Class Notes: 1/6/2008
Col 1:10 John 15:7-8 The believer bearing fruit
We are engaged in a study of prayer for the purpose of determining just how and what we should pray for. At the moment we are examining Paul's prayers and we have seen in that the major focus in his prayers has been for the believer's advance in God's plan for their lives.
His Prayers in Ephesians focused on the believer's enlightment and empowerment and his prayer in Philippians focused on the believer's spiritual growth.
In our present study we are examining Paul and Timothy's prayer in Col 1:9-12; which also focuses on the believer's spiritual growth.
9- Because of this, since the day we heard Epaphras' report we have not stopped praying for you asking specifically that you would be completely filled up with the knowledge of God the Father's intent in the sphere of wisdom and spiritual understanding.
10- to the end that you would conduct yourselves with conduct becoming the Lord to please Him completely (Conduct that imitates the pattern established by the Lord in his presentation and conduct that is empowered by the Lord in the age of his re-presentation) while being prolific by divinely good activities and growing in
the knowledge of God,
Paul's prayer for them to be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding was for the purpose that they be able to walk and persevere in the Christian way of life in their regenerate identity (the "new" man) as a members of the new spiritual species who are the Royal Family of God members of the church and the body of TLJC.
Paul's prayer was for them to "keep on plugging” in their spiritual advance by means of Bible Doctrine and the power of God the Holy Spirit for the purpose of pleasing him in all respects, to bear fruit in every good work and increase in the Spirit taught knowledge of God.
We are now examining just how it is that the believer bears good fruit from the passage in John 15:7-8; which we started looking at last time where we saw three concepts.
1) The believer in fellowship. (The filling of God the Holy Spirit)
2) The believer in doctrine. (The thinking of TLJC in their stream of consciousness)
3) The believer in prayer. (Obeying the mandate for prayer)
The phrase "Ask whatever you wish" does not apply to believers out of fellowship or to believers without doctrine because both are required for the believer to be functional in God's power system.
The phrase "And it shall be done for you" does not imply that all the believer's dreams will be fulfilled, but it does mean that God will do exceeding abundantly beyond what the believer could ever ask or think or in ways that they would never think to ask.
God gives this promise to believers who are bearing fruit in spiritual maturity because in spiritual maturity the believer has the thinking of TLJC and as a result proper orientation and motivation and consequently asks for the right things.
Prayer is used here as a demonstration of the function of the spiritual skills and a means of producing divine good. Therefore, the function of prayer is the production of divine good. Divine good in prayer can only occur where capacity from spiritual skills precede production skills.
In other words the believer knows how to pray and what to pray for, why to pray and when to pray for it.
John 15:8, "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples [indoctrinated ones or students]."
Maximum production of divine good occurs in the three stages of spiritual adulthood. (spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity)
Each stage enables the production of more and more divine good until the believer has the maximum production of divine good in their life.
Only the spiritual skills can glorify God. Glorification of God through the spiritual skills goes far beyond good deeds or Christian service.
Fruit bearing, or works by themselves, do not glorify God. It is when the source of the Christian service is God himself through the three spiritual skills that he is glorified.
Production, or fruit bearing, is a result of spiritual momentum; it is never the means.
The production of a believer is not a sign of his spiritual life; only God knows if the production of the believer is divine good or dead works. Therefore, it is wrong to conclude that a person is spiritual because they are working hard. It is equally wrong to conclude that a person is not a fruit bearer or even a believer, simply because there is no visible evidence of production.
Many believers today are not fruit bearers because they have no spiritual skills. Where spiritual skills are bypassed by negative volition toward Bible Doctrine or religious misconceptions regarding the application of doctrine, production skills take over completely.
When that happens, Spiritual skills are often abandoned which results in the soul being controlled by the OSN with the result that the good deeds become the production of dead works because arrogance has become the believer's motivation rather than God the Holy Spirit, Bible Doctrine, Grace Orientation and Personal Love for God.
Divine good production does not manipulate or create division based on perceived superiority. Instead, the recipients praise God for what he has accomplished through his grace because they recognize that God is the ultimate source of all divine good production.
When fruit bearing is the result of spiritual skills, God is glorified.
Fruit bearing glorifies God because the spiritual skills have been communicated by His messenger, the pastor-teacher, taught by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit and received by the believer with positive volition.
This results in the believer performing good deeds as unto the Lord, and never for the praise of men because they understand the essence and integrity of God..
Fruit bearing glorifies God, because, in His matchless grace, God has provided, through the spiritual skills, both the desire and the means of compliance with His perfect Divine standards.
The majority of the believer's fruit bearing is hidden from the view of other Christians, but is seen by God, who is glorified by these invisible works as a result, the production of the invisible hero is neither seen nor praised by the Christian community, but is seen and rewarded by God himself in the privacy of the believer's priesthood in time in the uniform of Honor, and then in extreme visibility in eternity with the uniform of Glory.
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