The Berean Expositor
Volume 53 - Page 29 of 215
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perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended:
but this one I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those
things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God
in Christ Jesus".
To encourage us, he adds that if in any thing we are "otherwise minded" God will
reveal even this to us. So there is much encouragement for all who no longer wish to
remain as babes or children, but wish to grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord
Christ Jesus.
The instruction "be strong" reminds us of Josh. 1: 6, "Be strong and of a good
courage". Joshua was not a babe; he was a full grown man and indeed to be strong to
lead the children of Israel into the promised land. He had to face enemies outside and
doubters within the circle of the children of Israel.  So we must be ready to face
opposition, from any quarter, and taking the analogy of the soldier, we must endure
hardship and continue right on to the end. But our strength is insufficient for such a task,
so we must be strong in the Lord. It is not our strength, but the power of His might.
Remember also Paul's word to Timothy, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear;
but of power, and of love and of a sound mind" (II Tim. 1: 7).
Also Paul gave Timothy advice which is in line with Eph. 6: 10:
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 2: 1).
"Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that
warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath
chosen him to be a soldier" (II Tim. 2: 3, 4).
We conclude therefore that (1) the instruction is to a fully grown man who is able to
bear the heat and burden of the day, (2) he is like a soldier whose life is wholely
committed to his duties, and (3) like the athlete who must keep to the rules of the game.
He must realize that we face an enemy who is powerful, sly, and cunning, and he cannot
deal with such an enemy in his own strength.
The Greek word that is translated "be strong" is endunamoo, and it appears 8 times in
the N.T. It is sometimes translated "strengthen", or "in strength", or "enabled me". We
will list the eight passages for easy consideration:
"endunamoo" (N.T.).
"But Saul increased the more in strength" (Acts 9: 22).
"He staggered not . . . . . but was strong in faith" (Rom. 4: 20).
"Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord" (Eph. 6: 10).
"I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me" (Phil. 4: 13).
"I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, Who hath enabled me" (I Tim. 1: 12).
"Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus" (II Tim. 2: 1).
"Notwithstanding the Lord . . . . . and strengthened me" (II Tim. 4: 17).
". . . . . out of weakness were made strong" (Heb. 11: 34).