Before we move on in our meditations, I would like to share a post from our brother, David Bolton's website, Christ-Centered Christianity. In this study, David explores three key Greek words (prepositions, if you will) that will help unlock the treasures of God's Word regarding His eternal purpose in Christ.
Be blessed and enlightened as you read and prayerfully meditate. Thank you, dear brother, for sharing what God has given you.
As we explore further the centrality of Christ, I would like to offer a small set of “keys” which can help to unlock much of God’s Word concerning “the mystery of His will”, God’s eternal purpose. One thing about keys is that, although they are small, they can unlock and open large doors. The understanding of God’s eternal purpose and of the centrality of Christ within it are not just large doors, they are immense doors. The small set of keys that work to open them up are four little, seemingly inconspicuous, Greek words:
“ek”, “dia”, “en”, & “eis”
In this meditation we will use the first three of these keys, and in the next, we will use the fourth.
As we look at the definition for the word “center” for this meditation, we will use the first three keys to help unlock our understanding of the centrality of Christ as:
“A point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions.” (American Heritage Dictionary – online edition)
The first of these “keys” is the little Greek word “ek”. This word in Greek is a primitive root denoting “origins” (Strong’s), and is often translated, “out”, “from” and “of”. In relation to the eternal purpose of God, the word “ek” is used in Scripture exclusively in relation to the Father. This little key unlocks for us the deep and mysterious truth that in God’s eternal purpose, “all things” are “out”, “from”, and “of” the Father as their Source. He is revealed in Scripture to be the Origin of “all things”.
A verse that clearly declares this truth is 1 Corinthians 8:5. The literal “Expanded Translation”, by Greek scholar Kenneth Wuest, expresses it beautifully:
“Yet to us there is one God, the Father, out from whom as a source are all things and we for Him,”
The words “out from…as a source” are the literal translation of the little word “ek”. This verse clearly states that “all things” originate with the Father, and are out from Him as their “source”. This word “ek”, therefore, is a primary key to understanding the role of the Father in the eternal purpose as the Source and Origin of all things.
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The next key that we will look at is the little word, “dia”. This word is a primitive root denoting “the channel of an act” (Strong’s), and is primarily translated as “through”. When we take this key and see where it is found in Scripture in regards to the eternal purpose, we see that it is primarily used in relation to the Son. The Son is revealed to be the “channel”, or the Mediator through which all things come into existence in the eternal purpose.
We turn again to Kenneth Wuest’s Expanded Translation of 1 Corinthians 8:5 and focus on the second half of the verse:
“Yet to us there is one God, the Father, out from whom as a source are all things and we for Him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whose intermediate agency all things exist and we through Him.”
Here the words, “through (whose) intermediate agency” , and also “through”, are the literal translations of the Greek word “dia”. It is “through” Jesus Christ, as the Father’s “intermediate agency”, that “all things” come into existence. This word “dia”, therefore, is a primary key to understanding the role of the Son as the Channel and Mediator of “all things” in the eternal purpose of the Father.
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We will now consider the third key, the little Greek word “en”. This is a primitive root denoting “a (fixed) position”, with the implication of “instrumentality” (Strong’s.) It is often translated as “in” and “by” in the New Testament. The word “en” , as with “dia”, is found in Scripture primarily in relation to the Son in regards to the eternal purpose. Not only are “all things” “through” (“dia”) the Son, “all things” are also “in” and “by” (“en”) the Son as the “fixed instrumentality” of the Father for the accomplishing of His eternal purpose.
In Ephesians 3:11, for example, where “en” is translated as “accomplished in”, we read:
“…according to his (the Father’s) eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The eternal purpose is “accomplished in (“en”) Christ Jesus our Lord.” He is the fixed instrumentality of the outworking of the eternal purpose in all things.
Furthermore, in Colossians 1:16-17, where “en” is translated “by”, we read:
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;”
Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son, is the means, the method and the way by which the Father accomplishes His Divine Will. All things are mediated, channeled, executed, administered and dispensed through the Lord Jesus Christ as the fixed instrumentality and intermediate agency of the eternal purpose.
The Father, therefore, does nothing but that He does it “through”, “in” and “by” the Son of His Love. When the Father wills to create, He employs His Son, the Word. When the Father wills to redeem, He employs His Son, the Lamb, the High Priest. When the Father wills the Church, He employs His Son, the Second Man, the Bridegroom, the Head. When the Father wills the Kingdom, He employs His Son, the Son of Man, the Lamb, the Lion, the King of kings. This is the central and supreme place and vocation ascribed to the Son of God in the everlasting economy of God.
This little Greek word “en”, therefore, is a second primary key, along with “dia”, to unlock the revelation of the position, purpose and function of the Lord Jesus Christ in the eternal purpose.
According to the three keys that we have looked at so far, “ek”, “dia” and “en”, we have come to understand that in the eternal purpose all things are “out”, “from” and “of” the Father as Origin and Source; and all things are “through”, “in” and “by” the Son as Mediator and Instrument of the Father.
How immense are the doors that are opened up by these three little “keys”!
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We now come to our present definition of the word “center”: “A point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions.” ? How does the understanding that has been “unlocked” for us reveal the “centrality” of Christ in this way?
First, we must recognize and acknowledged that in the highest sense, it is the Father who is the supreme “point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions.” All things originate with Him and are out from Him as the Source. That being said, however, in relation to the dispensation, manifestation, administration and consummation of the eternal purpose, the Father has delegated the central and supreme position and role to the Son. Everything channels and is executed through Him.
To illustrate the centrality of Christ in this regard, let us consider a fountain in the center of a reflecting pool. The source of water is hidden and comes from elsewhere, but the dispensation of the water is in, by and through the fountain. All that fills the pool flows in, up, and out through the one central fountain. Jesus Christ is the Central Fountain of all of Creation, Redemption, the Church and the Kingdom. Everything has come, is coming and will come through Him, in Him, and by Him. He is, in this sublime position and role, the “point of origin, as of influence, ideas, or actions.” He is the Center of all of God’s Ways (“influence”); He is the Center of all of God’s Wisdom (“ideas”); and he is the Center of all of God’s Works (“actions”). The Father does nothing but that He does it through, in and by His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
How great and glorious is this Son of God!
It has “pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell”,
and that “in all things He might have the supremacy.”
Colossians 1:19 & 18
Have your eyes been opened to see this Jesus?