Class Notes: 8/7/2008
2Tim 2:15 Systematic Study is a part of the mandate for dilligent study continued...
In our study of the mandates of the PPOG we are continuing in our study of the mandate to be diligent in the study of the word of God found in 2Tim 2:15; where the word translated "diligent" is the aorist active imperative of the Greek word "spoudazo'.
We have seen that the purpose of the communication of Bible Doctrine was the preparation of believers to be tactical victors in the angelic conflict and when pastors do not use the pulpit for that purpose they are failing their local assembly as well as the client nation because there are too few believers who are prepared to take their place in the pivot of mature and advancing believers as invisible heroes for the preservation of freedom.
Last time we took up an examination of 1Cor 3:10-15; as an example of why a systematic approach to Bible study is necessary for proper understanding of passages. We will pick up where we left off in 1Cor 3:13; with a discussion of the word "day"
A day in the Bible can refer to a solar day of 24 hours as in the six days of restoration in Genesis 1:3-31.
"Day" can also refer to a period of time less than 24 hours. The "day of salvation" in 2 Corinthians 6:2 obviously occurs on a specific date on the calendar but the action itself occurs in a second of time.
The "day of God" in 2Pet 3:12; and the "day of eternity" in 2Pet 3:18; refer to the beginning of the eternal state since the context of this passage is the destruction of the universe and the creation of the new heavens and new earth.
The "day of Christ" refers to the Exit Resurrection or Rapture of the church. This event takes place in a fraction of a second according to 1Cor 15:52; compared with Phil 1:10; and Phil 2:16;
When the word "day" is used figuratively in the Bible it can refer to more than one day. There is the "day of wrath" mentioned in Rom 2:5; which points toward the Great White Throne judgment described in Rev 20:11-15.
This is a trial that takes place in the eternal state between the destruction of the universe noted in 2 Pet 3:10-12; and the creation of the new heavens and the new earth in 2Pet 3:13.
The "day of the Lord" includes the Tribulation, the Second Advent, and the Millennium totaling 1,007 years and can refer to any portion of that period, the context determines how long.
For example, Joel 1:15; makes reference to the entire period beginning with the Tribulation.
The "day" in 1 Cor 3:13; is erroneously called the "judgment seat of Christ" in:
2Cor 5:10; For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
The context of this verse indicates that those being addressed are members of the church at Corinth who are believers. Paul is stressing the point that the deeds these believers produce in time fall into two categories, good and bad.
These deeds will ultimately be "evaluated" by TLJC, not "judged" by Him. The word for "judgment seat" is the noun "Bema" that means "evaluation tribunal"
This translation is confirmed by research that involves the systematic application of isagogics, categories, and exegesis from the original language.
The exegesis: the noun bema identifies something belonging to Christ that is described as a "judgment seat." But this is the English translation and we must examine the etymology of the word in the Greek language in order to understand its precise meaning:
Liddell, Henry George and Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon. Revised by Henry Stuart Jones. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1968), 314:
Bema, A raised place or tribune to speak from in a public assembly; also in the law courts a tribunal of a magistrate; in the Pnyx at Athens.
A tribune is a dais or platform from which an assembly is addressed such as at the Pnyx in Athens.
Encyclopedia Britannica: 15th ed. (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1979), volume 2 page 265:
In Athens, Across Apostle Paul Avenue (is) the middle hill, the Pnyx, meaning "tightly crowded together," the meeting place of the Ecclesia, the assembly of 18,000 citizens who heard the great Athenian orators.
In Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words. by W. E. Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Jr. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984), 612:
Bema, used to denote a raised place or platform, reached by steps, originally that at Athens in the Pnyx Hill, where was the place of assembly. The word became used for a tribune, two of which were provided by the law courts of Greece, one for the accuser and one for the defendant; it was applied to the tribunal of a Roman magistrate or ruler. (Pontius Pilate's "judgment seat" in Matthew 27:19 and that of Jesus in John 19:13; Herod's "judgment seat" in Acts 12:21; Gallio's in Acts 18:12, 16-17; and Festus's "tribunal" in Acts 25:6,10,17.)
In two passages the word is used of the Divine tribunal before which all believers are hereafter to stand. In Rom 14:10; it is called "the judgment-seat of God."
This translation is debatable because of the testimony of the Majority Text, a Greek edition of the Bible compiled by: Zane Hodges, and Arthur L. Farstad (eds.). The Greek New Testament According to the Majority Text. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1985), v, 505:
The Majority Text is a text that employs the available evidence of the whole range of surviving manuscripts rather than relying chiefly on the evidence of a few.
(Rom 14:10) (toi bemati tou Christou) (p. 505)
This line in the Majority Text should be translated "the judgment seat of Christou: "Christ," not Theou: "God" as is it is translated in the NIV and NASB.
Vine, W. E., et al., An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, 612-13:
The same tribunal is called the "judgment-seat of Christ," 2Cor 5:10, to whom the Father has given all judgment, John 5:22,27.
At this bema believers are to be made manifest, that each may 'receive the things done through the body,' according to what he has done, 'whether it be good or bad.' There they will receive rewards for their faithfulness to the Lord. For all that has been contrary in their lives to His will they will suffer loss.
This judgment-seat is to be distinguished from the pre-millennial, earthly Throne of Christ, Matt 25:31 (David's throne at the Second Advent), and the post-millennial "Great White Throne," in Rev 20:11, where only the unbelievers will appear.
This judgment-seat of Christ will be a tribunal held in His presence with His saints after His return to receive them to Himself at the Exit Resurrection.
In the New Testament, the word "ekklesia," refers to both the assembly of the local church during the Church Age and that of the universal church at the "judgment seat of Christ."
From this information we are able to develop an interpretation of our translation of 1Cor 3:13; and show that it refers to an assembly of the universal church made up of all those who believed in
Christ during the history of the Church Age after the Exit Resurrection.
This assembly will take place in heaven while the events of the seven-year Tribulation transpire on earth. At this assembly the Lord will evaluate each believer's personal fulfillment of the plan of God for his life on earth between the point of their salvation and their physical death or the Exit Resurrection, whichever occurs first.
Every Church Age believer will appear before the Supreme Court of Heaven where Jesus Christ presides as Chief Justice. The Lord will be positioned on a tribunal, or as the Greek puts it in 2Cor 5:10, " tou bematos tou Christou" translated as the judgment-seat of Christ.
Our research into etymology of bema and the isagogics of how it was used in Scripture and in the Koine Greek-speaking world informs us that it was not a judgment-seat but rather a place of honor held by a judge, in this case the Chief Judge of the human race, TLJC. It refers to the chambers of the Supreme Court of Heaven and the bench on which our Lord sits.
His purpose for assembling the members of the church together is to evaluate their works whether good or bad. This is not a session for the judgment of the works of the unsaved masses but of the saved few. Thus the translation "the judgment-seat of Christ" is better rendered in the English as "the evaluation tribunal of Christ." The quality of each believer's production during his post-salvation life is said to be tested by fire:
1Cor 3:13; each man's work will become evident; for the evaluation tribunal of Christ will show it, because it (each believer's work) is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.
Notice that verse 13 is prophetic. There are three predictive future active indicative verbs in the verse:
(1) "man's work will become evident (The Greek word ginomai)";
(2) the "evaluation tribunal of the Lord will show it (The Greek word deloo)";
and (3) the "fire itself will test it. (The Greek word dokimazo) ";
Notice that our works are not "judged" but "tested."
The word dokimazo that we have previously studied means "to prove, to test, to verify, to evaluate, to discern or to examine for the purpose of approval".
In the Theological Lexicon of the New Testament. Translated by James D. Ernest. (Peabody:
Hendrickson Publishers, 1994), volume 1: Pages 354, 356:
When someone submits a case to an authority for examination, it is in order that the authority may evaluate it, decide, and finally approve. (p. 354)
1Pet 1:7; specifies that faith (Bible Doctrine) is more precious "than perishable gold, which is nevertheless tried by fire", not only does this mean that the fire selects, purifies, refines the material and gives the metal greater value; the text also uses the verb dokimazo in the sense where gold is tested by fire to prove its authenticity and to remove impurities.
This meaning also appears in 1Cor 3:13, where each (believer's) work "will be made manifest by fire" and the "fire will prove its quality." Fire is the means of verification and control, as with precious metals: that which is worthless is destroyed, but that which is solid and eternal remains. (p. 356)
Therefore we find that Paul is using metaphors to describe divine good and human good. The gold, silver, and precious stones represent metals that can withstand the fire of purification while wood, hay, and straw cannot.
In verse 12 the two sets of building materials that are used figuratively to describe the two kinds of production that will be evaluated by Christ.
Gold represents deity and speaks of production performed while in fellowship with God.
Silver is figurative for redemption and points out that production is made possible by the believer's union with Christ and the spiritual assets imputed as a result.
Precious stones refer to the great variety of divine-good production that can be accomplished through the filling of the Holy Spirit and His enabling power in the application of Bible Doctrine.
On the other hand, the second set of materials is not only consumable by fire but also has no permanence.
Wood speaks of the dead works of the believer who is out of fellowship with God.
Hay when set ablaze makes a quick hot fire but dies out just as fast, similar to the production of the unbeliever, but in this case refers to the production of the believer who has the availability of the spiritual assets but because of negative volition to Bible Doctrine functions under the energy of the flesh.
Straw represents human good production that results when the believer functions without the filling of the Holy Spirit and His enabling power.
These building materials are figurative for those things that a believer chooses to do following salvation.
If the believer is in fellowship with God, utilizing the divine operating assets imputed at salvation, and is filled with the Holy Spirit then their application of the Word of God produces divine good that results in the conveyance of rewards at the evaluation tribunal of Christ.
If the believer is not in fellowship, and therefore fails to utilize the spiritual assets, and is not filled with the Holy Spirit then their application of the Word of God is impossible and they produces human good which is rejected by Christ as unworthy of reward.
The fire is symbolic of divine evaluation whereby God’s omniscience is able to accurately distinguish between divine good and human good production:
1Cor 3:14; If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward.
v. 15 If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but he himself shall be saved, yet as through fire.
The evaluation is for the purpose of reward. Those who grow in grace will not only be qualified to produce divine good but will be motivated to do so. Phil 2:13;
Those who do not grow in grace will not be qualified due to ignorance of the plan of God and their production will come from false motivation and therefore produce human good.
The rewards that are imputed to positive believers at the evaluation tribunal of Christ are disclosed by our Lord to the Apostle John in Revelation 2-3 as the awards conveyed to the overcomer or winner.
John issues the awards by means of seven grants introduced by the phrase:
" toi nikonti - "To him who overcomes" as in Rev 2:7;
The word nikonti is a derivative of the Greek noun "nike" which means, victory. Those who are victors are winners in the Invisible War and they are rewarded.
Our quick overview of 1Cor 3:10-15; provides an example of how the pastor must observe context when examining a passage.
He must evaluate every word to determine its meaning in the mind of the writer. This means he must utilize isagogics, apply the appropriate categories of doctrine, and exegete each word.
When a pastor approaches the Bible utilizing this system he is able to develop a clear and precise interpretation of a given passage that harmonizes with the entire Scripture.
Members of the congregation are thereby given a source of motivation to produce works that are meaningful. The proper motivation is to serve God, to glorify Christ, and to magnify the power and majesty of the Word of God.
The Scripture is clear that to do this the believer must study the Bible seriously and under a pastor that is not afraid to utilize the system just noted in his analysis of the Word.
There are many verses that emphasize this including our passage:
2Tim 2:15; Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of God.
2Tim3: 16; All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness;
v. 17 that the man of God may be mature, equipped for every good work.
Col 1:3; We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying consistently for you,
v. 4 having heard the report of the faith of you all in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have toward all the saints;
v. 5 because of the confidence of what is preserved for you in heaven of which you heard before in the study of the Word of truth, the gospel (the biblical message),
The gospel is usually thought of as the doctrine of salvation by grace through faith alone in TLJC alone: Jesus of Nazareth is TLJC; He is impeccable in His true humanity and perfect in His undiminished deity; and consequently He was a qualified substitute for us on the cross.
He willingly received the imputation and judgment of for all sins upon Himself; when His true humanity expired His human spirit went into heaven in the presence of the Father, His soul went to Paradise in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and His body was placed in the grave of Joseph of Arimathaea; three days and three nights later His soul and human spirit were reunited with His body in resurrection and he now sits at the right hand of the Father.
One's personal faith in the truth of these statements results in forgiveness of all presalvation sins and the imputation of eternal life.
However, the Colossians to whom Paul wrote were already believers.
The word "gospel" has a very different meaning to those who have believed in TLJC.
To the believer, the Gospel refers to the entire revelation from God that He desires us to become
familiar through Bible study.
The Colossian believers had done this as we have seen previously in our study of Prayer.
Col 1:6; (the gospel of truth) being present in you even as (kaqèj, kathos: comparative conjunction) in all the world is constantly bearing fruit (application of doctrine to life that results in divine good) and increasing (the dividends that accrue from divine good), even as it has been doing in you also since the day you heard of it and began to fully understand the grace of God in the sphere of biblical truth (doctrine);
v. 7 even as you have been taught from the source of Epaphras (pastor-teacher of the Colossian church), our beloved fellow servant, a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf,
v. 8 who also informed us of your love in the Holy Spirit (reciprocal love for God which motivates spiritual growth).
Col 1:9; Because of this (reciprocal love motivation), we also, from the day we heard (from Epaphras), do not cease to pray on your behalf, constantly asking that you might be filled (spiritual maturity) with the knowledge (epignosis: cognizance of divine thought) of His sovereign purpose (complete understanding of the directive will of God) by means of wisdom (sophia: epignosis knowledge plus discernment for its application to life and circumstances) and spiritual understanding (sunesis: cognizance that results in behavior consistent with divine instruction).
Here we have spiritual growth as a double-columned advance, the left column representing the believer's acquisition of divine thought through Bible study.
This divine thought is said by Paul to be epignosis knowledge that motivates the right column's advance by means of reciprocal love for God. 1John 4:19;
Epignosis is defined as "Full knowledge, discernment, perception, understanding"
In " An Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words" by W.E Vine, Merrill F. Unger, and William White, Jr (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1984), 629, 631:
Epignosis, denotes exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition; a strengthened form of gnosis expressing full knowledge.
Paul uses the former 15 times out of the 20 occurrences; Peter 4 times, all in his second Epistle. In all the four Epistles of the first Roman captivity (Paul's "prison Epistles") epignosis is an element in the Apostle's opening prayer for his correspondents' well-being in Philippians 1:9; Ephesians 1:17; Colossians 1:9; Philemon 6.
It is used with reference to the will of the Lord in Colossians 1:9.
The Renaissance New Testament. by Randolph Yeager (Woodbridge: Renaissance Press, 1979), 4:165: defines:
"gnosis" - Knowledge. Not to be confused with "epignosis", which is a higher sort of perception unavailable to the unregenerate.
(Gnosis refers to) knowledge in the sense in which science normally uses the term. That which is known to be true; that which consists with reality.
The Renaissance New Testament. by Randolph Yeager: Pelican Publishing Co., 1985), 15:10-11: comments regarding Col 1:9 as follows:
To know the more efficient and perfect will of God we must have more than "gnosis". We need the perfective "epignosis "which is available only to the regenerate. Such wisdom is unavailable except to those who have the guidance of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Col 1:9; is Paul's opening statement against the Gnostics, who were bothering the Colossian Christians. Epignisis is an addition to the classical gnosis.
It was not used in pre Hellenistic days. Polybius, Plutarch and others used the word for full knowledge.
Paul uses it here to reply to the Gnostics who allege that they know it all. The Gnostic assumes that with his native intellectual powers, unaided either by the Holy Spirit or the revelation of Scripture he can arrive at what he calls maturity.
He will never know the blessedness available only to the child of God who has epignosis and who thus knows enough to know that until we get to heaven, and perhaps not even then, will our thought be as high as God's.
Col 1:10; That you might walk (peripateo: describing one's manner of life) worthy of the Lord (in paths of righteousness), pleasing God in all things, constantly producing (present tense of, karpophoreo describing habitual action) every divine work (divine good), constantly receiving spiritual growth (present tense of auxano for habitual action) by means of epignosis knowledge (doctrine taught by the Holy Spirit) from the ultimate source of God (biblical revelation);
Col 1:11; being constantly strengthened (present tense of "dunamoo" for habitual action) by every enabling power (from God the Holy Sprit and Bible Doctrine), according to the standard of the power of His glory (the sovereign will of God backed by His omnipotence) resulting in patience ("hupomone" endurance and perseverance under pressure) from spiritual stability (faith rest) and self-restraint under pressure (makrothumia: endurance from a spiritual force, identified as "joy," or) from inner happiness (chara).
v12 Constantly being thankful (present tense of eucharisteo that describes habitual action) to the Father, having qualified you all for a share of the assigned inheritance (escrow blessings) of the saints by means of the light (truth).
Col 1:3-12; affirm that the most important priority of the Christian way of life is Bible study and that the believer is unqualified and incapable of serving God without spiritual growth through Bible study.
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