SPECIAL TOPIC: RECEIVE (from 1 Thess. 2:13)

"Received" in 1 Thess. 2:13 is an aorist active participle. This shows the necessity of our personal response. There, it refers to the message; in John 1:12 it refers to the person of Christ; in 1 Thess. 4:1, it refers to lifestyle. The gospel focuses around three emphases:

1. personal relationship (cf. Col. 2:6)

2. doctrinal truth (cf. 2 Thess. 3:6; 1 Cor. 15:1-4)

3. lifestyle Christlikeness (cf. Phil.4:9)

The believer must respond to all three for maturity.

The phrase "received the Word of God" becomes an idiom for "receive the gospel" ("he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me," John 5:24).

1. dechomaī – Luke 8:13; Acts 8:14; 11:1; 17:11; 1 Thess. 1:16

2. paralambanō – 1 Thess. 2:13

3. paradechomai – Mark 4:20

4. apolambanō – James 1:21

Notice there is a cognitive element and a volitional element.

The NT has several things connected to the verb translated "receive."

A. The negative things

1. Rom. 8:15 – not receive (lambanō) the spirit of slavery

2. 1 Cor. 2:14 – the natural man does not receive (apolambanō) the things of the Spirit of God

3. 1 Cor. 2:12 – not receive (lambanō) the spirit of the world

4. 2 Cor. 6:1 – not to receive (apolambanō) the grace of God in vain

5. 2 Thess. 2:10 – they have not received (apolambanō) the love of the truth so as to be saved

B. The positive things

1. Acts 1:8 – receive (lambanō) power

2. Acts 2:33 – receive (lambanō) the Father's promise

3. Acts 2:38; 8:15,17,19; 10:47; 19:2 – receive (lambanō) the gift of the Holy Spirit

4. Acts 10:43; 26:18 – receive (lambanō) forgiveness

5. Rom. 5:11 – receive (lambanō) reconciliation

6. Rom. 5:17 – receive (lambanō) the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness

7. Rom. 8:15 – receive (lambanō) a spirit of adoption

8. Gal. 3:14 – receive (lambanō) the promise of the Spirit through faith 

9. Col. 2:6 – receive (paralambanō) Jesus Christ

10. Heb. 10:36 – receive (komizō) the things promised

11. Heb. 11:17 – receive (anadechomai) the promises

12. Heb. 12:28 – receive (paralambanō) a kingdom which cannot be shaken

13. James 1:21 – receive (apolambanō) the word implanted which is able to save souls

14. 1 Pet. 5:4 – receive (komizō) the unfading crown of glory

15. 1 John 2:27 – received (lambanō) the anointing

Wow, what a range of wonderful things that come with the gospel!

"received. . .accepted" – These synonymous terms describe the need for a human response to the divine gospel offer! Fallen mankind must repent and believe the gospel (cf. Mark 1:15; Acts 3:16,19; 20:21), and continue to repent, believe, and live the gospel.

The former word is a compound term found in John 1:12. The latter means to welcome someone as a guest. In this context, one must welcome the gospel. The NT describes the gospel as both a person and a message.

"the word of God" – Paul's preaching (the gospel's message) was revelation inspired by God (cf. 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 3:15-16). In 1 Thess. 2:13 this does not refer to the Bible, but apostolic proclamation and teaching. The NT only records a selected portion of Jesus' words and acts and the Apostle's message.

I have recently thought through ths issue of "receiving" Christ.  Please look at the Special Topic: What Does It Mean to "Receive," "Believe," "Confess/Profess,"  and "Call Upon"?


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