PDA

View Full Version : Refusing to believe - apeitheo in the Greek



DSK
Sep 18th 2007, 03:31 PM
In this study of the term disbelieve, I will first post John 3:36 as found in several versions of the Bible.

Jesus said:

John 3:36 The one who believes in the Son has eternal life, but the one who refuses to believe in the Son will not see life; instead, the wrath of God remains on him. (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him." (NASB)

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (KJV)

From the three translations above we learn that to refuse to believe equals disobedience.

The Greek word for disbelieve (or not believe) in the above verse is apeitheo.

The definition for apeitheo is as follows:
Thayer Definition:
1) not to allow one’s self to be persuaded
1a) to refuse or withhold belief
1b) to refuse belief and obedience
2) not to comply with
Part of Speech: verb

Strongs definition of apeitheo
to disbelieve (wilfully and perversely): - not believe, disobedient, obey not, unbelieving.

To not believe, apeitheo in John 3:36 is a present tense active participle.

From that information it is made plain that those who disbelieve, willfully and actively refuse to believe. Vines Dictionary says apeitheo in John 3:36 denotes obstinancy. An obstinate rejection of the will of God, hence disobedience. Vines continues and states that apeitheo means unwilling to be persuaded, spurning belief, disobedient.

The reason I composed this post was to prove that those who refuse to believe, do so consciously, and willfully. It's not that any decree of God makes it impossible for them to believe. When the day of judgement comes, those who refuse to beleve will be held accountable, for their obstinate rejection of Christ. They will be without excuse.

God is not willing that any should perish ( 2 Pet 3:9) but that all should come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). ‘Whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life’ (Rev. 22:17). That is God’s final word on the matter."

1 Pet 4:17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God. And if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who refuse to obey ( or refuse to believe - apeitheo) the gospel of God?

RogerW
Sep 18th 2007, 06:01 PM
From that information it is made plain that those who disbelieve, willfully and actively refuse to believe. Vines Dictionary says apeitheo in John 3:36 denotes obstinancy. An obstinate rejection of the will of God, hence disobedience. Vines continues and states that apeitheo means unwilling to be persuaded, spurning belief, disobedient.

The reason I composed this post was to prove that those who refuse to believe, do so consciously, and willfully. It's not that any decree of God makes it impossible for them to believe. When the day of judgement comes, those who refuse to beleve will be held accountable, for their obstinate rejection of Christ. They will be without excuse.


This is the condition of all of humanity, fallen by nature. Each and every one of us would remain in this natural obstinate disbelief, unless/until One intervenes and turns our disbelieving hearts to willing hearts. Since all mankind are equally fallen by nature, why doesn't every man continue in this conscious, willful state of disbelief?

Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

A. Barnes' notes on the New Testament:

'Wrought in God' "That they are performed according to the will of God, or perhaps by the assistance of God, and are such as God will approve. The actions of good men are performed by the influence and aid of God, Php 2:12. Of course, if they are performed by his aid, they are such as he will approve. Here is presented the character of a good man and a sincere Christian. We learn respecting that character"

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Blessings,
RW

DSK
Sep 18th 2007, 06:36 PM
This is the condition of all of humanity, fallen by nature. Each and every one of us would remain in this natural obstinate disbelief, unless/until One intervenes and turns our disbelieving hearts to willing hearts.

Yes all have sinned and fall short.
Yes all would remain obstinate and in disbelieve if God didn't intervene.

No one can come to Christ unless the Father first draws them and enables them to come to faith. (see John 6:44,65)

But what is the extent of the drawing?
I believe John 12:32 answers that very question.

John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto myself.

God is not willing that any should perish (2 Pet 3:9) but that all should come to a knowledge of the truth and be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). ‘Whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life’ (Rev. 22:17). That is God’s final word on the matter."

There remains a universal invitation in the gospel
"As Revelation closes we read. ‘Whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely’ (Rev. 22:17). Thus the last great invitation in God’s book is an appeal to the will.” Dr. A.T. Pierson

justsurfing
Sep 18th 2007, 09:58 PM
This is the condition of all of humanity, fallen by nature. Each and every one of us would remain in this natural obstinate disbelief, unless/until One intervenes and turns our disbelieving hearts to willing hearts. Since all mankind are equally fallen by nature, why doesn't every man continue in this conscious, willful state of disbelief?

Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

A. Barnes' notes on the New Testament:

'Wrought in God' "That they are performed according to the will of God, or perhaps by the assistance of God, and are such as God will approve. The actions of good men are performed by the influence and aid of God, Php 2:12. Of course, if they are performed by his aid, they are such as he will approve. Here is presented the character of a good man and a sincere Christian. We learn respecting that character"

Php 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Php 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Blessings,
RW

Amen. To deny that the nature of man is sinful, stubborn, willful and turned away from God is to deny that we are sinners. We're born sinners. And if anyone denies that... well, Jesus didn't die because we had a slight attitude problem we could "modify" of our own "free wills".

Sinful natures are completely evil and completely opposed to God's Spirit by nature and completely incapable of any good. And if man wants to make himself "look good"... as if he were capable of good... he's a sinner. We need more grace than just a little rehabilitation because we were fully capable of making good spiritual choices of our innate goodness. We need to confess that we are sinners... and need a Savior. That's something the sinful nature can't do. And for man who is not born-again to claim he's not his sinful nature... is man saying he's not really a sinner. (or wasn't merely his sinful nature before he was born-again) Oh, yes he is. Man who is not born-again in Jesus Christ is a sinner... nothing but a sinner... and nothing more than a sinner. Period.

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth declares that man is a sinner, a whole sinner, and nothing but a sinner. Sinners reject Christ willfully by their own sinful natures... for no other reason than that they are sinners, wholly sinners, and nothing but sinners. Man is not good. Man is a sinner. That is why he needs a Savior... and why he can't decide for, believe in, or reach that Savior in and of his own spirit, or in and of his own mind, will, or emotions. Period.

That's the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth... and all sinners are of equal, merit, worth, and ability: nothing more than sinners capable only of sinful choices, willfulness, and stubbornness and pride... sin... in relation to God, etc. Period. Such is the old nature.

Good post, RW. As Christians, it is good to rejoice to acknowledge our lost, helpless, powerless state as sinners... and to give all glory to God for His 100% grace in saving us. It was not of ourselves in thought, word, deed, decision, response, merit, worth, ability or any such thing. Nothing. Zero.

Ephesians 2:8 (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=56&chapter=2&verse=8&version=31&context=verse)
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—

Nothing of self, nothing of the old man resulted in us having been saved through faith... and this faith was not from ourselves. Sinners. Period. That's all we were... until God had mercy on us.

God bless,

js