Class Notes: 9/10/2008
2Tim 2:15 diligence study requires the believer to function in God's system of perception
Continuing in our study of the mandates of the PPOG we are presently looking at 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'.
Last time we started an evaluation of Col 1:3-12; where we saw 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.
From this study comes knowledge of eschatology regarding one's secure place in heaven and the blessings that are in store for us there motivate unconditional love for one's fellow believer: John 13:35;
"Having heard the report of the faith of you all in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have toward all the saints; because of the confidence of what is preserved for you in heaven," (Colossians 1:4-5a).
They had come to know this from their study of the Bible: "… which you heard before in the study of the Word of truth," (Col 1:5b).
The words "heard before" are the aorist active indicative of the Greek verb, "proakouo". The prefix "pro" means "before"; the Greek word "akouo" means, "to hear". The constative aorist views the action in its entirety and gathers it into a single whole.
These believers had heard and retained what they had heard and it became a motivation for action, specifically unconditional integrity love for their fellow believers.
In addition there is the inculcation of the entire biblical message due to their study of the gospel, that is, the Word of God as taught by Paul, Epaphras, and others.
In verse 6 we learn a number of things. First of all this confidence was "constantly bearing fruit" because they were producing divine good.
In addition this divine good was having measurable impact by "increasing,” referring to the dividends being produced: others benefited by being the recipients of divine good actions and the believer benefited by both spiritual growth and their advance in the rewards that would be conveyed to them in time and eternity.
These dividends to them accrued from the time they "heard of the gospel and began to fully understand the grace of God in the sphere of biblical truth." Grace is the policy of God toward the human race and grace can only be truly understood from the biblical perspective of the believer.
Believers have to be taught in order to grow in grace. The believers at Colossae were taught "even as" were others throughout the world.
They were "constantly bearing fruit and advancing" in the plan of God "even as" the believers in Colossae had been doing "since the day they heard of it and began to fully understand the grace of God in the sphere of Biblical truth."
Col 1:7; emphasizes the one who taught them this doctrine, "even as you were taught from the source of Epaphras,” who was their pastor-teacher at the time.
These "even as" clauses emphasize the fact that whoever makes an advance in the plan of God does so by means of persistent and consistent Bible study.
Col 1:8; tells us that Epaphras is the one who informed Paul and those with him about the reciprocal love possessed by the members of the Colossian church.
In verses 9-12 we learn it was because these believers possessed reciprocal love that Paul and his associates were motivated to pray for them.
These prayers provide us insight into what can be expected of a congregation that is positive to the study of the Bible that is the result of the power they have received from that study.
These intercessory prayers appealed for divine grace in the following categories of spiritual growth and application:
That the Colossians might be filled with epignosis knowledge: cognizance of divine thought in their streams of consciousness.
That this knowledge would instruct them about God's sovereign purpose, His directive will for each person's life.
That this knowledge would be the means for developing wisdom: the combination of epignosis knowledge plus insight for its application to life and circumstances.
That this wisdom would cause there to be harmony with the Word of God in the believer's soul.
That this knowledge would also be the means for arriving at spiritual understanding that would result in divine good production of the believer who is at harmony with God and his fellow man.
That with this harmony the believer's manner of life would reflect thought and behavior patterns pleasing to the Lord.
That this disposition of soul would habitually produce divine good and would habitually contribute to continued spiritual growth.
That this production and growth would be by means of epignosis knowledge from the ultimate source of God which is Biblical revelation from God.
That these things would be constantly strengthened by the enabling power of the filling of the Holy Spirit according to the standard of divine power.
That these things would result in spiritual stability that operates in the sphere of patient endurance as well as self-restraint under pressure.
That the believer would be constantly thankful to God for his grace lifestyle knowing it has qualified him to share in the inheritance of the escrow.
And that all of these things have been made possible by means of truth, the "light” of the Word of God.
All of the concepts in Colossians 1:3-12 are made possible by a grace system of perception described in:
1 Cor 2:4; My [ Paul's ] message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words [ not taken from Gnosticism ], but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power.
v. 5- Your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the sphere of the power of God.
v. 6 - However, when among mature believers, we keep on teaching wisdom but a wisdom that does not belong to this age nor to the leaders of this world who are becoming ineffective;
v. 7 - but we communicate wisdom from God in a mystery which mystery doctrine has been concealed and which God predesigned before the ages resulting in our glory.
1Cor 2:8; - None of the rulers of cosmos diabolicus [ Jewish & Gentile ] understood it for if they had known it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;
v9 - as it stands written in [ Isaiah 64:4 ], "Things [ "hos" the plural neuter demonstrative pronoun referring to divine knowledge ] which the eye has not seen and the ear has not heard [ empiricism ] and also doctrines which have not entered into the minds of men [ rationalism ] are those things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
v. 10 - But to us [ believers filled with the Holy Spirit ] God has revealed them through the Holy Spirit. The human spirit investigates all things, the Greek word "panta", even the deep things of God.
1Cor 2:11; - For what man understands the things of man [ "ta": the plural neuter article, referring to divine knowledge ] except man's spirit within him? Even so, the things of God [ "ta": plural neuter article again referring to divine knowledge ] no one has known except the Holy Spirit.
v. 12 - But we have not received the world's spirit [ human viewpoint ] but the human spirit from the source of God the Holy Spirit in order that we might have a permanent knowledge of things [ "ta" plural neuter article referring to divine knowledge in the context ] that have been graciously given to us by God.
1Cor 2:13; - Such divine wisdom we teach, not by teaching from the source of human wisdom but by teaching from the source of the Holy Spirit, bringing together spiritual things [pneumatikois: dative neuter plural adjective: divine thought ] to a spiritual system.
v. 14 - The soulish man [ unbeliever with a soul but no human spirit ] does not accept the things from the Holy Spirit for to him they are foolishness and he is not able to even acquire academic understanding because they are spiritually discerned.
This passage documents a grace system whereby the believers learn the Bible
and retains its principles in their soul for application to life and circumstances.
The real teacher is the Holy Spirit who instructs the believer's human spirit by making supernatural information understandable for the believer's volitional consideration.
What the Holy Spirit does for the believer is to make supernatural information
understandable by bringing together spiritual information in the human consciousness by means of a spiritual system.
This is brought out in verse 13 where we find the verb: " sunkrino" A compound word that combines the verb "krino", "to discern," with the prefix " sun", meaning "to discern with," "to compare," or "to combine," or "to bring together"
The Holy Spirit is our Teacher and He is able to compare the information taught
by the pastor with other information retained in the soul of the believer to bring
about spiritual growth.
All this is done within a system, pointed out by the double use of the Greek word
The NASB translates this clause, "combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words."
1Cor 2:13; In the NASB translation, the words " thoughts and words" are in italics and means that they do not appear in the original. Thus, the passage literally reads, "combining spiritual with spiritual."
The first use of pneumatikos is the plural instrumental of association in the
neuter gender which looks like this:" pneumatikois" - "spiritual things"
This refers to the content of the Word of God communicated by the pastor and
explained by the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit. Divine thought is categorized into doctrines and these make up "spiritual phenomena."
The second use of pneumatikos is the plural dative of advantage in the neuter
gender which looks like this: "pneumatika" - "spiritual system"
This spiritual system is a divinely provided method of perceiving "spiritual phenomena."
We have described this process of acquiring the supernatural knowledge possessed by God as the Grace Apparatus for Spiritual Perception and refer to it by its acronym : GASP.
The grace provisions for learning include the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit
which is activated by the person who takes advantage of two power options
available to the believer.
The first power option combines the filling of the Holy Spirit, made possible by
naming or citing any known sin to God alone, with human IQ to produce spiritual IQ.
This first power option is essential for spiritual growth. The believer out of
fellowship cannot understand the Bible because it must be taught to him by the
The Holy Spirit only teaches the believer who is in status quo spirituality which
is achieved by the confession or acknowledgement of one's sins to God for forgiveness.
1John 1:9; - If we confess [ homologeo: to acknowledge, cite, name, or state as in a courtroom confession ] our sins, He is faithful and righteous with the result that He forgives us our sins and purifies us from all wrongdoing.
If the believer out of fellowship cannot be taught by the Holy Spirit then certainly the unbeliever cannot be taught and therefore the unbeliever cannot learn anything about the Bible for use for spiritual advance.
1Cor 2:14; - The soulish man (psuchikos ) does not accept the things from the Holy Spirit for to him they are foolishness and he is not able to even acquire academic understanding because they are spiritually discerned.
The word psuchikos means "natural" and refers to that part of man produced by
nature. Man is born physically alive but spiritually dead. It is the second birth that provides one's spiritual awakening.
Therefore, the "natural man" or the "psuchikos man" cannot accept things- "spiritual phenomena" from the source of the Holy Spirit for they would be "foolishness" to him. He is not even able to acquire "academic understanding" of these things because of his "natural" status.
This "natural" status is known as dichotomy which refers to being born with a physical body to which God imputed a human soul.
The "spiritual" man is trichotomous which means he was born with a physical body to which God imputed a human soul and, and then at the moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit created a human spirit to which He imputed eternal life.
It is this "human" spirit that makes the believer capable of comprehending divine thought that we saw previously in:
1Cor 2:12-13; But we have not received the world's spirit [ human viewpoint ] but the human spirit from the source of God the Holy Spirit in order that we might have a permanent knowledge of things that have been graciously given to us by God.
v. 13 - Such divine wisdom we teach, not by teaching from the source of human wisdom but by teaching from the source of the Holy Spirit, bringing together spiritual things [ pneumatikois ] to a spiritual system [ pneumatika ].
A brief discussion of this "spiritual system" that we have studied before is appropriate in the context of our study regarding the mandate for diligence in the study of the word of God.
Some of the principles from the doctrine of the Grace Apparatus for Spiritual Perception are:
Grace refers to the policy of God which supplies to the believer all that is necessary to comprehend and live in His divine plan and purpose.
Apparatus refers to the process by which a systematized activity is carried out. God's plan is organized. He has a system by which the human mind can attain cognizance of His thinking.
This system contains a grace apparatus that leads to the spiritual perception of divine thought in four stages:
Stage 1: the pastor studies the Word under the ministry of the Holy Spirit and is able to arrive at a clear understanding of a passage by utilizing the ICE procedures we have noted. This is called interpretation which must utilize the science of hermeneutics. This term is taken from the Greek word, "hermeneuo".
The origin of this word comes from the Classical Greek Hermes, the Greek god of speech, science, invention, eloquence, writing, and art. His Roman name is Mercury. The verb "hermeneuo" means "to translate."
This word occurs in several forms in the New Testament:
(1) hermeneia: translated " an interpretation" in (1 Cor 14:26) in the NASB
(2) hermeneuo: translated as "translation" in (Heb 7:2) in the NASB.
(3) diermeneuo: translated as "explained" in (Luke 24:27) in the NASB.
(4) diermeneutes: as "interpreter" in (1Cor 14:28); in the NASB and
(5) methermeneuo: translated as "translated in the passive voice" in (Matt 1:23).
The science of hermeneutics is defined in the Protestant Biblical Interpretation: A Textbook of
Hermeneutics. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970) on page 11:
As a theological discipline hermeneutics is the science of the correct interpretation of the Bible. It is a special application of the general science of linguistics and meaning. It seeks to formulate those particular rules which pertain to the special factors connected with the Bible.
It stands in the same relationship to exegesis that a rulebook stands 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. The rules (hermeneutics) are not the game, and the game (exegesis) is meaningless without the rules.
Some of the principles of hermeneutics that we use are:
(1)The application of the ICE approach to Scriptural analysis: isagogics, categories, and exegesis;
(2) guided by the presupposition that biblical revelation is progressive and is to be understood as literal unless the context indicates otherwise;
(3) that this progressive revelation illuminates several periods of history called dispensations in which believers are instructed regarding God's will and purpose for their spiritual lives;
(4) that properly interpreted the Scripture is at harmony with itself in all parts; and
(5) that the original manuscripts of Scripture are inerrant in transcription and infallible in content.
From these and other techniques the pastor takes the Word of God, called " Logos", and after having interpreted its content, communicates it's truths to the believers of the local assembly as "Rhema"
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