One of the many duties we have as Christians is to admonish our fellow brethren out of love and a desire for each other’s good. But in order to do this well, we need to understand exactly what is being asked of us.
Welcome to my KJV Bible Word Study Series!
In this series, I will take words that we may be unfamiliar with outside the Bible setting or that may be confusing to our modern-day English sensibilities, and expound upon their original meaning within the context of the verse.
By using Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible and Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words, it is my hope to bring clarity to and broaden our understanding of many beloved (and obscure) KJV Bible passages.
Admonish—#G3560: to put in mind, to caution or reprove gently, warn
Admonished—#H2094: to gleam, to enlighten by caution, teach, shine, give warning
#H5749: to protest, testify, bear witness, charge
#G3867: to recommend or advise (a different course)
#G5537: to utter an oracle, warned of God, reveal, speak, be called
Admonishing—#G3560: to put in mind, to caution or reprove gently, warn
Admonition—#G3559: calling attention to, mild rebuke or warning
[Underlining and words in bold are added for emphasis in Bible verses throughout this study.]
Looking up this word in Strong’s Concordance shows us that admonish, and its derivatives admonished, admonishing, and admonition, is used twelve times in the King James Version Bible.
Paul speaks these words of praise to the brethren in Romans:
And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. Romans 15:14
Here, as well as in 1 Thessalonians 5:12 and 2 Thessalonians 3:15, the meaning of admonish (#G3560, verb) means “to put in mind, to caution or reprove gently, to warn”.
But before we can caution or reprove (convict or convince) someone we need to be able to judge (or discern) between right and wrong. We need to be in God’s word. We need to be, as Paul is saying here in Romans, filled with the goodness and knowledge of Christ in order to admonish rightly.
Nobody is perfect.
Nobody likes to be told that they are at fault or straying.
But as Christians, it is our duty to point out errors or things we see that might cause spiritual harm to our fellow brethren with love.
If we witness behavior or hear words that go against biblical teaching and we turn our heads away (i.e., tolerate), we are not showing love. We are perpetuating sin, and allowing our fear of man to be more powerful than our fear of God.
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. Colossians 3:16
Better is a poor and wise child, than an old and foolish king, who will no more be admonished. Ecclesiastes 4:13
Admonished (#H2094) here, and in Ecclesiastes 12:12, means “to gleam, to shine [as a spotlight, perhaps?], to enlighten by caution, to give warning”.
The above verse makes known that there are people who, at one time, were willing to listen to instruction but they have allowed their authority, credentials, wealth, age or experience, to puff them up and they refuse to hear instruction any longer. They see themselves above godly enlightenment.
There is never a point in this physical life where we will have all knowledge, where we can claim to have ‘arrived’.
The Lord hath said concerning you, O ye remnant of Judah; Go ye not into Egypt: know certainly that I have admonished you this day. Jeremiah 42:19
Here, when God admonished (#H5749), He “testified against them, bore witness, protested, charged”.
Yet, did Judah heed the warning?
In Acts 27:9, to be admonished (#G3867) simply means “to recommend or advise (a different course)”.
Now when much time was spent, and when sailing was now dangerous, . . . Paul admonished them, And said unto them, Sirs, I perceive this voyage will be with hurt and much damage, not only of the lading and ship, but also of our lives. Acts 27:9-10
God “uttered an oracle, warned, revealed, spoke or called) when He admonished (#G5537) Moses here concerning the making of the tabernacle.
Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount. Hebrews 8:5
Lastly, we have the word admonition (#G3559). This Greek noun, nouthesia, used in Ephesians 6:4, Titus 3:10, and here in 1 Corinthians 10:11, means “calling attention to, a mild rebuke or warning”.
Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. 1 Corinthians 10:11
We are called to attention in 1 Corinthians 10 to the many ways the Israelites disobeyed God and chose their own path resulting in their destruction.
This warning applies to the body of Christ now more than ever.
Feel-good, anything-goes, pat-yourself-on-the-back theology is deceiving far too many believers. The word of God is not subject to our emotions or the current generation’s definition of morality.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned into fables. 2 Timothy 4:3-4
These warnings were placed in God’s word for a reason. We must be aware of our own spiritual condition and the temptations that surround us all, and out of love and deep concern for our brothers and sisters in Christ, admonish them well.
As a wife, I’ve been admonished by my dear husband often. It doesn’t feel good to have your spiritual doubts, missteps, and wanderings exposed, but a good husband will understand his God-given responsibility and speak up. His gentle (and in the past, not so gentle) reminder for me to stand strong and not give in to the discontent and faithless mindset that creeps into my being, is what admonition is all about.
Caring enough to correct.
Likewise, as a mother, it is my God-given responsibility to guide and correct my children. I do this out of care for their physical lives, but more importantly, their spiritual ones.
I am grateful for the balance of love and correction that God metes out to us. Ephesians 6:4 is a great example of how we, in turn, should raise up our children:
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath; but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
To admonish one another is a Christ-like act of love.
We must be willing to admonish our fellow brethren humbly, but most importantly—humbly receive it.
Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. 1 Peter 5:5
Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Ephesians 5:21
I love a good word study, don’t you? I hope you’ve gleaned, along with me, some additional insight into the rich words used in the KJV Bible.
Join me next time as I showcase another word we can learn the in-depth meaning behind together.
If you would like to read additional posts in this series, please check out my KJV Bible Word Study Series page.
Abiding in the Vine,
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The post “Admonish: KJV Bible Word Study Series” was first published on Desert Rain.