Class Notes: 2/13/2008
Col 1:11 Paul's prayer for the strength of believers: the weak & 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 through 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 believers to be strengthened with this power from God, we are discussing some of the differences between weak and strong believers.
The weak believer who is positive toward doctrine is to be tolerated by the strong believer's flexibility regarding the non-essentials, Rom 15:1;
All believers start out as weak believers and must be given time and grace to grow, ROM 14:1. 2Tim 2:7; and God the Holy Spirit will work to that end. Phil 2:13; Phil 1:6; NIV
The word translated "perfect" in the NASB is the Greek word "epiteleo" from the roots "epi" and "telos" is a stronger variant of the Greek word "telos" which means to finish, bring about or complete. The etymology of the word "epitelos" is similar to the word "epignosis" which refers to knowledge taught by God the Holy Spirit. In this case it is work accomplished by God the Holy Spirit.
What "gnosis" is to "epignosos" ; "telos" is to"epitelos"
Because of this, believers are commanded to be tolerant toward weak believers who are positive,
but to separate from weak believers who is divisive or disruptive if they remain negative toward doctrine after being shown what scripture teaches regarding their activity. 2Thes 3:11-15; 1Cor 5:1-5;
In this case the weak believer is in a state of apostasy and as a result is constantly under divine discipline until they have a change of thinking regarding the Doctrine they have rejected or they are recalled from the battlefield by TLJC via the sin unto death. Eternally secure in their salvation because if their union with TLJC, but with loss of reward at their evaluation by TLJC after the resurrection of the church. 1Cor 3:15;
The weak believer has false norms and standards because they do not have the true objective standard from Bible Doctrine Rom 12:3;c as a result of not having the true objective standard of thinking from Bible Doctrine, their conscience is distorted from their orientation the Cosmic System and it's Human Viewpoint of rationalism, empiricism and emotionalism rather than the viewpoint of God from Faith (Bible Doctrine). 1Tim 1:19b;
The weak reversionistic believer, may be strongly opinionated, but because of their ignorance of Bible Doctrine their strongly held opinion is based on the Human Good and Evil of the Cosmos and they are pawns of Satan in the invisible war. 1Tim 1:20;
The weak believer's lack of doctrine and failure to function under the mentorship of God the Holy Spirit inside the PPOG means that in the event that they actually do try to apply Bible Doctrine, the application is erroneous because they apply it as "gnosis" with human viewpoint rather than as spirit taught knowledge "epignosis".
This misapplication results in lack of common sense, lack of capacity for life, lack of orientation to the reality of divine truth, lack of orientation to authority, and lack of grace orientation.
One of the ways a weak believer may attempt to gain strength or what they consider to be strength or prestige, is by discrediting others. Therefore, the weak believer may judge, malign, and vindictively criticize others.
An example of this is found in 1Cor 4:3-6; where Paul was being criticized by the weak Corinthian believers for not teaching with sophistication or oratory which was customary like Apollos did.
Weak believers resent others and use their own arrogant, subjective and false norms and standards to attack and judge them. ROM 14:4, 10-12.
This is contrasted with strong believers, who even when under criticism and attack operate in impersonal integrity love and do not try to defend themselves, apologize, or even explain themselves. 1Cor 4:3; NET
The strong believer understands that their standing is established exclusively from the Lord and maintained exclusively by the Lord Isa 54:17; Rom 14:4; 1Cor 4:4-5;NET Rom 8:33-34; and they never forget their irrevocable position in union with TLJC Col 3:3; Eph 2:5; Rom 11:29; 2Tim 2:13; that is based completely on the finished work of TLJC 2Cor 5:21; Eph 2:4-9; and nothing that they have done.
Because of this, the strong believer does not react even when under continuous verbal assault. They simply commit the matter to the Lord and wait on him just as TLJC committed the injustices directed toward him to the Father while he was on the cross being judged for the sins of all of humanity.
Luke 23:34; the word translated "saying" is the imperfect active indicative of "lego" which means he kept on saying it over and over again.
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