Class Notes: 2/27/2008
Col 1:11 Paul's prayer for the believer to have patience
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.
This Divine enablement that Paul is praying for believer's to receive provides the power or capacity for "steadfastness" or endurance and "patience" with "joy" or the happiness of God in any and all situations.
In addition to steadfastness or endurance, Paul prays for believers to have “patience,” referring to believer’s having gentleness and calm which comes from their function in impersonal unconditional integrity love and based in their personal love for god and confident expectation and trust in God as one's source in any and all circumstances. 1 Cor. 13:4.
Steadfastness, endurance or perseverance and patience are often associated. 2Cor. 6:4-6; 2Tim 3:10 (note1); James 5:10-11;(note 1)
Patience, the Greek word "makrothymia" literally means “long temper" referring to believer's having self restraint which does not hastily retaliate.
patience = "makrothumia" = long-suffering, forbearance. "Makro" = long; "thumos" = temper or disposition.
From our passage, it is clear that believer’s patience is related to the Spirit taught knowledge of God “epignosis” and is a necessary part of the believer’s spiritual walk and is connected with endurance.
This patience is not merely endurance, or tolerance, but is a spiritual force which has its source in the power of the Glory of God and which works itself out in longsuffering an as such is listed as a facet of the production of the Spirit in the believer's life Gal 5:22;
"Makrothymia" translated as patience is also used to describe TLJC's patience with believers 1Tim 1:16; so this is not a patience that is sourced from the natural man, but from the power of God's Glory that Paul is praying for believers to have and that is provided to believers when they are operating in the power of the new man inside their predestination or the PPOG.
In order to better understand the Holy Spirit’s use of this word which is used to describe the patience that TLJC has with believers and that believers are to have as a result of their empowerment by God the Holy Spirit and by Spirit Taught Bible Doctrine that is circulating in their thinking it is useful to examine the etymology of the word "makrothumia".
From Gerhard Kittel, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Translated by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1967), Volume 4:Page 375, we have the following compilation regarding "makrothumia"
In Geographical Sketches, Strabo, a Greek geographer, BC 63-AD 23, "makroqumia" has the sense of desperate patience which in the supreme emergency of a siege where nothing is left unturned to try to stave off the inevitable end.
In Artemidorus \ärtamadōr′-as\ a 2nd century AD Greek soothsayer, "makroquma" is used in a context which suggests delay or procrastination, the putting off of an action
. In the Ionic Greek "makroqumh" is found in Aretaeus, a 2d century AD Greek physician where it was used to describe the patience and endurance of the physician in treating severe chronic illnesses with only doubtful hopes of a cure.
In Plutarch, a Greek biographer,AD 46–AD119, it is used of the steadfastness of the general or soldier in putting up with hardships, or of “endurance” until a goal is reached.
Flavius Josephus AD 37–100 Uses it word in exactly the same way when he records Titus’ address to his soldiers to kindle them to steadfastness by using the example of the Jews:
“My brave Romans! It is right for me to put you in mind of what nation you are, in the beginning of my speech, that so you may not be ignorant who you are, and who they are against whom we are going to fight. For as to us, Romans, no part of the habitable earth has been able to escape our hands hitherto; but as for the Jews, that I may speak of them too, though they have been already beaten, yet do they not give up the cause; and a sad thing it would be for us to grow weary under good success, when they bear up "makroquma" under their misfortunes.
TLJC provides maximum time for every unbelieving sinner to respond to the Gospel no matter how despicable and evil they may be in the same way as Strabo describes, as leaving “no stone unturned” in reaching out to the unbeliever who is under siege from the kosmos.
Artemidorus describes “delay and procrastination” in “putting off an action” to give the time to respond. Aretaeus indicates the patience of a physician in the treatment of a very ill patient who is on the verge of death..
TLJC is the Great Physician who is described as having patience and endurance toward the lost who suffer from the “severe chronic illness” and depravity of the imputed, genetic OSN as the result the fall of Adam, and it's resulting personal sin for which there is no hope of a cure short of redemption and new birth by grace through faith alone in Christ alone.
Plutarch and Josephus use the word in a military context to describe the steadfastness of soldiers who put up with hardships until the goal is attained or a decision reached.
In the same way, the Lord is steadfast in His patience toward unbelievers for the purpose of having all come to a change of thinking decision regarding TLJC. 2Pet 3:9;
1Tim 1:16 - Paul uses the Lord’s patience with him as an example of how God deals with all other members of the human race. Because if Paul who is described as being the worst sinner to ever live is saved, certainly by "a fortiori" or with stronger reason, his patience is sufficient for the salvation of rest of mankind.
Paul is identified as the person with sins that are the worst on record. But the Lord’s patience for Paul allowed him time to arrive at Gospel hearing where he responded to the message and subsequently became one of the greatest believers in history.
Since Paul’s epistles comprise about half of Church Age revelation, it is probable that he exceeded Moses, the prophets, and even the other apostles in his knowledge of Bible Doctrine because of the grace of God directed toward him. 1Cor 15:10;
In this case, Paul is the prototype, toward whom God’s grace and patience was directed and he was saved by grace through faith alone in TLJC alone, thereby becoming a pattern or prototype of God’s grace and patience as it is extended toward all mankind.
In their Re-Presentation of the humanity of TLJC during the Church Age 1John 4:17c;, believers are to exhibit this same patience as they deploy the power of God toward the adversities of this life. The putting on of this patience and the other virtues as garment, is an experiential reality for the Elect of God as they come to the realization of Christ being all and in all. Col 3:10-13; by means of their perception of Bible Doctrine.
What believers need in face of any and all opposition from the Kosmic System is the patience or longsuffering which is derived from their confidence in their Personal Sense of Destiny which surrenders no doctrine and refuses any retreat.
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