Class Notes: 2/10/2008
Col 1:9-11; Paul's prayer for believers to be strengthened; The weak and Strong Believer
We are continuing in our study of prayer as part of the PPOG or Predestination Eph 1:3-5; Rom 8:29; 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 them to appropriate by Grace the spiritual resources that God has provided and advance in God's plan for their lives.
In this segment, we are examining Paul and Timothy's prayer in Col 1:9-12; 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 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 while being prolific by divinely good activities and growing in
the knowledge of God,
11- because of the omnipotence empowering you in accordance with the power of God's glory for maximum perseverance and patience, accompanied by joy...
Paul's prayer is for them to be filled with the knowledge of his will and all spiritual wisdom and understanding was so that they would be able to persevere or "keep on plugging” in their spiritual advance regardless of adversity, 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 because they were enabled to parlay that spirit taught knowledge of God into the power necessary to fulfill the objectives of the spiritual life.
In verse 11, the phrase "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of his Glory " includes three words for strength:
“ strengthened” is "dynamoumenoi" which is the present passive participle of dynamoo. It has the basic meaning of "being able" or having capacity or ability. Since it is in the Passive Voice it indicates that the power is directed to the believer from God.
“power” is "dynamei" the feminine singular noun of dynamis from the same root "dynamoo" which also refers to the believer "being empowered or enabled by God.
“might” is kratos which in New Testament scripture is only used to describe God's power, might or strength. It is often used to describe the presence of power or force rather than to describe it's actual use. It is used to describe the power of God which none can withstand, which is omnipotent, and sovereign over all and is demonstrated in the life believers as God pours his power into them.
In view of Paul's prayer for believer's to be strengthened with this power from God, we are discussing some of the differences between weak and strong believers.
Weak believers because of their ignorance are often flexible regarding the essentials and inflexible regarding the nonessentials, which is just the opposite of the strong believer who is inflexible regarding the essentials and flexible regarding the nonessentials.
Essentials are principles of Bible Doctrine which include Salvation by Grace through Faith alone in TLJC alone for salvation, Eternal Security, and Acknowledgement of Sin.
Non Essentials are often things that some believers may hold to as part of their spiritual life, for example, issues of food and drink, rituals, and Sabbaths or holy days.
Rom 14:1-23; Rom 15:1;
Another example of a weak believer is one who has gone through some type of experience or feeling and because that experience was so emotionally powerful they consider it to be "truth" and as a result they becomes inflexible in that area even after being shown from the Scriptures that the experience, though it may have been real and very powerful, is not according to the body of doctrine (Faith) that is revealed for the believer in post Canon phase of the church age.
Because weak believers are ignorant of Bible Doctrine, weather it is obvious to others or not, they are arrogant.
Remember Humility which is the antithesis of arrogance is the intersection of Grace Orientation, Doctrinal Orientation and Orientation to legitimate Authority.
consequently, arrogance can be defined as disorientation to Grace, Doctrine and legitimate Authority.
The ultimate legitimate authority is Bible Doctrine because it defines and establishes all legitimate authority. Rom 13; 1; and will exist even when all temporal authorities are removed. Luke 21:33;
As a result of their disorientation to grace, truth, and legitimate authority the weak believer becomes a victim of their own emotion and as a result becomes a law unto themselves because they subjectively pick and choose the doctrine they will believe 2Tim 4:3-4; and they no longer function inside the PPOG in objectivity even though they previously may have. 2Tim 1:13-18;
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