Class Notes: 1/9/2008

Col 1:10 Pauls prayer for believers to be prolific by divinely good activities and growing in the knowledge of God

We have embarked on 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.
In our present study we are examining Paul and Timothy's prayer in Col 1:9-12; which where Paul is praying for 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.

His petition was for them to persevere or "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 increasing in the Spirit taught knowledge of God.

We are examining just how it is that the believer bears good fruit from the passage in John 15:7-8; where we find three concepts related to fruit bearing:

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 believer's capacity from spiritual skills in the privacy of their priesthood must precede the production skills of their ambassadorship.
When production skills function apart from or replace spiritual skills, there are disastrous results, such as the formation of divisions within the body of Christ, the development of legalism, and the problems caused by arrogant counselors who interfere in and manipulate the private lives of others thereby interfering with their priesthood which is a private matter between them and the Lord.
Production without spirituality can produce arrogant crusaders who become legalistic tyrants, telling others how to run their lives, and judging those who do not comply with their false standards.
Self-righteous and crusader arrogance are the source of the evils of fanaticism and Christian activism.
The Lord uses an analogy of the vine and the branches, in his discourse which was delivered right after the Lord's Supper to explain to his disciples that it was only through their identity with him and empowerment by him that they could properly function.
The word true in John 15:1; is used in the sense of real and genuine. He is the only true source.
As members of the Royal Family of God, we are all given equal privilege and equal opportunity in God's plan. God has placed every member of the Royal Family in a position to fulfill his desire for them to receive capacity to receive his highest and best.
All the nourishment of each branch passes through the main vine, TLJC. Therefore in the analogy, TLJC is the source of all real strength and grace to His disciples. He is their leader and teacher, and imparts to them the grace and strength to bear the fruit that glorifies the Father who is the vinedresser.
The question we must each answer in the privacy of our soul is "what is our vine"? Many believers have other vines in their lives from which they seek sustenance.
Some think their vine is their bank account, education, popularity, skills, connections, possessions, or social relationships.
Some even think their Church is their vine. They attach themselves to a system of religion or a denomination thinking that their relationship with it will secure and provide for them, but their vine should be TLJC, not their Church or denomination.
Attending a Church is not of itself evidence of a relationship with TLJC.
What is evidence of a relationship with TLJC is when the believer is functional in the spiritual skills and advancing in their spiritual life through their metabolization of his word under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit which is the only way the believer can bear good fruit.
Col 1:10: The next phrase in our passage is " and increasing in the epignisis knowledge or Spirit taught knowledge of God.
The word for increase in this passage is the Greek word "auxanoma” which is the present active indicative of "auaxno" which means "to keep on growing to the extreme limit" or to grow to the maximum extent possible.
It means to take something that is already large and make it larger. The idea is for the believer to increase to an extreme limit in "epignosis" or the Spirit taught knowledge of God.
It is the same word that is used to describe the growth of the humanity of TLJC in Luke 2:40; and of the church, the spiritual body of TLJC in Col 2:19;
The phrase can also be translated "Growing by means of "epignosis" or the spirit taught knowledge of God"
We will now take a brief look at the process whereby the believer grows by means of epignosis.
Spiritual growth occurs when the believer functions inside God's plan for their life and advances by means of GASP. "Grace Aparatus for Spiritual Perception" which is also known as "Operation Z"
Grace refers to the policy of God whereby he supplies to the believer all that is necessary to comprehend His divine plan and purpose.
Apparatus refers to the process where a systematic activity is carried out. God’s plan is organized. He has a system that he has created which enables the human mind to attain cognizance of His thinking. This system contains a grace apparatus that leads to perception of divine thought.
Spiritual Perception is where God the Holy Spirit teaches the believer's soul through the Human Spirit that was received when the believer was born again.
There are four stages to the system.
GASP Stage 1: the pastor studies the Word under the ministry of the Holy Spirit for the purpose of arriving a clear understanding of a passage by utilizing the ICE procedure.
This interpretation which utilizes the science of hermeneutics.
Hermeneutics is a word which is derived from the Greek word, hermçneuô. The origin of this word comes from the Classical Greek Hermçs, the Greek god of speech, science, invention, eloquence, writing, and art. His Roman name is Mercury. The verb hermçneuô means “to translate.”
The word occurs in several forms in the New Testament scripture:
hermçneia: in 1Cor 14:26; where it is translated "interpretation" in the NASB
hermçneuô: in Heb 7:2; where it is translated "translation" in the NASB
diermçneuô: in Luke 24:27; where it is translated "explained" in the NASB
diermçneutçs: in 1Cor14: 28; where it is translated "interperter" in the NASB
methermçneuô: in Matthew 1:23; where it is in the passive voice and is translated as "translated" in the NASB
The science of hermeneutics is as a theological discipline for the establishment of the correct interpretation of the Bible. It is a special application of the science of linguistics and meaning. It seeks to formulate those particular rules which pertain to the special factors connected with the interpretation of the Bible.
It is to Biblical exegesis that a rule book is to a game.
The rule book (hermeneutics) is written in terms of reflection, analysis, and experience. The game (exegesis) is played by concrete actualization of the rules.
Just like in every other function in life, the rules. are not an end in themselves, but the game, is meaningless without them.
Biblical exegesis is meaningless without proper hermeneutics. The Bible can be made to say just about anything one wants it to say without using proper hermenatuical rules to interpret it.
The first rule of hermeneutics that we use, is the application of the ICE (Isagogics, Categories, and Exegesis; approach to Scriptural analysis:
I.C.E. is an acronym that describes the way in which the word of God must be interpreted.
Isagogics means that the Bible must be interpreted in the framework of the time or historical setting in which it was written.
Categories means that the Bible must be studied through the scrutiny of the particular doctrine as recorded throughout the Scripture, line upon line, verse upon verse, and category upon category. Scripture must be used to interpret Scripture. No scripture can stand alone.
Exegesis means that the Bible should be studied in the original languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek), with full context of the selected verse or verses, paying strict attention to grammar, syntax, and the etymology of the words from the original languages.
The second rule of hermeneutics that we use, is the principle that the Bible contains progressive revelation and is to be understood as literal unless the context indicates otherwise.
Progressive revelation reveals several periods of history which are called dispensations in which believers are instructed regarding God’s will, purpose and plan for their spiritual lives for that period of time.
As each dispensation occurs on the time line of human history some aspects of the preceding period are retained such as salvation by grace through faith alone in Christ alone, some are rescinded such as the ritual plan of God including the sacrificial offerings, Sabbaths and Feast Days, and new ones are revealed such as the mystery doctrines of the Church Age including the Sealing, Filling and Mentor ministries of God the Holy Spirit.

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