Thursday, 29 June 2017

Lambanō and dechomai - personal and objective

What does it mean to receive?

And what stands between us and receiving?

The problem has always been to encourage the bride of Christ in the face of obnoxious hostility rebelling against the Gospel.

Let's not be surprised to learn that this is by no means a modern day problem.

We find that from the very beginning of the spreading of the Gospel, those who regarded themselves as religious leaders together with a rebellious mob, severely protested the love of Grace.

The thorn in the flesh

Paul addressed this very situation with the congregation at Corinth. (Remember our previous post here?).

But some find pleasure in resisting the Good-News-only-Gospel.

After having written a first letter to them, Paul now resorts to writing a second whilst on his way to go and visit the Corinthians. 

The problem

The Corinthians had lend our their ears to perverse preachers of the mixed-gospel and they were corrupting their ways. The result - utter confusion.

The solution

The Gospel of Christ.

Paul starts his letter with much encouragement and emphasis on the Gospel and ends it of with a comparison between those who bring the mixed-gospel and those who bring the pure, undiluted Gospel of Grace, like himself.

Paul cuts to the heart of every believer

Would to God ye could bear with me a little in my folly: and indeed bear with me.

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. 2 Co 11:1-4

Paul's say to the Corinthians that he had espoused them (us) to one Husband (Jesus), that he may present us as a chaste virgin to Christ.


What's this about a Virgin?

Yes, pure and untouched by perverted mixed messages and deception and ominous motives (of the devil).

One in Christ.

And the mixed-gospel teacher?

If anyone should come and preach a Jesus who is not good, you will have to put up with that yourself without the help of God. And so, Paul talks of any form of religion including man-made christianity that is not of the purity of the Gospel.

A special word of intimacy

The Holy Spirit shared with me that there is two ways of receiving, depending what or whom.

There is an interesting word play in verse 4. 

We find two Greek words both translated into the English as received on various occasions. Here in this passage they occur as receive and accepted. Both have the exact same meaning, but it matters how and where you use them.

The first is the word lambanō that we have dealt with extensively here. Lambanō is the word for receive or accept or to take hold of used in the active sense in relation to the object, such as actively taking hold of ... salvation, a book or healing or a gift, etc.

Lambanō is also the word that Jesus uses when He says that everyone who asks receives (Mat 7:8) and that we have freely received and therefore should freely give (Mat 10:8). It is also the word used for the Spirit of freedom that we have received (Rom 8:15).

The second word is the Greek word dechomai with exactly the same meaning, but used in a more passive sense with regards to the subject. It is used in close personal relation. Dechomai appears in relation to receiving or accepting a person. The word conveys a certain passion and is used when Jesus talks about receiving children (Mat 18:5), people (Luke 9:11), us receiving Jesus (2 Cor 7:15) (Luke 9:53), God receiving us (Act 7:59) ...

Strategic selective words to be exact

The Word of God is just so precise and exact.

We can see this so beautifully in verse 4 above where it refers to the receiving of another spirit and Gospel. The Greek word lambanō is used, making of this other spirit and gospel mere objects rather than persons.

When, towards the end of the passage, it talks about which ye have not accepted, though, the word dechomai is used thereby denoting that it can not be personalized nor be passionately intimate with.


There is only one Gospel - the Gospel of Jesus, all Good and all True and all Grace!

And that should be very personal indeed!

Even in It's choice of words the Word of God never fails.

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