloth or leather underside to add comfort and prevent any arrows from penetrating the plate and puncturing the solider in the vital areas of the heart and lungs. In fact this plate would cover the solider from neck to his thighs. It would cover both front and back of the solider.

Paul’s imagery here is key—before you go out to war and engage in battle on the battle field, you must first have on the breastplate of righteousness.  The word righteousness “δικαιοσύνη” actually has a focus on redemptive action or upright behavior.  In this case—both are in view here in Paul’s imagery.  The point Paul is driving home is that a life of holiness is essential to the Christian life.

The call to holiness is seen in places such as Hebrews 12:14 and 1 Peter 1:16.  Without holiness, no person will see the Lord.  Without the breastplate of righteousness, no solider will survive intense spiritual struggle of the battlefield.  It’s essential to prepare yourself as a follower of Christ for war.  The Christian life is not an easy path to the Celestial City.  It’s a hard path full of many of the devil’s schemes.  Will you be prepared for battle?  Arm yourself.  Clothe yourself for war.

DBG Weekend Spotlight (6-16-17)

DBG Weekend Spotlight (6-16-17)

This week the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting was held in the city of Phoenix.  Since I was in town, James White invited me onto the Dividing Line to discuss the G3 Conference, our upcoming Reformation tour, and SBC issues.  It also happened to be my 40th birthday, and in typical James White style—I was served my very first Muscle Milk birthday cake.

Joni Eareckson Tada’s Advice for When You Don’t Wake Up Feeling Happy — Randy Alcorn writes, “In an interview with World Magazine, one of my heroes of the faith, Joni Eareckson Tada, shares this advice for what we can do on days when we don’t wake up feeling happy.”

Video: “Do Not Give the Devil a Foothold” by Alistair Begg — In this short video, Alistair Begg provides some good advice.

The Good News of Christianity: Do You Know How to Be Saved? — John Piper explains an important text.

My Observations from 2017 SBC in Phoenix — H.B. Charles Jr. provides some observations from the recent SBC in Phoenix.  One of my observations is that we should all be grateful that he was elected as the president of the pastors’ conference for 2018.

God Desires Your Heart, Not Your Degree — We too often place emphasis on things that are not exactly necessary in the service of the Lord.  Although degrees and education is helpful for preparation, it’s not specifically necessary.  What is necessary is true knowledge of God and preparation to rightly handle God’s Word.

Theology Word of the Week:  Truth

ἀλήθεια, (ας, (ἀληθής) (from Homer down), verity, truth.

I. objectively;

1. universally, what is true in any matter under consideration (opposed to what is feigned, fictitious, false): James 3:14; ἀλήθειανλέγειν, έ᾿ρειν, John 8:45; John 16:7; Romans 9:1; 1 Corinthians 12:6; 1 Timothy 2:7; εἶπεν αὐτῷ πᾶσαν τήν ἀλήθειαν, everything as it really was, Mark 5:33 (so in classics); μαρτυρεῖν τῇ ἀλήθεια to testify according to the true state of the case, John 5:33; in a broader sense, λαλεῖν ἀλήθειαν, to speak always according to truth, Ephesians 4:25; (ἀληθείας ῤήματα ἀποφθέγγομαι, as opposed to the vagaries of madness, Acts 26:25); ἀλήθεια ἐγένετο, was shown to be true by the event, 2 Corinthians 7:14. ἐν ἀλήθεια, in truth, truly, as the case is, according to fact: Matthew 22:16; John 4:23f (as accords with the divine nature); 2 Corinthians 7:14; Colossians 1:6; ἐπ’ ἀληθείας a. truly, in truth, according to truth: Mark 12:32; Luke 4:25 (Job 9:2 the Sept.; Philo, vit. Moys. i., § 1).

b. of a truth, in reality, in fact, certainly: Mark 12:14; Luke 20:21; (); Acts 4:27; Acts 10:34 (Clement of Rome, 1 Cor. 23, 5 [ET] and 47, 3 [ET]); (cf. Winers Grammar, § 51, 2 f.; Buttmann, 336 (289)); κατ’ἀλήθειαν in accordance with fact, i. e. (according to the context) justly, without partiality: Romans 2:2; εἴτε προφάσει, εἴτε ἀλήθεια, Philippians 1:18; ἐν ἔργῳ καί ἀλήθεια, 1 John 3:18 (Rec. omits ἐν; so Ephesians 4:21 WH marginal reading).

2. In reference to religion, the word denotes what is true in things appertaining to God and the duties of man, (`moral and religions truth’); and that a. with the greatest latitude, in the sceptical question τίἐστιν ἀλήθεια, John 18:38;

b. the true notions of God which are open to human reason without his supernatural intervention: Romans 1:18; also ἀλήθεια Θεοῦ the truth of which God is the author, Romans 1:25, cf. 19 ( ἀλήθεια τοῦΧριστοῦ, Ev. Nicod., c. 5, 2; accordingly, it is not, as many interpret the phrase, the true nature of God (yet see Meyer at the passage)); truth, the embodiment of which the Jews sought in the Mosaic law, Romans 2:20.

c. “the truth, as taught in the Christian religion, respecting God and the execution of his purposes through Christ, and respecting the duties of man,” opposed alike to the superstitions of the Gentiles and the inventions of the Jews, and to the corrupt opinions and precepts of false teachers even among Christians: ἀλήθεια τοῦ εὐαγγελίου the truth which is the gospel or which the gospel presents, Galatians 2:5, 14 (cf. Winer‘s Grammar, § 34, 3 a.); and absolutely ἀλήθεια and ἀλήθεια: John 1:14, 17; John 8:32, 40; (); ; 1 John 1:8; 1 John 2:4, 21; 2 John 1:1-3; Galatians 3:1 (Rec.); Galatians 5:7; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 13:8; Ephesians 4:24; 2 Thessalonians 2:10, 12; 1 Timothy 2:7 (ἐν πίστει καί ἀλήθεια in faith and truth, of which I became a partaker through faith); ; 2 Timothy 2:18; 2 Timothy 3:8; 2 Timothy 4:4; Titus 1:14; 2 Peter 1:12; (3 John 1:8, 12); λόγος τῆς ἀληθείας, Colossians 1:5; Ephesians 1:13; 2 Timothy 2:15; λόγος ἀληθείας, 2 Corinthians 6:7; James 1:18; ὁδός τῆς ἀληθείας, 2 Peter 2:2; πίστιςἀληθείας, 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (Winer‘s Grammar, 186 (175)); ὑπακοὴ τῆς ἀληθείας, 1 Peter 1:22; ἐπίγνωσις τῆς ἀληθείας, Hebrews 10:26; 1 Timothy 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:25; 2 Timothy 3:7; (Titus 1:1); πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας the Spirit (of God) which is truth (1 John 5:6) and imbues men with the knowledge of the truth, John 14:17; (); ; 1 John 4:6; ἐγώ εἰμί ἀλήθεια, I am he in whom the truth is summed up and impersonated, John 14:6; ἀλήθεια σου (Rec.) (i. e. Θεοῦ) the truth which is in thee and proceeds from thee, John 17:17; (ἐστιν ἀλήθειαΧριστοῦ ἐν ἐμοί, i. e., controls, actuates, me, 2 Corinthians 11:10); εἶναι ἐκ τῆς ἀληθείας to be eager to know the truth, John 18:37 (seeἐκ, II. 7, and εἰμί, V. 3 d.); to proceed from the truth, 1 John 2:21; to be prompted and controlled by the truth, 1 John 3:19; μαρτυρεῖν τῇἀληθ., to give testimony in favor of the truth in order to establish its authority among men, John 18:37; ἀλήθειαν ποιεῖν to exemplify truth in the life, to express the form of truth in one’s habits of thought and modes of living, John 3:21; 1 John 1:6 (Tobit 13:6 Tobit 4:6; cf. Nehemiah 9:33; ὁδόν ἀληθείας αἰρετίζεσθαι, Psalm 118:30 ()); so also περιπατεῖν ἐν τῇ ἀλήθεια. 2 John 1:4; 3 John 1:3f; ἀπειθεῖν τῇἀλήθεια is just the opposite, Romans 2:8; so also πλανηθῆναι ἀπότῆς ἀληθείας, James 5:19.

II. (subjectively) “truth as a personal excellence; that candor of mind which is free from affectation, pretence, simulation, falsehood, deceit”: John 8:44; sincerity of mind and integrity of character, or a mode of life in harmony with divine truth: 1 Corinthians 5:8; 1 Corinthians 13:6 (opposed to ἀδικία); Ephesians 4:21 (see I. 1 b. above); ; (); σουἀλήθεια the truth as it is discerned in thee, thy habit of thinking and acting in congruity with truth, 3 John 1:3; ἀλήθεια τοῦ Θεοῦ which belongs to God, i. e., his holiness (but cf. περισσεύω, 1 b. at the end), Romans 3:7; specifically, veracity (of God in keeping his promises), Romans 15:8; ἐν ἀλήθεια sincerely and truthfully, 2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1. The word is not found in Revelation ((nor in 1 Thessalonians, Philemon, Jude)). Cf. Holemann, Bibelstudien (Lpz. 1859) 1te Abth., p. 8ff; (Wendt in Studien und Kritiken, 1883, p. 511ff.) [1]


  1. THAYER’S GREEK LEXICON, Electronic Database.  Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2006, 2011 by Biblesoft, Inc.
    All rights reserved. Used by permission.