Uncompromising Partisan.

“I am indeed a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city at the feet of Gamaliel, taught according to the strictness of our fathers’ law, and was zealous toward God as you all are today.” Acts 22:3.  NKJV.

Paul at Athens

Paul at Athens

Zealous, zelotes, Strong’s #2207-a zealous person is an uncompromising partisan, burning with zeal, (Zechariah 8:2 NKJV) having warmth and feeling for or against deep commitment and eager devotion to something or someone, an enthusiast, admirer, emulator, imitator.

In Phil 2:12-13, the apostle Paul writes about our relationship with God and emphasizes the importance of our dedicated attention to personal involvement in that salvation which is afforded us in Christ Jesus.  Note: “Therefore, 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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

This does not mean that we have to “work our way to heaven” in the sense that what we do will earn us a place there. What is intended is that we continually work, that we work until the end.  There is not to be a “let-up” in our activity as children of God.  We must have zeal for God.

God’s word teaches us the importance of continuous, zealous activity.  Paul writes about the Lord, that he “gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14 KJV).

Zeal without knowledge can be dangerous

While it is good to have zeal in a justified endeavor (Gal. 4: 18), zeal without knowledge to guide can be worse than the absence of zeal. The Jews had a “zeal of God, but not according to knowledge” (Rom. 10: 2). As a result, they went about to “establish their own righteousness” and in so doing “have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Rom. 10: 3).

The happy combination is zeal and knowledge, zeal motivates and knowledge governs. The false teachers in Galatia had zeal, Paul said, but no knowledge. He wrote, “They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them” (Gal. 4: 17).

Zeal is essential for the Christian

Zeal is needed to promote repentance (Rev. 3: 19).Paul said, “Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Tit. 2: 14).

Just as knowledge guides zeal, the presence of love will not allow impure “zeal” (fervor) to be produced. The scriptures teach, “Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not…” (I Cor. 13: 4, “envieth” is from zeloo).

The required acts of the Christian need zeal or fervor to prompt both their execution and the manner of their implementation.   Acts such as: growing in the virtues (2 Pet. 1: 5-11, see vs. 5, 10 “give diligence” initials and completes the act).

Reception of the word (Acts 17: 11, “readiness” is from prothumia.  Prothumia is a compound word, pro, forward and thumos, mind; hence, eargerness and celerity of mind).

The Child of God is to be “fervent in spirit,” abound in the work of the Lord,” and do what he does “heartily” (Rom. 12: 11; I Cor. 15: 58; Col. 3: 23).  All of these descriptive words and phrases are expressive of zeal.

Paul rejected his previous zeal that caused him to become a persecutor of the church, but rejoiced in his zelotes for the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Delight in Truth
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 23:35:16

    zeal + knowledge = best combination 🙂


  2. Chris
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 00:41:03

    Very interesting, Manny.

    This is a great summary of how we should view zeal as Christians. Thanks for sharing.

    God’s blessings my friend…


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