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Home > Weekly Columns > Greek Thoughts > Archives >
Article for February 22, 2009

Greek Thoughts Archives
First available on February 22, 2009

EUCHARISTEO - to give thanks, to be grateful, to return thanks

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Author Bio

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 36 years. He has had extensive training and education in biblical languages, and has authored a Biblical Greek course.

He is currently serving as Professor of Biblical Greek at Master's Graduate School of Divinity, and president of BTE Ministries - The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America, a non-profit organization located in California that provides Bible study tapes and Greek study materials through their website BTEMinistries.org.

 

Please note that all Biblical quotes, in this and all other lessons posted to Greek Thoughts, are from The Literal English Translation of the Bible produced by BTE Ministries - The Bible Translation and Exegesis Institute of America.


1 Thessalonians 5:18
"In everything be giving thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you."

The verb form for "giving thanks" is euÌxariste/w (Strong's #2168 pronounced ū kä rēs ō**), which means not only to express thanks and gratitude, but also to return thanks. It is a compound word coming from the adverb euä (Strong's # 2095 pronounced ū**), which means "to do well, to be well off, to prosper," and the verb xari/zomai (Strong's #5483 pronounced kä dzō mī**), which means "to give freely, to give in favor toward, to forgive." The root of xari/zomai is xa/riv (Strong's #5485 pronounced rēs**), which is the Greek word for "grace." From these root words, we can glean three principles about giving thanks.

The first principle is that giving thanks to God for being God is important. The Greek verb euÌxariste/w is mentioned 39 times in the New Testament, and all but one have to do with giving thanks to God. In Romans 1:21, Paul mentions that those who reject God do so "because having known God, they did not glorify Him as God nor were they thankful; but became vain in their reasonings, and their heart without understanding was darkened." The Greek construction of this verse expresses two things; those who reject God fail to glorify Him for being God, and they are not thankful to Him for being God. Being thankful, then, as expressed in the New Testament, is described as an expression of gratitude to God for being Who He is.

The second principle is conveyed by the Greek verb, which gives the understanding that the giving of thanks is a response to the grace of the Lord and is not something practiced through human effort. We give thanks (euÌxariste/w) in response to His grace (xa/riv), which is first ministered to us. EuÌxariste/w embodies the same concept as is understood of love in 1 John 4:19; "We ourselves love Him, because He Himself first loved us." God loves and gives grace first; then we respond in love and thanksgiving. Additionally, we know that the more we are exposed to God's love, the more we love Him in return. This is also true of being exposed to God's grace; the more we are exposed to His grace upon us, the more we give thanks in return.

The third principle is that our response of giving thanks to the Lord is based upon experiencing the sufficiency of His grace being ministered to us. This is because xariste/w (pronounced kä rēs ō**), which means "giving of thanks," comes from the word xa/riv meaning "grace." An example of this is given in where we see the sufficiency of God's grace being poured out upon Paul after he prays three times to have his thorn in the flesh removed. The Lord answers, as recorded in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you." We understand from this that the Lord ministers His grace to His people, and that His grace provides the sufficiency for every occasion, even the most difficult ones.

Therefore, God's grace enables us to give thanks in spite of our circumstances; because God, in every situation, with all of His attributes, in the full glory of His nature, is ministering His all-sufficient grace to us. In response, we love Him and give thanks from out of a grateful heart. The more we experience all that God is— His sufficiency, His provision for us in Jesus Christ— the more our love for Him grows, and the more giving thanks becomes a natural part of our expressions to Him.

* EUCHARISTEO - is the English font spelling of the Greek word euÌxariste/w.

**English pronunciation of vowel sounds & accented syllables: āle, ăm, ärm; ēve, ĕnd; īce, ǐll; ōld, ǒdd, whö; oi as in oil; ow as in cow; eu as in Europe, ūse, ŭp, rüde. Bold type indicates an accented syllable.


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