Last Updated on :
The Analogy of
The Grecian Games In The Word
By J.B. Scaramastro
The word for "sinners" is "HAMARTOLOS, erring from the way or mark, erring from the divine law, sinful; also, as substantive, one who thue errs, a sinner, transgressor ..." Bullinger page 705. "... devoted to sin, a (masculine or feminine) sinner. In the New Testament distinctions are so drawn that one is called HAMARTOLOS who is a. not free from sin. In this sense all men are sinners ... b. pre-eminently sinful, especially wicked ..." Grimm-Thayer page 31. Thus, Jesus experienced and successfully endured strife, controversy, speaking against, opposition and hostility. When we look at the ministry of Jesus the Christ, we are immediately and constantly impressed with the unending opposition of the leaders of the Jews eventually leading to their having him crucified. By remaining stedfast unto the end he not only obtained the victory for himself but has made it possible for many others to be victorious. Therefore, we should not have to be told to think about him, but we should constantly be thanking Yahweh for the gift of His son. Without this work of the Deity in Christ, we would have no chance of being victorious in the race for aionian life. (2 Cor. 5:18,19.) "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Cor. 15:57.) Notice the significant contrast through the use of the term "sinners" here with the one who they opposed, namely, Jesus. He was a perfect manifestation of the moral attributes of the Father and, therefore, the standard for all to measure themselves by and ideal or mark they should aim at. But here the very term for sinners indicated that these people were missing the mark which was boldly and clearly represented to them in the person of the one whom they opposed and had crucified.
The word "lest" comesfrom two Greek words, namely, "HINA" and "ME." They are defined as follows: "HINA, that, in order that, to the end that, with the emphasis on the purpose, design, and result ..." Bullinger page 769. "ME, not no, expressing a dependent and conditional negation, that is depending on the idea, conception, or thoughts of some subject, and therefore subjective ... denies on some condition expressed or implied; ... denies what is matter of supposition or thought; ... negatives a supposition and prohibits or forbids ... implies non-existence, when that existence was probable or possible ..." Bullinger page 525. From this analysis, we gather that the Hebrew brethren had not yet become wearied and faint in their minds. However, it definitely was a possibility that they could, and, therefore, Paul is warning against it and how it can be successfully avoided.
The word translated "be wearied" is, "KAMNO, to work one's self weary, be weary (or even sick) ..." Bullinger page 862. "... primarily signified to work; then, as the effect of continued labor, to be weary ..." Vine's page 70. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Heb. 12:3 "be wearied" Paul is here referring to what could happen if they do not follow his admonition and instruction in their contest with the Judaizers who were putting pressure upon them to apostasize.
James 5:15 "sick" Here it refers to actual sickness and the prayer of faith will assist in warding it off.
Rev. 2:3 "hast not fainted" With all that they had done, they had not grown tired and weary. They remained active in the witnessing to the truth.
The word "and" in the K.J.V. does not occur in the original. This passage would be more accurately rendered as, "lest ye grow weary fainting in the souls of you." (Marshall) Thus, the growing weary is what leads to the fainting according to the literal translation. It is not, as indicated by the K.J.V. translation, that two things, namely, being wearied and faint are occurring but rather as in all natural conditions when one labors continuously one grows weary and eventually becomes faint or exhausted or winded.
The word translated "and faint" is, "EKLUO, to loose out of, to set free from; to loosen out, relax, weary. In New Testament only Passive or Middle Voice to be weary, exhausted, especially from failure of power ..." Bullinger page 271. "... 1. to loose, release. 2. to unloose, as a bow-string, to relax, enfeeble; passively, to be faint, grow weary ..." Abbott-Smith page 140. "... !. to loose, unloose ..., to set free ... 2. to dissolve; metaphorically to weaken, relax,exhaust ... Commonly in the Passive Voice a. to have one's strength relaxed, to be enfeebled through exhaustion, to grow weak, grow weary, be tired out ... b. to despond, become faint-hearted ..." Grimm-Thayer page 197. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 9:36 "fainted" (literally were faint) The multitudes that followed Jesus were tired out and weary spiritually and in need of the aid that could only come from Jesus and those who labored with him.
Matt. 15:32 "faint" Here it is used in regard to the physical condition of the multitude of four thousand men beside women and children that Jesus fed. He states that they had been with him three days without food and that to dismiss them in this condition would only cause them to be competely exhausted in their trip home. Note the constant care and concern of Jesus for both the physical and spiritual health of his followers.
Mark 8:3 "will faint" Same as Matt. 15:32.
Gal. 6:9 "if we faint" Paul exhorts the brethren in Galatia that they should not be tired out, or exhausted or weakened or despondent in well doing for in due season they will reap a reward for it. See note one below for meaning of "be weary."
Heb. 12:3 "and faint" Here Paul is warning the brethren that they must concentrate upon the example of Christ and this will aid in overcoming the spiritual weariness that leeds to the ultimate spiritual exhaustion which would see them apostacizing.
Heb. 12:5 "faint" Here and in verse 6 Paul is quoting from Prov. 3:11,12. The word in the Hebrew translated "be weary" is QUWTS (koots) and means (1.)TO BE WEARY of anything, TO LOATHE. (The primary signification I think to be that of vomiting, so that it is onomatopoetic ..." Gesenius page 729. Again, this is interesting because one of the natural reactions due to over exertion is vomiting. Thus, the lesson is to be in such peak shape, we do not become exhausted due to something we are not used to. This is the result of spiritual discipline under the disciplining hand of the Father.
Note One: "be weary, EKKAKEW, to turn out a coward, that is to lose one's courage; to despond, lose heart in view of trial or evils." Bullinger page 862. It only occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Luke 18:1 "to faint"
2 Cor. 4:1 "faint"
2 Cor. 4:16 "faint"
Gal.6:9 "let us not be weary"
Eph. 3:13 "faint"
2 Thess. 3:13 "be not weary"
The word translated "minds" is "PSUXE, one of the manifestations of ZOE (life), namely, that which is manifested in animals, animal life; hence, breath, (not breath as mere air, but as the sign of life.) ..." "... the breath, breath of animal life ... hence, life, animal life, the living individual as such. Hence, it is used of the mind, as being one of the manifestations of life (ZOE.)" Bullinger pages 720 and 499. (Bullinger's discussion of "soul" on pages 720 and 721 of his A Critical Lexicon And Concordance is very thorough and accurate and well worth looking at.)
In bringing all the above consideration together, we, again, have an accurate picture of what could happen to the spiritual athlete based upon that of the natural athlete. For the natural athlete who has not trained and disciplined himself properly he would grow tired and exhausted from the physical work of running at top speed for the length of the course. Naturally, this could lead to him collapsing and even being sick (to the point of nausea) and, thus, cause him to lose the race. It is important to keep in mind here that Paul uses a term which indicates the whole individual and not just the mind. In fact, he draws attention to the fact that our life is maintained and manifested in our breathing. Of course, this is significant for an athlete who is not in peek physical condition will begin to breathe quickly but his body will not be able to utilize it efficiently and he will become winded or exhausted. How beautiful and precise is the spirits use of terminology even to the minutest details! Likewise, the spiritual athlete or agonist must constantly exercise and discipline himself according to the rules or he too will experience spiritual fatigue possibly passing into complete spiritual exhaustion or collapse. In a spiritually weakened state due to the lack of the study of the truth, not availing oneself of the power of prayer, and not manifesting a living faith, it is very easy for the pressures put upon us by the world to cause our complete spiritual collapse and loss of the stephanos of life. (Heb. 10:22-31; Rev. 3:11; Prov. 4:10-27) The only way of avoiding the possibility of this occurring and which Paul warns us not to let it happen, is by taking heed to the example of Jesus. Attentively observe, consider and analyze his example for he was completely successful in his contest with the very same types of trials, temptations and tribulations and in fact his were even more intense for his was even unto death upon the cross. This, of course, is the thrust of Heb. 11:4.
For Jesus had shed his own blood in the contest against sin, but they had not even yet resisteth unto that degree. The word translates "have...resisted" is "ANTIKATHISTEMI,is stand firm against, resist...." page 641 Bullinger. "...to be pitted against another, opposed, absolutely..." page 156 Liddell and Scott. The term only occurs here in the New Testament. The word for "unto", is "MEXRI, until, referring to the limit, and implying that the action there terminates; enduring up to a certain point of time and then having an end." page 836 Bullinger. The word translated "striving" has ben considered on page __. The word is ANTAGONIZOMAI. The word translated "AGAINST" is, "PROS", towards (propinquity) ... (c) with accusative (whither) to of literal direction; of mental direction, towards, against. From this mental direction comes (i) that of estimation, in consideration of, and (ii) that of intention, in order to." page 35 Bullinger.
The word for "sin" is, HAMARTIA and has been discussed on pages i and j (Propinquity: "2a: nearness in place: proximity: b: nearness in time..." page 1818 of Webster's Third New International Dictionary.)
Thus bringing all of the above together, the Apostle Paul was admonishing the Hebrew brethren tha they had not yet had to stand firm against the opposition of their time to the point or limit of the shedding of their blood in an intense struggle mentally and physically against sin. This point had been reached by Jesus for them, therefore, could not they reciprocate his great love?
Here are mentioned on page __ the image is drawn from the Grecian game of boxing. In the boxing arena the contestants attempted to batter the body of the opponent until either it was exhausted or too injured to go any further. The gloves they wore were made of leather and studded with nails and so any blow that landed would cause pain, bruising, and the drawing of blood. Of course, the better of the two contestants would be able to not only land blows on the opponent, but was able to avoid being hit. This is exactly what Paul meant when he said in 1 Cor. 9:26, "so fight I, not as one that beateth the air."
The word for "fight" is, "PUKTEUO, to fist, to box, to fight as a boxer, ..." Bullinger page 284. "... to box (from PUKTES, a pugilist), one of the events in the Olympic games ..." Vine's page 95. This term only occurs in this passage in the New Testament. The word translated "not" is, OUK and has been discussed on page -- where the first part of this verse was considered. The word translated "one that beateth" is, to skin, flay of animals; then (like the slang words to tan or hide) to cudgel, thrash." Bullinger page 85. "...The usual meaning is that of thrashing or cudgelling, and when used of a blow it indicates one of great violence." Vine's page 104. Thus the apostle Paul is telling the brethren in Corinth that he was not like an unskilled boxer who misses the mark and only thrashes air because the opponent is quicker and more skilled and so dodges the violent swing. He makes sure that every blow in the contest with sin and the thinking of the carnal mind counts. He brings this fact out poignantly in the next verse, namely, 1 Cor. 9:27 which has been considered previously on pages -- through --. Here he says he blackens the eyes of the thinking of the carnal mind so that it can not see and thus he becomes victorious over it. Notice that Paul uses very intense terms for the contest with sin and the thinking of the carnal mind for it is a life and death struggle. We are either successful in the contest or it means certain death to us. Paul warned the Hebrew brethren that they in their striving against sin had not put up an intense enough struggle to draw blood. They were not standing firm against sin, which in this case had to do with apostacizing, and therefore were not witnessing effectively for the Truth. As a result of their tactics, their refusal to "earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." (Jude 3) they not only were not defeating the enemy to save some injuries, but they were sealing their own doom for they would not receive the stephanos of life.
Now Paul the herald ends his exhortation and admonition and is about to announce the start of the race which he also is a runner in. All the runners are set fully attentive waiting for the signal to be given for the race to start. At last the voice of the herald rings out, warning the agonists to get ready. A trumpeter gives a blast upon his trumpet and the race is on. It is at this point that all the training and disciplining the agonist had put himself through begins to pay off. To the exact extent to which he has been faithful to the rigorous daily routine is the exact extent to which he experiences success. Let us zero in on one of the contestants, namely, Paul and see what he has to say about the way he was running his race. We will find this information in Philippians chapter three starting at verse 11, where he says, "If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." The word for "might attain" is, "KATANTAO, to come, arrive; to result, happen." "...to come down against, that is to come down to. to arrive at a place; of things, to tend to a certain end, come to such and such an issue; generally to result." Bullinger pages 75 and 160. "... 2. figuratively - a. arrive at something, so that one comes to possess it, attain (to) something ... arrive at the goal, reach the goal..." Arndt and Gingrich page 416. Here the apostle Paul indicates his purpose for all that he has done in giving up what the world would consider gain so that he might win Christ and come to a certain end, namely, "the resurrection of the dead." Paul, the runner, was giving it his all so that he might arrive at the end of the race course victorious. (See Acts 20:24 and notes on pages --,--,--).
Paul continues in verse 12 by saying, "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus." The word for "not' is OU and is discussed on page --. Through the use of this term Paul states that he absolutely has not attained "unto the resurrection of the dead" and therefore obviously was still involved in the race agonizing to be victorious. The word translated "as though" is, "HOTI, that, because, with emphasis on the cause, and expressive of the reason or matter of a communication, etc. HOTI is objective, having references not to the design, but to the cause..." Bullinger page 769. Thus Paul says that the cause of his continued running is due to the fact or because of the fact that he has not attained unto the victory. The word for "already" is, "EDE, an adverb of time, now, at or by this time. Already, that is without mentioning or insisting upon anything further." Bullinger page 45. Again, Paul is emphasizing that at that particular time he had not attained unto the victory. The word for "had ... attained" is, "lambano, to take, take hold of, apprehend; take with the hand." Bullinger page 756. "...3. to take what is one's own, to take to one's self, to make one's own; a. to claim, procure, for one's self ... b. ... to seize, lay hold of, apprehend ... d. to take to one's self, lay hold upon, take possession of, that is to appropriate to one's self ..." Grimm-Thayer page 370. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Matt. 10:41 "shall receive ... shall receive" "The apostles were the "righteous men," "prophets," and "little one" of this assurance, which amounts to this, that all who would receive and help the apostles in their character as Christ's servants, and the doers of Christ's work, would share in the reward to be bestowed on that work in the day of recompense." Nazareth Revisited pages 194-195.
Matt. 19:29 "shall receive" "And everyone that hath forsaken houses, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit aionian life." The spirit's agonist is the recipient of blessing both in this life and that of the kingdom. He receives a hundredfold or the fullest of blessings. As the Psalmist describes it, a cup that "runneth over" Ps. 23:5. Jesus describes it as "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom." Luke 6:38.
Mark 10:30 "receive" See Matt. 19:29 above.
Luke 19:12 "to receive" Reference to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Nobleman that goes into a far country, heaven, to receive a Kingdom, which is his reward for being victorious, from the Deity.
Luke 19:15 "having received" The parable is now making reference to events after the Lord Jesus Christ had received the Kingdom and was returned to hand out his judgment upon his servants.
John 4:36 "receiveth" "And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life aionian ..." Here Jesus again indicates that a successful spiritual agonist (and one of his duties is to faithfully preach or witness to the Truth.) will be blessed now in general and in the future in particular with aionian life.
John 10:17 "might take," 18 "to take ... have I received" "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again." Thus Jesus would be given life by the Father for doing obediently the Father's will. It was by this means, even death upon the cross, that Jesus grasped ahold of life.
Acts 2:33 "having received" "therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the holy spirit ..." Thus Jesus was the recipient of the power of the Deity and the authority to use it.
Acts 10:43 "receive" "To him (Jesus) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins." Another blessing that the spiritual agonist can grasp ahold of is the remission of his sins.
Acts 15:14 "to take" "God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for the name of him." This is the ultimate that the spiritual agonist can attain to by striving lawfully and successfully. In being granted the stephanos of life he becomes one with Yahweh becoming equal unto the angels. This is exactly what the natural athletes of Ancient Greece expected to happen to them by being victorious. "When an athlete won an olive branch, he was believed to have joined the company of the gods." Glubok and Tamarin Olympic Games In Ancient Greece. page 68. See also pages 23, 64.
Acts 26:18 "receive" The spiritual agonist may grasp ahold of forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith similar to that in Paul.
Rom. 5:11 "have now received" "As we are no longer at enmity with God, we can joy in His fellowship, Heb. 7:25. Strictly, we do not receive atonment, for this is the offering of Christ. What we do receive is the result of atonement, that is, "reconciliation."" Peter Pickering, Expository Notes On Paul's Epistle To The Romans. Vol.1, page 97.
Rom. 5:17 "which receive" The spiritual agonist is the recipient of or can grasp ahold and take unto himself the benefits of Jesus' sacrifice, namely, abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness which will lead to the reigning in life.
Rom. 8:15 "have not received ... have received" "For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." In the Grecian games the Herald proclaimed the names of the contestants and their fathers. Here the spiritual agonist hears the hearld proclaim that the Deity was his Father. What a blessing! A blessing to the superlative degree that all spiritual agonists can take unto themselves and make their own.
1 Cor. 2:12 "have received" Paul had received the spirit or power of the Deity and therefore what he communicated unto the brethren of Corinth was actually the Word of the Deity and not inventions of his own mind.
1 Cor. 3:8, 14 "... every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor... If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward." The reward to the spiritual agonist is according to his own labor! So let us run that we may obtain: grasp ahold of the stephanos of life.
1 Cor. 9:24 "receiveth" In the Grecian game, only one receives or grasps ahold of the prize, but all spiritual agonists can grasp ahold of and take unto themselves as their own the stephanos of life.
1 Cor. 9:25 "obtain" The natural athletes rigorously train and strenuously strive to grasp ahold of a corruptible crown but the spiritual agonist will do likewise in spiritual things to grasp ahold of an incorruptible life.
Gal. 3:14 "might receive" Jesus underwent what he did so "that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the spirit through faith." The sacrifice of Jesus made it possible for Gentile as well as Jew to grasp ahold of the promises made by the Deity (communicated by His spirit) through faith.
Phil. 3:12 "had already attained" Paul points out to the brethren in Philippi that he had not yet grasped ahold of the prize he was striving for as a runner for the stephanos of life.
Heb. 4:16 "may obtain" Paul exhorts the Hebrew brethren to "come boldly unto the throne of grace, that [they] may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." The spiritual agonist does not run without help. He can grasp ahold of the mercy provided by the Deity as well as grace to help in time of need.
Heb. 9:15 "might receive" The sacrifice of Jesus makes it possible so that "they which are called might receive (or grasp ahold of) the promise of aionian inheritance."
Heb. 10:26 "have received" Paul warns that "if we sin willfully after that we have received (or grasped ahold of) the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries." Just as the natural athlete had to follow the rules or be disqualified even so the spiritual athlete must follow the rules or be disqualified. However, just as the reward for success in the race for life is infinitely better than the natural athlete can grasp ahold of even so disqualification is much more severe for it involves punishment and eternal oblivion in the grave not just embarrassment, shame, and frustration.
Heb. 11:13 "having received" Those who faithfully follow Yahweh's word unto the death will be the recipients of Yahweh's promises.
James 1:12 "shall receive" See note on page -- under discussion about the stephanos of life. James states that the man who successfully endures trial will grasp ahold of the stephanos of life. This is an exhortation for all spiritual agonists to remember when the contest becomes very arduous and painful.
2 Pet. 1:17 "received" Jesus as a successful agonist received from God the Father honor and glory.
Rev. 2:17 "that received" "...a white stone was also the symbol of victory in the Grecian games. Thus, in the Apocalypse the white stone represents victory and acquittal at the Judgment Seat." H. P. Mansfield. The Apocalypse Epitomised. page 50. Here only the successful spiritual agonist will be offered or given the white pebble with the new name written on it and take it unto himself at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Rev. 2:27 "received" The power and authority to rule the nations as given unto Jesus by his Father will be extended to all sucessful spiritual agonists. This is another aspect of the prize of life that we can grasp ahold of.
Rev. 3:11 "take" Jesus warns, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take (or seize, or grasp ahold of and make his own) thy crown." See page -- on the stephanos of life.
Rev. 4:11 "to receive" As the successful spiritual agonist the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy to receive (or take unto himself) glory and honor and power ..."
Rev. 5:9 "to take" As the successful spiritual agonist the Lord Jesus Christ is worthy to take (or grasp ahold of) the book, and to open the seals thereof ..."
Rev. 5:12 "to receive" Another song of the Redeemed sung to the Lord Jesus Christ as the successful spiritual is, "worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive (or take unto himself) power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing."
Rev. 11:17 "hast taken" The twenty-four elders, the Redeemed, sing to the Lord Jesus Christ, "we give thee thanks, o Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, (and art to come is not in the Greek text); because thou hast taken (grasped ahold of) to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
Rev. 22:17 "let him take" All are invited to be spiritual agonists and grasp ahold of and make their own the water of life freely.
The word for "were already (HEDE) perfect" is, "TELEIOO" and has been considered already on page --. Bringing all of these ideas together we learn that at this point in his life the apostle Paul had not yet grasped ahold of the resurrection of the dead (by which phrase he has in mind the exalted state that the righteous arrive at when given immortality and glory at the right hand of the righteous Judge) nor had he as yet completed or finished his race-course. (See Acts 20:24.) However, at the end of his life, just before his death, he will tell Timothy that he had "agonized" a good agony" and had "finished" his "course" and had "kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a stephanos of righteous, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Tim. 4:7-8. But until this point is arrived at Paul refuses to speak in such a positive manner. He is always struggling, always running, always agonizing so that he might be successful and not castaway. (1 Cor. 9:24-27).
Just as an aside, the above attitude of the apostle Paul certainly puts a lie to the following commonly preached falsehoods:
1. The immortality of the soul theory: Paul did not possess immortality - he was still striving for it.
2. Once saved always saved theory: Paul was a baptised believer of Christ but even at this point in his life he would not say that his status could not change for he realized that it depended upon his constant and continuous obedience to the Deity's commandments.
Paul goes on to say the following in Phil. 3:12, "but I follow after." The word for "but" is, "DE, an adversative conjunction, carefully to be distinguished from KAI or TE ...; DE, generally marks a contrast, and an otherwise concealed antithesis..." Bullinger page 123. Thus Paul is stating that in contrast to having attained victory or the finish of the course he is still running. The word for "follow after" is, "DIOKO, to cause to flee, hence, to pursue after as flying enemies, pursue in order to find or overtake; metaphorically to follow earnestly after." Bullinger page 292. "... 1. hasten, run, press on ...4. run after, pursue ...b. figuratively pursue, strive for, seek after, aspire to something ..." Arndt and Gingrich page 200. "...2. to run swiftly in order to catch some person or thing, to run after; absolutely ... to press on ..." Grimm-Thayer page 153. It occurs in the following New Testament passages:
Rom. 12:13 "given to" Paul exhorts the brethren in Rome to earnestly pursue after hospitality.
Rom. 14:19 "follow after" Paul exhorts the brethren in Rome to earnestly pursue after "the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."
1 Cor. 14:1 "Follow after" Paul exhorts the brethren in Corinth to earnestly pursue after agape.
Phil. 3:12 "follow after" Paul earnestly pursues after grasping hold of the prize which is the stephanos of life.
Phil. 3:14 "press" Paul swiftly and eagerly runs after the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
1 Thess. 5:15 "follow" Paul exhorts the brethren in Thessalonica to eagerly and earnestly pursue after that which is good both among themselves and unto all.
1 Tim. 6:11 "follow after" Paul exhorts Timothy to run earnestly and eagerly after "righteousness, godliness, faith, agape, patience, meekness."
2 Tim. 2:22 "follow" Paul again exhorts Timothy to run earnestly and eagerly after "righteousness, faith, agape, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."
Heb. 12:14 "Follow" Paul exhorts the Hebrew brethren to run earnestly and eagerly after "peace with all and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord."
1 Pet. 3:11 "ensue" Peter exhorts those "that will love life and see good days" to do certain things amongst which is should earnestly and eagerly pursue after and seek peace.
The word for "I may apprehend" and "I am apprehended" in verse 12 is "KATALAMBANO" and has been discussed on pages -- and --. Bringing these points together we find Paul stating that as a runner he swiftly and eagerly and earnestly runs after the prize that he might eagerly seize or grasp it. He also points out that Christ Jesus had eagerly seized or grasp ahold of him for this exact purpose. "that for which also I am apprehended of (by) Christ Jesus." Again note Acts 20:24 where he very clearly makes this point.
Consider the following quotation from the Adelaide's young people's class' notes entitled Paul's Epistle To The Philippians pages 45-46: "... This verse carries on the idea of striving in verse 11. Paul was not complacent, nor was he going "to sit back on his laurels." There must be a constant striving unto the end, and no "let up". "He that endureth unto the END shall be saved," (Matt. 10:22). It was so with the Lord Jesus. His greatest challenge lay at the very end of his life. Thus he spake: "I do cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I shall be perfected," that is after the endurance of the greatest indignity possible. And so we read that he was made "perfect through suffering" (Heb. 2:10; 5:8-9). Not until the last impulse of the flesh had been controlled, could the Lord victoriously say: "It is finished" (John 19:30). For examples of Paul's internal struggling against sin see1 Cor. 9:27; Rom. 7:15-25; 2 Cor. 10:4-5 ... Paul had been almost literally laid hold of by Christ when smitten to the ground on the road to Damascus, and Christ had a specific purpose with him (Acts 9:3-5; 15-16). But more than this, Pauls' remarkable calling (and our own as well) has an ultimate end in the eternal glories of God, for God has not mocked us in calling us: "whom He CALLED, them He also JUSTIFIED: and whom He justified, them he also Glorified" (Rom. 8:30). For this Paul had been "grasped hold of" and he, in turn, intended to "grasp hold of it," and make it his own. Ours and his is indeed an "high calling" (verse 14)."
Paul continues by stating in verse 13, "Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: ..." The word for "count" is, "LOGIZOMAI, strictly of numerical calculation, to count, calculate, compute, then, to take into account,consider." Bullinger page 190. "... 1. reckon, calculate - a. count, take into account ... b. as a result of a calculation evaluate, estimate, look upon as, consider ... 2. think (about), consider, ponder, let one's mind dwell on .... 3. think, believe, be of the opinion ..." Arndt and Gingrich pages 476-477. The word for "to have apprehended" is, KATALAMBANO and has already been considered on pages -- and --. It also occurs twice in Phil. 3:12 as already has been noted as well. Paul emphasizes again the point that he had absolutely not (the very word translated "not" indicates this as well.) grasped the prize! He essentially states that carefully taking into account his situation, his progress in the race, that it would be impossible to say he was victorious. This is a very different attitude to that of many who are self-righteous and feel that they have it made. Of course, this was the very problem of the Laodicean ecclesia. What they thought of themselves was the exact opposite of how Christ viewed them. (See Rev. 3:14-22) This group is who is referred to by Jesus in his "Sermon on the Mount" as recorded in Matt. 7:15-23. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." 1 Cor. 10:12. Therefore, we must look into the "mirror of the word" (James 1:21-25) so that we do not hear the Lord Jesus Christ, the righteous Judge, pronounce the words, "I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity." (Matt. 7:23).
All Books/Booklets, Editorials, and Articles are FREE and can be downloaded without permission.