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To Gain a Firm Mental Grasp (ἐπίσταμαι)

Having a firm mental grasp or acquiring information is expressed by ἐπίσταμαι (epistamai). Its root means to stand (ιστημι). Therefore, it expresses standing with a firm mental grasp because of the information a person is acquainted with.

In Peter’s denial of Christ, when questioned by a young servant girl if he was with Christ, he adamantly denied it, saying that he neither intuitively knows nor has acquired knowledge concerning Christ, Mark 14:68. After Peter is restored from the attack by Satan that caused him to deny Christ, God uses him to show the Jews that the Gentiles are also being accepted into the Church. In Cornelius’ house, Peter states that they have a firm mental grasp on the fact that it is not permissible for a Jew to fellowship or enter into a place with another nation, Acts 10:28. However before Cornelius sent for Paul, God showed him that he is not to call any man common or unclean and, therefore, Peter came without objection.

During the council in Acts chapter fifteen concerning whether or not the Gentiles should be circumcised and obey the law of Moses, Peter spoke up concerning what God had been doing. The elders and apostles present had acquired knowledge concerning the situation when God instructed Peter to enter into the house of a Gentile so they could hear the gospel. They were neither circumcised nor immersed before the Holy Spirit came upon them in the same manner as He did on the day of Pentecost to show the Jews a sign, Acts 15:5.

When Apollos came to Ephesus, he was mighty in the Scripture; however, he was only familiar with (had a firm mental grasp) the immersion of John, Acts […]

To Gain a Firm Mental Grasp (ἐπίσταμαι)2024-02-15T08:03:08-08:00

Vigilant (γρηγορέω)

In 1 Peter 5:8, we are instructed to be watchful because our adversary, the Devil, roars around seeking whom he may swallow up. Vigilant (γρηγορέω) means to watch; be on alert for danger.

On his way to Jerusalem, Paul takes the opportunity to stop in Ephesus to encourage the Pastors to shepherd the flock of God while taking heed for themselves, Acts 20:28. When he is gone, he is aware that savage wolves will come in among them, Acts 20:39. Even some of their own will draw away disciples after themselves, rejecting the truth and seeking the glory of men, Acts 20:30. Therefore, they are to be on alert, for Paul has warned them of the dangers for the past three years, Acts 20:31. This assembly listened to Paul’s instruction. They tested those who claimed to be apostles and were not, finding them liars. They kept watch in their work, hard labor, and patience, not bearing things that were wrong. However, in doing so, they lost their love for the brethren, Revelation 2:4. We are to remain on guard for false teachers while being cautious not to fall into the same trap as the saints in Ephesus and lose our love for fellow saints.

After rebuking and exhorting the saints of Corinth, Paul encourages them to be vigilant and stand firm in the faith. Rather than being carnal, they are to do all things out from love, 1 Corinthians 16:13. They are to welcome those who are doing the work of the Lord and pay attention to the dangers of false apostles, who had infiltrated their assemblies and caused a lot of spiritual damage. Still today, their impact is felt among many assemblies that are focused on […]

Vigilant (γρηγορέω)2023-12-22T06:26:33-08:00

Simon the Sorcerer

Seeking to Purchase the Gift from God

Simon was a man in Samaria who practiced magic to astonish the people, through which he claimed to be someone great, Acts 8:9. Therefore, the people, great and small, all paid attention to him, saying that what he was doing was the great inherent ability of God, Acts 8:10. Sorcerer (μαγεύω) is one who practices magic (μαγεία). This is the same type of magic that street performers use today to amaze people and gain financially from them as they seek to be well-known for their skills. Simon was not the only one doing magic to obtain notoriety recorded in Scripture. Elymas, a false prophet who was known as a Sorcerer, stood against Saul and Barnabas, preventing them from speaking the Word of God to the proconsul of Paphos, seeking to turn Sergius Paulus from the faith, Acts 13:6-8. These men used magic to persuade the people that their power was from God and procure a position of high regard for themselves, giving them access to substantial wealth.

When Philip the evangelist came to Samaria proclaiming the gospel of the resurrected Christ, Simon the sorcerer was among those who believed. The signs and wonders that Philip was doing intrigued him, so he continued with Philip after being immersed, Acts 8:13. Although the Samaritans believed in the facts of the Gospel, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit because God was using this as an opportunity to show the Jews that He is accepting the Gentiles into the Church. Therefore, it was not until the Apostles sent Peter and John, who laid their hands on those who believed Philip’s message, that they received the Holy Spirit, Acts 8:16. The […]

Simon the Sorcerer2023-12-14T07:58:18-08:00

In One Accord (ὁμοθυμαδόν)

“In one accord” (ὁμοθυμαδόν) is a derivative of anger (θυμος), which expresses an inner burning heat combined with homogenize. By merging “thumos” (θυμος) with “same” (ομοιος), “in one accord” (ὁμοθυμαδόν) does not hold onto the concept of anger; rather, it only retains the intensity that thumos (θυμος) expresses.

This together intensity can be seen with those who do not want to hear the truth, Acts 7:57, and those who believed because of the signs and wonders being done through the Apostles at the beginning of the Church, Acts 8:6. In the secular realm “in one accord (ὁμοθυμαδόν)” is used of the people of Tyre and Sidon coming to Herod to retain peace, for their country was supplied with food from Herod, Acts 12:20. We also encounter this concept when Gallio was proconsul in Achaia, the Jews in one accord rose up against Paul, for they were angry that he was having such success with teaching the Jewish people about the resurrected Christ, along with all the Gentiles that were coming to salvation through the gospel Paul was proclaiming. They express their intense togetherness against Paul to Gallio, who dismisses them because it is not a matter of wrongdoing or a wicked crime being committed, Acts 18:12. This act from Gallio finally gave Paul time to rest from the persecution by the Jews. As the gospel of Christ spread through Ephesus, the silversmith Demetrius, whose primary business was selling idols of Diana, stirred up the city because the prosperity of the gospel of Christ was so predominant that it negatively impacted his business. Demetrius persuaded the other silversmiths of their dilemma, and in their wrath, they confused the city as they all, in one accord, rushed into […]

In One Accord (ὁμοθυμαδόν)2023-12-14T08:09:58-08:00

Apostle (ἀπόστολος)

An apostle (ἀπόστολος) is a messenger who is sent out on a specific mission; however, unlike a regular messenger who delivers a message, an apostle is sent with a specific task to perform while giving the message.

Christ sent out the 12 apostles to the Jews during His earthly ministry to proclaim the message of the kingdom of the heavens, Matthew 10:5-42. They were not to take any provisions with them for their journey or go into any city of the Gentiles nor to the Samaritans, for they were sent only to the lost sheep of Israel. Herod sent forth men with a specific mission to slay all the children in Bethlehem who were two years old or younger after the Magi left the region, having been warned by a messenger, failing to report where they found the King of the Jews, Matthew 2:16.

In a single act of expressing love towards the inhabited world, God the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world, 1 John 4:14. He sent Him on a specific mission so that through Him we should have life, 1 John 4:9. In this we know love, for God sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins, 1 John 4:10.

When Christ ascended, He gave gifts to men for the edification of the Church to bring us to a oneness of the faith so that we are no longer tossed around like inarticulate babblers by every wind of teaching by the trickery of men, Ephesians 5:8. Of these gifts were the Apostles, Ephesians 5:11. Twelve of them to the Church. These twelve laid down the foundation of the Church, built upon Christ, giving us the entire revelation concerning the […]

Apostle (ἀπόστολος)2023-12-23T11:45:52-08:00
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