The Berean Expositor
Volume 25 - Page 169 of 190
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The Lord Himself, as the good Shepherd, entered into the "keeper" spirit of His office,
and could say:--
"While I was with them in the word, I kept them in Thy Name; those that Thou
gavest Me I have kept, and none of them is lost . . . . . keep them from the evil"
(John 17: 12, 15).
The reader will be aware of the many passages that enjoin the believer to keep the
Word of God, to keep the way, to keep the faith, to keep the unity. These should be found
and added to the list, so that we may appreciate in some degree of fullness the fact that
one great symbol of service is that of "the keeper".
Symbols of Service.
The Labourer.
pp. 196 - 198
There are some who appear to look upon Christian service as though it were a matter
of book knowledge and detailed examination of words, scarcely to be described as a
piece of work at all. II Tim. 2: 15 opens with the word "study" (which actually means
"endeavour", and has nothing necessarily to do with the "studious") but goes on to speak
of a "workman"; and the same chapter speaks of service under the robust figures of
athlete, soldier and farmer. True Christian service is labour. Let us see what Scripture
says under this head. First, as to the different words so translated:--
Ergon.--Usually translated "work":--
"I must work the works of Him that sent Me" (John 9: 4).
"Always abounding in the work of the Lord" (I Cor. 15: 58).
This is the word used by the apostle in Philippians: "This is the fruit of my labour"
(Phil. 1: 22).
Kopos.--The word is derived from kopto = to strike, and means "a beating"; then, as
if a beating of the breast, it means "wailing", "grief"; and carrying the idea still further,
"wearisome effort", "toilsome labour", something that cannot be accomplished apart
from toil and possibly tears. As an example we may take the words of the Lord in
John 4: 38: "Other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours."
Agonizomai.--This word belongs to the arena and the stadium. The substantive is
translated "race", "fight", "contention" and "conflict".  The verb is translated
"strive", "fight" and "labour fervently".  The cognate is translated "agony". The
solemn association of this word with Gethsemane reveals an aspect of ministry that is far
removed from anything merely scholastic or respectable. This word is used by the