327:  Without Me, You Can’t Do Squat!

327: Without Me, You Can’t Do Squat!

Some of the most compelling statements from Jesus about our life in Him and His life in us are found in John 15.  In this chapter He says:

John 15:4-5 – “Abide in Me (or, to remain, to rest, to dwell, to live. Also means to spend time with, to continue steadfast, to persevere, to tarry, to remain in or with someone, to remain united with someone, being of one heart, one mind, and one will.  It defines something that remains where it is, continues in a fixed state, or endures), and I (abide) in you.  As the branch cannot (or, no, not, ever, an impossibility) bear fruit of itself (or, on its own), unless (condition) it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.  I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much (or, many, exceeding, abundant) fruit; for without Me (or, apart, separate, by itself) you (your name) can do (or, to make, to produce, to prepare, implies action) nothing (or, no one, none at all, not even one, not in the least).”

Note the following:

(command and invitation) “Abide in Me, and I in you.
(example from nature) As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,
(application) neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
(clarification and identification) I am the vine, you are the branches.
(promise) He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;
(warning) for without Me you can do nothing.”

But this is only the beginning.  There’s so much more to learn.  Are you interested?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 15:4-5.

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326:  The Two Calls of Christ

326: The Two Calls of Christ

In our Christian life we find the Lord gives us two calls or two personal invitations.  The first invitation is found in Matthew 11:28-30 where He says, “Come to Me.”  This is the call to salvation, to the binding of ourselves to Christ and to become one with Him.

The second call comes after salvation and it is the invitation to a life of unbroken intimacy with Christ.  That call is found in John 15:4 where He says, “Abide in Me.”

“Come to Me.”
“Abide in Me.”

There’s so much to learn from these two simple invitations that will literally change the life of a believer.  Which begs the question: Do you want your life changed to be more like Him?  If so, then by all means, please keep listening.

The following is a study on John 15:4 and Matthew 13:28-30.

To download the slides for this message, click – HERE

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325:   He is De-Vine and We are De-Branch

325: He is De-Vine and We are De-Branch

From John 15:

John 15:1 – “I am (Jesus) the true (or, genuine, perfect, real, essential, enduring, not true as opposed to false) vine and My Father (God the Father) is the vinedresser (or, farmer, gardener, husbandman, a tiller of the soil, a vine keeper).”

But it gets better.

John 15:2 – “Every (or, all, each and every one, the whole, in totality, lacking none) branch in (abiding in) Me (Jesus) that does not bear fruit He (the Vinedresser) takes away (or, lifts up, elevates, raises up, to raise from the ground, to carry, to bear, to remove from its place); and every (or, all, each and every one, the whole, in totality, lacking none) branch that bears fruit He (the Vinedresser) prunes (or, cleans, makes pure, spotless, and without stain; to purify from filth, to cleanse from defilement), (why) that it may bear more fruit.”

And then the key word:  abide.  To abide means “to remain, to rest, to dwell, to live.  Also, to spend time, to continue steadfast, to persevere, to tarry, to continue, to remain in or with someone, to remain united with someone, being of one heart, one mind, and one will.  It defines something that remains where it is, continues in a fixed state, or endures.”

Want to know more?  Then keep listening.

The following is a study on John 15:1-3.

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To “Know” What? – Part 2

To “Know” What? – Part 2

To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.
Proverbs 1:2

The Lord tells us in His preamble of Proverbs that one of the purposes of this great book is for us “to know wisdom and instruction” and “to perceive the words of understanding” (Prov. 1:2).  And bam!— there it is again, right before our eyes— another troubling yet vital four-letter word.

But this time the word isn’t love, but know.  What does it mean to know something, to know wisdom and instruction for example?  What does it mean to be in the know, to have knowledge, or to acknowledge someone or something?

Our contemporary definition of know is “to be aware of something through careful observation, inquiry, or information; to develop a relationship with someone through meeting and spending time with them, to be familiar or friendly.”

“Oh, ask me, I know the answer to that question.”
“You don’t have to remind me, I know I have to pick them up at the airport at 5:00pm.”
“I know who you are, I recognized you from your Facebook profile.”
“I know all about Abraham Lincoln, I read about him in my textbook.”

But there are several different words that are translated know in the Scriptures:  in the Greek, primarily edio (1492 in Strong’s) and ginosko (1097 in Strong’s) and in the Hebrew, yada (3045 in Strong’s).  Plus, the Hebrew word yada is essentially the same as the Greek word ginosko.   So let’s take a few minutes and dig a bit deeper into the difference between knowing something edio or knowing someone ginosko (or yada) and why that is even important.


To Know With Your Head or Your Heart

This is the question that defines these two words and describes the different aspects of what it means to know.  Is it merely head knowledge, the accumulation of facts and raw data?  Or can I know someone on a more personal level, with more intimacy and passion?  Can I know them by my experience with them and not just know facts about them.

In the Greek, edio (1492) is defined as “to see, to perceive with the eyes or the senses, to observe, to get or gain knowledge of something, to understand.”  It’s a mental, cognitive retention of some facts.  It’s head knowledge, or book learning.  It’s preparing for your final exam by memorizing all the answers and then forgetting them immediately after the test is over.  It’s knowing, for example, that George Washington was the first President of the United States yet that fact having absolutely no impact on your daily life.  “Yeah, I know all about George Washington.  I saw his picture and watched the movie.  But so what?  Who cares?”

But there’s another word translated know that means something altogether different.  The word ginosko (1097) means “to know in a completed sense, to know everything and to know in full, to learn to know; it means to know by intimate experience or expression; to choose, to approve, to love, to embrace, to desire, to place one’s favor upon.”

One can know something by studying the facts (edio) and one can know by choosing to live the experience (ginosko) and loving every minute of it.  One is dry, academic and sterile (edio) and the other is complete, life- changing and exhilarating (ginosko).

Let me give you just a few examples.

Matthew 1:25 – “And (Joseph) did not know her (ginosko – or, to know by intimate experience or expression, to choose, to love, to desire, to place one’s favor upon) till she had brought forth her firstborn Son.  And he called His name Jesus.”  This word, in both the Old and New Testament, is used as a euphemism for sexual relations between two people.  “Now Adam knew (yada) Eve his wife, and she conceived and bore Cain” (Gen. 4:1).  When Adam knew Eve it was obviously more than memorizing a few facts about her, wasn’t it?

Luke 8:46 – “But Jesus said, ‘Somebody touched Me, for I perceived (ginosko – or, to know by intimate experience or expression) power going out from Me’.”  Jesus knew (ginosko), not by reading a book or sitting in a classroom (edio), that something had happened to Him— He personally experienced power going out from Him to the woman with the issue of blood.  He knew (ginosko), without being told, power had gone out from Him because He experienced it Himself.


“I Know My Sheep”

And then there are the incredible passages that show the choice, desire, love, approval and favor associated with Jesus knowing (ginosko) those who belong to Him.  This is not cognitive or head knowledge, this is something deeper, something much more intimate.  This is Jesus knowing, choosing, loving, approving, and desiring those He places His favor upon, those called the elect in Him (Rom. 8:33).

John 10:14 – “I am the good shepherd; and I know (ginosko) My sheep, and am known (ginosko) by My own.”  Jesus knows (ginosko) those that belong to Him.  He knows (ginosko) them intimately, He has chosen them, approved of them, embraced them, and has placed His favor upon them.  And the elect, those He has chosen for His own, also know (ginosko) Him in return.  They don’t just know (edio) about Jesus, they know (ginosko) Jesus by intimate experience and expression.  They also choose Him, desire Him, love Him and belong to Him.

But note this: Jesus knows (edio) everything and everyone.  After all, He is God and He is sovereign.  But He only knows (ginosko) those who are His own, those who belong to Him, those He has chosen, His sheep.

But it gets even better.

John 10:15 – “As the Father knows (ginosko) Me, even so I know (ginosko) the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.”  As the Father completely and fully, with intimate experience and expression, knows (ginosko) the Son, so the Son, the third Person of the Trinity, also knows (ginosko) the Father in the same way.


“I Never Knew You”

One more before moving on.

Matthew 7:23 – “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew (ginosko) you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'”  This certainly doesn’t mean there was some body of knowledge in the universe or some group of people the Son of God was unaware of.  It doesn’t mean there was something He had to learn, something that slipped His mind, some skill He had yet to master, or something He simply forgot.  “Uh, I’m sorry.  What was your name again?”  No, Jesus knows (edio) all.  He is God and, among other things, He is omniscient.

This use of ginosko means there are some whom He has not chosen.  Some He doesn’t have an intimate, loving experience with.  Some upon whom He has not placed His favor and some He does not desire or approve of.  And who are these?  Jesus said, “You who practice lawlessness! (Matt. 7:23).  You who reject His love, mercy and sacrifice.  You who are lost, unredeemed, and unrepentant of your sins.


To Know Wisdom and Instruction

So you see, when you come across the word know in the Scriptures, please understand it can have a far deeper meaning than simply being aware of something because you have carefully observed it or have memorized certain facts that pertain to it.  The word you read can mean to know (edio) in a general, mental, cognitive way or it can mean something much deeper (ginosko) that involves experience, intimacy, volition, and love.

And also remember that ginosko in the Greek is essentially the same word as yada in the Hebrew.  So when we read in the Proverbs: “To know (yada) wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding”— it means we are to know (yada) in a completed sense, to know everything and to know fully, to learn to know; it means to know by intimate experience or expression; to choose, to approve, to love, to embrace, to desire, to place one’s favor upon.

And what are we to know (yada) like that?  Wisdom and instruction.  And what do wisdom and instruction mean and how can we choose to have an intimate experience with both and to know (yada) them completely and fully as the Scriptures command?

Stay tuned.  Because that’s exactly what we’ll be examining tomorrow.

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Getting Serious

  1. When you read the word know, do you mentally define it as edio or ginosko?  Which one do you naturally default to?
  2. What resource do you use to discover the deeper meaning of the Greek and Hebrew words in our Bible?
  3. How long have you been using that resource?  What do you like about it and what are its shortcomings?
  4. Is taking more time to study your Bible difficult for you?  And, if so, do you know why?  Do you put the same effort into studying God’s Word as you would, for example, a college History exam?  And again, if not, do you know why?
  5. On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate your desire for God’s Word at this point in your life?  What was it three months ago?  One year ago?  Are you growing in your faith or standing still?  And finally, what are you prepared to do about it?


Next Step Challenge

During your personal Bible reading time, commit to make it a practice of looking up each instance of the word know and mark in your Bible if it’s ginosko or edio or maybe another Greek word.  You may even choose to write above them the Strong’s reference number:  1097 for ginosko and 1492 for edio.

Then look and see if you can find any other words that translate ginosko (such as comprehend, learn, realized, notice, understood, etc.) or edio (such as see, behold, perceive, etc.) to help your further understand the meaning of the Scripture you study.

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To “Know” What? – Part 1

To “Know” What? – Part 1

To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.
Proverbs 1:2

Our culture is fascinated with four-letter words.

And believe it or not, the same can be said of the Scriptures.  The Word of God places an incredible amount of significance on some simple, four-letter words.

Let me give you a quick example.


Show Me the Love

There are some four-letter words that will transform your entire life once you understand their meaning.  “Love” is one of these words.  In our culture you can love your wife, love your children, love your job, love pizza and ice cream, you can love Fluffy your new pet cat, you can love the way you look in a pair of jeans, you can love the meal you’ve just eaten at Cheddars, you can love the Carolina Panthers, you can love Johnny Depp movies, you can even love the deal you got on your new car.  And in the English, all we know is that you have a really strong and intense feeling of affection for whatever phrase comes after the word love— even if that phrase ranges from your love for your children to your love of ice cream.

But in the New Testament we find several different Greek words used to describe different kinds of love.  For example, you have the word agape which describes the highest form of love, the kind of love the Father has for the Son and the Son for the Father (John 5:20).  It’s the altruistic, self-sacrificing, accepting, benevolent, gracious, all-encompassing and all-giving love that is used in Scripture to communicate the love God has for His creation and for His children.

Next you have phileo which is defined as “brotherly love” or the love between friends.  It means to have affection for someone, or to befriend someone.  As a side note, God calls us to agape our enemies, to love them like Christ loves us in order to win them to Him.  But He never encourages us to phileo our enemies, to befriend them.  Why?  Because “bad company corrupts good character” every time (1 Cor. 15:33).  Remember?

Then you have eros, the intimate, physical, sexual love a man has for his wife.  This is the root of our word, erotic.  It expresses feelings of arousal shared between people who are physically attracted to each other.

We have three different Greek words used to describe in great detail the meaning of a simple, four-letter word.  We enjoy and rejoice in, for example, the agape of God yet we would never agape pizza.  We phileo our best friend, our college roommate, but would never use eros to describe that relationship.  See the difference?  Can you see how important it is to define and understand even our simple, overused, familiar four-letter words?

Let me show you how this plays out in real time.


Do You Love Me?

In the last chapter of John we find Jesus restoring His disciples, specifically Peter, and we have recorded a conversation where Jesus asks Peter, three times, “Do you love Me?”  The conversation goes like this:

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”
Peter:  “Yes Lord; You know that I love You.” (John 21:15).

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
Peter:  “Yes Lord; You know that I love You.” (John 21:16).

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”
Peter:  “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” (John 21:17).

The third time Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him the Scriptures say: Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:17).  Why?  Why was Peter grieved?  Was it because Peter didn’t think Jesus was paying attention to what he was saying?  Or was it because Peter didn’t like getting grilled in front of his friends?  Or maybe Peter wasn’t grieved, maybe he was just annoyed Jesus kept asking him the same question over and over again and didn’t seem to accept his answer?

Maybe.  But maybe not.

Unless we understand the meaning of one, simple, four-letter word, we can come up with all sorts of reasons for Peter being grieved that are not true.  But once we take the time to see what Greek words for love are used in this conversation, everything changes.  Everything becomes crystal clear.  There’s no longer any reason to guess or to assume, now we know.  Here is their conversation in the Greek:

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (agape) Me more than these?”
Peter:  “Yes Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.” (John 21:15).

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (agape) Me?”
Peter:  “Yes Lord; You know that I love (phileo) You.” (John 21:16).

Jesus:  “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love (phileo) Me?”
Peter:  “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) You.” (John 21:17).

Or, to put it in our language:

Jesus:  “Peter, do you love (agape) Me like I love (agape) you?  Do you love (agape) me  with an unselfish and self-sacrificing love (agape) like I love (agape) you?”
Peter:  “Uh, Lord.  I love (phileo) you like a friend.”

Jesus:  “Peter, do you love (agape) Me like I love (agape) You?  Do you love (agape) Me with the highest form of love (agape)?”
Peter:  “Lord, like I said, I love (phileo) you like a friend, like my best friend.”

Jesus:  “Peter, do you really just love (phileo) Me like a friend?”
Peter:  “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love (phileo) You like my best bud, like my pal, my buddy, my homeboy, my BFF.”

Can you see now why Peter was grieved the third time Jesus spoke?  The true meaning of some small, four-letter words can change our entire understanding of what the Scriptures truly say.  And this is just the beginning.


Yada and Ginosko

Which brings us to another vital, four-letter word.  And this word is know.  To know how.  To know what.  To know something.  To be in the know.  To have knowledge.  To acknowledge someone.

Again, there are several Greek and Hebrew words used to describe and define a clear and concise picture of what our single word know actually means.  And until we unpack these words we’ll never understand the glorious depth of what the Lord is revealing to us in His Word.  We’ll get lazy and let our English definition of what we think the word means cloud what truth He may be telling us today.  And that would be a great shame.

In Proverbs 1:2 we read that one of the purposes of this great book is:  To know wisdom and instruction, to perceive the words of understanding.

But what does the word, know (yada in the Hebrew and ginosko in the Greek) really mean?  And does it matter?

Hang on, my friend.  For tomorrow we’ll look at this powerful four-letter word and see exactly how the Lord uses it to give us a lasting understanding of what it means to “know wisdom and instruction” (Prov. 1:2) and also what it means when Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own” (John 10:14).

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Getting Serious

  1. What does the word love mean to you?
  2. Can you use agape, phileo and eros to describe the different kinds of love in your life?  Do you see the difference?
  3. Will you, from now on, circle the word love each time you read a passage and indicate for yourself what Greek word is used?
  4. What do you think it means to “know wisdom”?  And how would you define wisdom?
  5. Can you describe a time when you felt God had given you His wisdom?  What was that like?  And if you have never had that experience, why not?  Can you think of a reason God hasn’t given you His wisdom in a particular situation?  And do you want that to change?

Next Step Challenge

Go grab a Word Study, like Vines or Zodhiates, or go to www.blueletterbible.com and do a simple, online word search for “know” in both the Old and New Testament.  Notice the different ways the word is translated in the English.  What does that say to you?

Then go to John 21:17 (see below) and notice the two different words translated “know” in this passage.  What is the Lord trying to tell us?

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”  Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know (eido) all things; You know (ginosko) that I love You.”  Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep.”

Finally, look up the meaning of eido (1492 in Strong’s) and ginosko (1097 in Strong’s) and write this verse again using the proper meaning of the Greek words for love and for know.

Does this statement by the Lord seem clearer to you?  Good.

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