(TO HAVE, TO HOLD, OR TO ESTEEM)
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By John W. White
The purpose of this tract is to look at a few passages of scripture where the use of the verb e]cw could mean to count, to regard, or to esteem. The Strongs Concordance defines e]cw as 2192. e]cw, a primary verb; to hold. The following ways in which it is translated is when e]cw is used alone and not in combination: count, following, have, hold, and kept. In the Analytical Greek Lexicon under e]cw there is a reference made to Matthew 14:5 "And when he [Herod] would have put him [John the Baptist] to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted [e]cw, imperfect, active, indicative], him as a prophet." It caught my eye that the context of this verse would support the meaning of the word e]cw as to hold, esteem, or regard. I thought that it will be profitable to examine other passages with this meaning in mind.
I have already made reference to the passage in Matthew 14:5 where the people counted John the Baptist a prophet. In Matthew 21:26 "But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) John as a prophet." the translation of e]cw is hold. Ref. John 14:5; Mark 1:32. The present tense of the verb hold reflects the continuing conviction that John the Baptist was a prophet of God.
Philemon 1:17 "If thou count (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) me therefore a partner, receive him as myself." Paul knew that Philemon held him in high esteem as partners in the ministry and therefore could appeal to him on behalf of his run away slave, Onesimus.
1 Corinthians 2:16 "For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) the mind of Christ." If we have the mind of Christ then no one needs to instruct us, but if we esteem the mind of Christ then we can be taught the principals of the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians 8:1 "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth." Not everyone has knowledge but everyone can esteem or regard knowledge. There are dangers in having much knowledge and one of the dangers is being puffed up. Proverbs exhorts us to have a higher regard for knowledge than for fine gold. Proverbs 8:10 "Receive ... knowledge rather than choice gold."
Philippians 2:29 "Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) such in reputation:" Philippians 1:1 "All the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:" were to esteem Epaphroditus as they would Paul. Epaphroditus was a companion in labour, and fellow soldier of Paul.
Revelation 2:14-15 "But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15. So hast thou also them that hold (e]cw, present active indicative esteem, regard) the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate."
John 14:21 "He that hath (e]cw, esteem, regard, present active participle) my commandments, and keepeth (thre>w, present active participle, guarding) them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." To have His commandments could imply possession of a copy of the Word of God. It makes better sense to esteem or to regard His commandments. By esteeming His commandments the level of intensity of keeping or guarding them is increased. Esteeming His commandments will reflect in the level of love and obedience to those commandments.
John 3:14-16 "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15. That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have (e]cw, present active subjunctive, esteem, regard) eternal life. 16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have (e]cw, present active subjunctive, esteem, regard) everlasting life."
These verses are not dealing with lost people and their salvation, but with saved people and the consequences for their loathing of the manna that God was providing for them in the wilderness. Numbers 21:5-6 "And the people spake against God, ...Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water; and our soul loatheth this light bread. 6. And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died." The judgment of God came in the way of vipers that struck them and caused many of the Children of Israel to perish. If they perished in the wilderness they missed the inheritance that was promised them in the land flowing with milk and honey. The land flowing with milk and honey is a type of the heavenly inheritance that is set before us in the Millennial Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. Agelasting life and the inheritance in the Millennial Kingdom are the same. (Refer to the tract Eternal Life Check It Out) The word eternal is not a good translation of the Greek word aijw>n which should be translated age.
If a child of God has no regard for the life that can be enjoyed in the coming kingdom of our Lord, he will not put forth the effort to enter into that kingdom by being obedient to His commandments and living by faith in this present age. It takes a worthy walk to enter into His Kingdom and Glory. 1 Thessalonians 2:12 "That ye would walk worthy (appropriately, becoming, after a Godly sort) of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory." If you do not esteem that honor highly you will not have what it takes to forsake all and follow Him.
John 5:24 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth [present active participle] my word, and believeth [present active participle] on him that sent me, hath (e]cw, present active indicative, esteem, regard) everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life." (see the tract John 5:24, Check It Out) If you highly esteem life for the age, you will continue in His word and will continue to believe what He says. If you continue to hear his word and continue to believe what he says, you will be faithful and obedient and you will not come into judgment. The death referred to in this verse is the loss of the agelasting life that is associated with the coming Kingdom and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. If we practice the first part of this verse because we esteem agelasting life, we will not experience the loss of that life in the coming millennial age. Esteeming life for the age will encourage us to endure sound doctrine by continuing to hear the word and to continue to believe what we hear.
John 6:40 "And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth [to behold or to consider] the Son, and believeth [present active participle] on him (the Son), may have (e]cw, present active subjunctive, esteem, regard) everlasting [aijw>n agelasting] life: and I will raise him up at the last day." The words seeth and believeth are present active participle which imply faithfulness in both considering and believing the Son. This should be the lifestyle of those who have been saved. The apostles were able to observe the Lord in their daily walk with him because they were following Him, but we must see and consider the Son by reading and musing on the Word of God.
If we are following the Lord we are becoming like Him. We consider and reflect on the mind of Christ found in Hebrews 5:8 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;" that we might learn obedience by the things we suffer. If we are seeing the Son we would be seeing the mind of Christ as presented in Philippians 2:5,7-9 "Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:" "7. But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:"
We would see that Jesus Christ as an overcomer who was then granted to sit in the throne of His Father. Seeing the blessings of His Son we should be encouraged to be overcomers and sit with Him in his throne. Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." We would consider what is meant by Revelation 21:7 "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."
John 6:47 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth [present active participle] on me hath (e]cw, present active indicative, esteem, regard) everlasting life." Those that believe that they have life for the coming age is given to them when they are saved will unlikely continue to be faithful. Luke 8:13 "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe [present active indicative], and in time of temptation fall away."
1 John 3:15 "Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath (e]cw, present active indicative, esteem, regard) eternal life abiding in him." This verse may imply that if you murder anyone you can't be saved. This verse and verse 14 is dealing with treatment of brothers and sisters in the Lord, and not siblings in a family. The murdering of a brother in the Lord takes place in the heart. This is murder after salvation. What are the consequences of murder after one comes in to a deeper knowledge of the truth? A partial list of the works of the flesh is found in Galatians 5:21 "Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God." Keep in mind that inherit is a family matter and not a salvation matter. What is basically being taught in this verse is that if you hate a brother in the Lord for any period of time, you have no regard for the life in the coming millennial kingdom abiding in your heart and thoughts where the hate abides. 1 John 3:14 "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death." The word death is the Greek words oj qa>natov and is reference to the loss of the life of honor and glory in the coming kingdom of our Lord. The spiritual condition of those who are lost is found in Ephesians 2:1 "And you ...who were dead in trespasses and sins:" where the word dead is the Greek word nekro>v. Both qa>natov and nekrov are used when referring to physical death as well. If you hate your brother you do not realize what you are going to miss by this behavior. You will miss the privilege of sharing in the glory of the coming kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you will esteem life for the age, you will adjust your attitude and feelings toward a brother or sister in Christ.
1 John 2:23 "Whosoever denieth [present middle participle] the Son, the same hath [e]cw, present active indicative, esteemeth] not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth [present active participle, confesseth] the Son hath [e]cw, present active indicative, esteemeth] the Father also." Both the Father and the Son are esteemed or regarded when the Son is confessed as well as the Father.
1 John 5:12 "He that hath (e]cw, present active participle) the Son hath (e]cw, present active indicative) [the] life; and he that hath (e]cw, present active participle) not [ou>j, emphatic] the Son of God hath (e]cw, present active indicative) not [the] life." The phrases e]cwn ton uio<n (hath the Son) and e]cei th zwh>v (hath the life) only occur here in the New Testament.
Too many Bible teachers teach this verse is dealing with salvation. The concept of salvation is not having the Son to be saved, but to believe on Jesus Christ to be saved. The aorist tense of the verb believe indicating that salvation is an event as shown in Acts 16:31 "...Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved..." The word hath in 1 John 5:12 may sound past tense, but on the contrary it is a present active participle indicating continuous action, which implies faithfulness on the part of the one that hath the Son. He is not our possession but we are his possession "19. ...ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price." 1 Corinthians 6:19,20.
The word hath occurs four times in this verse. Each time the grammar of this word is in the present tense, whether a participle or a verb. It seems to me it would make better sense to translate the word hath as esteemeth or regardeth. To esteem or regard the Son is to esteem or regard what Jesus Christ, the Son of God esteemed or regarded. Jesus told his disciples in John 4:34 "... My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work."
The ultimate purpose of Jesus Christ was to please the Father. Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus ...; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." Revelation 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Hebrews 5:8 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;" The things which he suffered was not only the cross of crucifixion but the daily cross that all of us must bear if we are going to please Him.
In the context of 1 John 5.12 is 1 John 5:4-5 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh [present active indicative] the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 5. Who is he that overcometh [present active participle] the world, but he that believeth [present active participle] that Jesus is the Son of God?" Only the saved can be victorious over the World and that victory is based upon whether we please God or not. Hebrews 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please him..." The only way that you can be an overcomer is to believe that Jesus is the Son of God.
What are the privileges of the overcomer? They are found in the second and third chapters of the book of Revelation. Just being saved does not make you an overcomer. Many who have been faithful to the Lord have made shipwreck of the faith. Paul warns Timothy in 1 Timothy 1:19 "Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:" and in 1 Timothy 4:1 "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, ..."
If we esteem what the Son of God esteemed we are going to esteem the life that those who are overcomers will enjoy in the millennial. Revelation 21:7 "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son." Revelation 2:11 "... He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death." Revelation 20:6 "Blessed and holy is he [the overcomer] that hath part in the first [best] resurrection: on such the second death hath no power [not hurt], ... and shall reign with him a thousand years." Jesus Christ was the only begotten Son of God. We are qualifying to become sons of God. We do that by being overcomers. We are not sons of God now but we can behave ourselves as a son by our faithfulness to Him.
The phrase hath life could be translated esteemeth the life. The word life has the definite article before it and it is defined in 1 John 5:11 "And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this [the] life is in his Son." Matthew 19:16-17 "...what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? 17. And he said unto him, ... if thou wilt enter into [the] life, keep the commandments." Mark 10:21 "Then Jesus ... said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me." The one thing that he lacked was faith. He was obedient to the moral law but would not live by faith. He did not have a high esteem for the life. If you do not have regard for the life of honor in the kingdom of the heaven you will not pay the price to enter into that life. Salvation will allow you to see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 "...Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." The first reference in the New Testament is in Matthew 7:14 "Because strait [steno>v, narrow] is the gate, and narrow [qli>bw, affliction, trouble, tribulation] is the way, which leadeth unto [the] life, and few there be that find it." If you esteem this life you will find the narrow, restricted gate and stay on the way that is pressed in with stress, afflictions, trouble, tribulations. If you do not esteem the Son you will not esteem the life and therefore you will not enter into that life of honor and glory.
John 5:13 "These things have I written unto you that believe [pisteuw, present active participle] on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have [e]cw, present active indicative, esteemeth] eternal life, and that ye may believe [pisteuw, present active participle] on the name of the Son of God." I have found that believe in the present tense carries the same meaning as that of faith. John is writing to those who are faithful in believing that they might continue to esteem life for the age. That they might continue to believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God that they may be overcomers.
John 20:31 "But these are written, that ye might believe [present active subjunctive] that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [present active participle] ye might have (e]cw, [present active subjunctive] esteem, regard) life through his name." This verse is often used to show that the book of John was written that men might be saved. John was written so that those who have been saved would be faithful in believing in the present tense. Believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God is part of seeing the Son in John 6:40. The present active participle believe in conjunction with the present active subjunctive of esteem implies that continuing to believe is dependent upon the level of esteeming life for the coming age.
2 John 1:9 "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath (e]cw, present active indicative, esteem, regard) not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath (e]cw, present active indicative, esteem, regard) both the Father and the Son." One way that we can know that we esteem the Son is our attitude toward the doctrine of Christ.
By translating e]cw as to esteem or to regard is to give the level of intensity we should have concerning the life that we can enjoy during the coming millennial age. Contrary to popular teaching, entering into this life is not guaranteed. Our inheritance is not guaranteed either. 2 John 1:8 "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward." If we expect to hear well done thou good and faithful servant, we are going to have to be profitable servants. To be profitable servants we will have to serve him in grace. Hebrews 12:28 "Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:" Our inheritance is going to be based upon the level of the hope that we have for life of honor and glory in the coming age. Titus 3:7-8 "That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8. This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful [anxious] to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men." We are to be anxious about maintaining good works and in Romans 12:11 "Not slothful in business [diligence]; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;" The writer of Hebrews desired Hebrews 6:11-12 "...that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12. That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises." The promises they inherited pertained to a heavenly country and Hebrews 11:10 "city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God." The promise is conditional. If you believe that all believers will have an abundant entrance into the coming kingdom of our Lord then there is no need for the child of God to 2 Peter 1:10-11 "...give diligence to make your calling and election sure [stedfast]: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall [stumble, as Israel]: 11. For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." The things we are to do are found in 2 Peter 1:5-7 "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge 6. And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7. And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity." What we esteem and regard does make a difference in our lifestyle.
Hebrews 10:35-36 "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise."
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