Looking into the ”Sun”

This week we will consider three compound verbs used by Paul in Ephesians 2:5 and 6: sunzoopoieo, sunegeiro, and sugkathizo. These three compound verbs begin with the preposition sun, “with.” When use as a preposition proper, sun takes the dative case. Reflecting on these three compound verbs, James Montgomery Boice notes, “Taken together, these words make one of the most significant statements in the Bible of what has happened to Christians as a result of their union with Jesus Christ in God’s great work of salvation.”F1 Before we explore these compound verbs in there Pauline context (Latin contextus, “connection of words”), let me share a little story to get us oriented.

A man was graciously given a ticket to board a ship that was sailing from Europe, across the Atlantic and back. He was so overwhelmed by the kind gesture that he did not get the time to tell anyone of his gift.

The journey across the Atlantic was to take several days. The man took that into consideration and bought himself some biscuits and cheese to conserve money (he didn’t have much money to begin with). So everyday he would eat his biscuits and cheese, while others were eating buffet, sumptuously. On the last night of the voyage, however, he decided he was going to treat himself to the finest food on the ship. After he had dined sumptuously, he turned to the man supervising the food and asked what the cost of his meal was. The man replied, “Don’t worry about that, all your meals were paid in your ticket, too. Didn’t you read it?” Though this story is a bit humorous, the man in the story characterizes us as believers a lot of times—we don’t take the time to read our “free ticket.”

First, Paul takes the reader from the funeral site to a heavenly scene. After painting a grim picture of death caused by a lifestyle of disobedience to the will of God, Paul affirms “Even when we were dead in our transgressions, [God] made us alive together with Christ” (v.5). The expression “made us alive together with” is from our first word sunzoopoieo, which means “to make one alive together with another.”F2 This word is used one other time by Paul (Col. 2:13). Paul is emphatically stating that whereas we were once dead in sin, by our conversion, we have a new life with Christ. Commenting on this verb, Peter O’ Brien observes, “It is only in union with him [Christ] that death is vanquished and new life, an integral part of God’s new creation, received”F3 (Emphasis added).

Sadly, but too many believers find themselves living below their blessings in Christ. No longer are we to live as “living dead” who have been strangled by sin. Remember, we were “made alive together with Christ.” Read the “free ticket” and enjoy your voyage into eternity! Be alive!

Second, Paul says: [God] “raised us up with him” [Christ]—this expression is from our word sunegeiro, which means “to raise together, to cause to rise together.” By sin’s sovereignty believers were once “living dead,” with no hope. Now, because of the glorious resurrection of Jesus and our union with him, we enjoy newness of life (see Romans 6:3, 4). Remember, we were “raised up with Christ.”F4 So read the “free ticket” and enjoy your voyage into eternity! Be raised!

Third, as if “made alive together with him” and “raised us up with him” were not enough to encourage the heart of the believers, Paul adds, yet another of his compelling compound verbs, sugkathizo, which means “to cause to sit down together, place together.”F5

I may never get an invitation to the White House, to the royal palace in England, but just to know that as one who believes in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, I have been seated in the heavenly places, makes me appropriately satisfied. This truth makes me glad! Be seated!

Finally, these three compound verbs are in the aorist tense or simple past tense. With that in mind, the actions that they convey have taken place. So, Paul was disclosing to these believers what they currently shared with Christ, as a result of their union with him. And remember, we were “made alive with him” and “raised up together with him” and “seated together with him.” So read the “free ticket” and enjoy your voyage into eternity!

F1: James Montgomery Boice, Ephesians (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1997-98), p. 58.
F2: Joseph H. Thayer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996), p. 594.
F3: Peter O’ Brien, The Letter to the Ephesians, The Pillar New Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1999), p. 167.
F4: Thayer, p. 602.
F5: Ibid., p. 592.

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Meet the Author

Bill Klein has been a pastor, counselor, and educator for the past 41 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.

Source: makarioi – Greek Thoughts- Language Studies – StudyLight.org

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