Class Notes: 9/21/2008
2Tim 2:15 Conclusion of our study of the mandate for diligent study of the Word of God
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'.
We are looking at the spiritual system known as GASP that God the Holy Spirit uses to teach the believer and the "wheel tracks" that are good or evil that are developed as a result of consistent for or against the word of God.
Continuing in the discussion we began last time where we examined the process whereby the brain is programmed with the word of God and from that the believer develops habits that are caused by "wheel tracks" of righteousness that results in habits that are in accord with the will of God.
The cerebral cortex is the outer covering of the brain and is more developed in Homo sapiens.
Human consciousness, reasoning capacity, language abilities, and decision-function occur in this cerebral cortex.
In order for decision-making to occur, all related data must be analyzed and brought to the individual's academic understanding.
The association cortex makes up the greatest percentage of the cerebral cortex. This area comprises the central processing center for thought, decision, and action.
Human volition, located in the soul, considers the information gathered in the association cortex and is thereby challenged to act or not act, accept or reject, believe or not believe.
The volitional decision to accept and believe the information initiates two things:
(1) the Holy Spirit transfers the doctrine into to the heart (kardia) and catalogs it's content into the seven compartments of the stream of consciousness and
(2) initiates the electrochemical process which results in the establishment of a long-term memory trace in the brain, or a wheel-track of righteousness.
The next time this doctrine is reviewed this memory trace is amplified and enlarged in a process called facilitation.
Facilitation is a neurological term that refers to the principle that a behavior pattern becomes more and more habitual with every repetition. Ultimately this memory trace becomes the path of least resistance under a given set of stimuli.
For the believer who has wheel-tracks of wickedness facilitated into paths of least resistance, the likelihood of doing the wrong thing is very high.
If that path is a wheel-track of righteousness, the likelihood of the believer doing the right thing is very high.
Under the filling of the Holy Spirit while functioning in the spiritual life of the PPOG, the believer is enabled to recall the right wheel-track and is delegated the power to execute it.
Excerpts from books on neurology illustrate and document these principles of facilitation:
In the book entitled The Making of Memory: From Molecules to Mind. by Stephen Rose published by Bantum Books, 1992. Reprinted by Anchor Books, 1993), pages 259-260:
Learning causes changes in synaptic connectivity between one neuron and another. Dendrites increase in length, change branching patterns, and the number of spines alter. Connectivity is altered not only by increasing the actual number of synapses but also by altering the size or position of any particular synapse.
In the book Palaces of Memory: How We Build the Worlds inside Our Heads by George Johnson Reprinted by Vintage Books, 1992, pages 24-25:
In the 1960s, Eric Kandel of Columbia University found that the synapse seemed to function like a volume control. If a synapse is turned up, the neurons on either side become more strongly connected: If the first one fires, the next is likely to follow. On the other hand, two neurons whose synapse is turned down are, in effect, disconnected. The synapses, then, seem to allow for the malleability needed for learning.
In The Modular Brain by Richard Restak 1st ed. (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), pages 120-121:
… even a casual effort at introspection reveals that even the most balanced of us are often of two or more "minds." One part of us wants desperately to do something, while another part resists with a ferocity that leaves us feeling disjointed and conflicted. At such times we wonder if more than one person occupies our bodies.
The first quote indicates the development of memory traces that occur as a result of Bible study.
The second indicates that these traces are facilitated and tweaked as a result of repetition.
The third reminds us that this process can be interrupted and corrupted by the invasion of the OSN when it tries to subvert the spiritual advance by influencing a return to former behavior patters, character traits, and lifestyle choices.
Paul realized that his soul and body were in conflict and it resulted in disharmony in both.
The cure for the condition was his continued spiritual growth which would bring the conscience into harmony with the desires of God found in Scripture.
Once internal harmony with Bible Doctrine was developed in his soul then external harmony could be accomplished in his body which would result in an outer harmony with others.
These concepts are not only addressed but are also mandated in scripture:
Ephesians 5:6 - Let no one seduce you by means of empty words (doctrines of demons) for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disbelief (apeitheia: disbelief in the Gospel).
v 7 Therefore, stop becoming partners with them.
v 8 For you were formerly in darkness (cosmic viewpoint of an unbeliever), but now in light (a believer with divine viewpoint) in the Lord (union with TLJC via the baptism of the Holy Spirit). Keep on walking (in wheel-tracks of righteousness) as children of the light …
v 9 (For the fruit (production) of the light ("phos" referring to divine viewpoint) is intrinsic good ("agathosune" referring to divine good in opposition to the cosmic lie), righteousness (dikaiosune: a virtuous lifestyle based on the divine standard), and truth (aletheia: doctrine resident in the soul)),
v 10. putting to the test ("dokimazo" testing with the expectation of proving to be true by application) those things acceptable to God.
Ephesians 5:11 - Stop being involved (present active imperative of sunkoinoneo plus the negative, me: a prohibition) in the fruitless works (human good) of darkness (the cosmic system) but instead expose (present active imperative of elencho: a positive mandate to bring to light) these fruitless works;
v12 because it is presently and will ever be a disgrace to speak approvingly of the things which are accomplished by them in secret (kruphei referring to the unbeliever who is afraid of the light resulting in doing deeds in the illusion of secrecy in darkness).
v13 But all these things (fruitless works of human good and evil) when exposed are made known by the agency of the light (phaneroo: the execution of biblical standards makes manifest or evident the works of the OSN).
v14 Therefore He (the Holy Spirit through Isaiah) says (Isaiah 26:19 cp. Romans 13:11), "Wake up (awareness of carnal status) you who are asleep (reversionist), get up (imperative for rebound & GASP) from among the dead ones (quit imitating the lifestyle of the unbeliever) and Christ will shine (impute blessings) on you.
v15 Therefore, be mindful how you walk (present active indicative of peripateo: a mandate to be alert about your behavior), not as the unwise asophos: the noun, sophos, "wisdom," plus the alpha privative: "no wisdom") but as wise ones, sophos: those with doctrinal wisdom),
v16 constantly redeeming your time (present middle participle of exagorazo: converting your time into something of value, a continuous action which takes place at the same time as that of the main verb, walk: being alert to your behavior and lifestyle), because the days (assigned to you) are evil (the plan of Lucifer in opposition to the grace plan of God).
v.17 Because of this disposition, stop becoming unwise (aphron that means a reckless habit of mind that results from a lack of spiritual common sense due to biblical ignorance), but keep on understanding (suniemi) what the content of the will of the Lord is.
This paragraph concludes with the present active imperative of the Greek verb "suniemi" that is translated "understanding"
This verb brings together the emphasis of our study by issuing a command to the believer to achieve perceptive comprehension from diligent study of Bible doctrine.
An expanded definition of the verb can be found in the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. edited by Gerhard Friedrich, Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), volume 7: pages 888-889, and 895-896:
suniemi. The verb means primarily "to bring together," "to come to an agreement," "to accept something by hearing," "to understand." (p. 888)
The noun, sunesis, means literally "union," of two rivers for example.
A survey of the usage shows that the word was used generally for the formal side of perceiving, especially hearing, and thus for understanding, which is closely connected to learning. (p. 889)
Understanding and conduct are an indissoluble unity. To be without understanding is not just a partial deficiency which might be overcome; it is total darkening. (p. 895)
The organ of sunesis, is the heart or "kardia", Col 2:2; (p. 896)
Suniemi is defined as bringing something together in order for us to know the will of God.
This occurs when the believer makes volitional decisions to accept the information that is being inculcated by hearing which leads to understanding. Rom 10:17;
This describes the GASP process that brings spiritual things or biblical truths to a spiritual system, under the mentorship of the Holy Spirit.
When believers consent to place their faith in what He makes clear to us then they come into agreement with the righteous standards of God.
When the Holy Spirit converts this information to epignosis then the believer has cognizance of divine thought in the heart (kardia). This is understanding (suniemi).
This establishes the union of the human soul with divine thought and establishes a soul that is in harmony with the divine standard of Bible Doctrine.
The definition of sunesis also includes the union of one's doctrinal inventory with their
What links the two is volition. Divine thought plus loyalty to it under pressure results in behavior that is honorable that establishes external harmony with God and other members of the human race.
This dual harmony is made possible by the acquisition of the Word of God in the kardia of the soul, a status that Paul addresses in:
Col 2:1; I desire you to know how great a concern I have on your behalf,
and for those in Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh,
v2 - that their hearts [kardia: streams of consciousness) might be comforted, having been united (sumbibazo) by means of virtue love [agape: referring to personal love for God which motivates unconditional love for fellow believers) resulting in all wealth of assurance that comes from the source of sunesis understanding resulting in the epignosis knowledge of the mystery of God from the source of Christ.
Three words amplify our emphasis on the importance of Bible study and spiritual growth.
They point out that there is a system that must be utilized in order for soul and group
harmony to occur in the life of the Christian.
Kardia refers to the stream of conscience where knowledge is stored that comforts the soul. This knowledge causes unity (sumbibazo) among believers by means of virtue love (agape).
The definition of sumbibazo brings out several of the principles that we have stressed in our study.
Gerhard Friedrich, in his Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. (Edited by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971), volume 7: pages 763-64: says the following:
In non-biblical Greek, sumbibazo means strictly "to cause to stride together. "To bring together," "to bring about an agreement." (p. 763)
In the New Testament the word means "to hold together," "to unite," in Col 2:2. According to Col 2:19; and Eph 4:16; the body [the church] is held together by the head [Jesus Christ].
In the context Paul is emphasizing that through his exhortation their unity in love [reciprocity] and their knowledge of faith [epignosis] might be increased. (p. 764)
The verses cited by Friedrich indicate that the substance that holds the body of Christ together is unconditional love.
This attribute is developed from personal love for God. These things are learned through Bible study that is communicated by a source of supply called the pastor who brings spiritual things to a spiritual system.
It is mutual belief in the principles of the Word of God that "brings believers together." It is love for Christ that "holds them together." And it is by means of the enabling power of the Holy Spirit that they are caused "to stride together."
Spiritual growth therefore results in the development of reciprocity and unconditional love for all believers. This is the mutual disposition that makes the individual members of a local church become winners in the invisible war of the Angelic Conflict.
Those who are winners are those who prepare for battle in times of prosperity. Preparation involves spiritual growth and the subsequent execution of the Lord's battle plan as each individual manages the details of life and circumstances that occur on a daily basis according to the Lord's instructions from his word under the mentor ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
There are several passages that sum up the purpose of the Grace Apparatus for Spiritual Perception:
2Peter 3:18; - Grow (present active imperative of auxano) in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
John 14:15; - "If you love Me, you will keep (aorist active imperative of tereo meaning to keep, or to hold on to because it is considered valuable) my commandments."
John 15:10; - "If you keep (tereo) My commandments, you will abide (figurative use of, meno: to remain or continue) in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide (remain, or continue) in His love.
1John 5:1; - Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born from God, and whoever loves the Father loves the child (Jesus as Savior and fellow believers) born of Him (personal love for God must precede unconditional love for one's fellow man).
v2 By this we have come to know that we love the children of God by loving God and executing His commandments.
v3 For this is the love of God: that we keep (tereo) His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
2John 6; This is love, that we should keep walking with momentum (a lifestyle based on wheel-tracks of righteousness & motivated by reciprocity) in compliance with His commandments. This is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, that you should keep on walking in it (the double column advance, epignosis knowledge plus agape motivation that results in pleroma or maturity and occupation with Christ and maximum glorification of God).
It is through Bible study and the acquisition of epignosis knowledge that believers develop an agape love for God. It is from this personal love that believers develop reciprocal love motivation to continue their pursuit of truth and their advance toward the objective of spiritual maturity that is described by the Greek word "pleroma".
Along the way the advancing believer develops motivational and functional virtues:
A motive is a desire acting on the will of a person causing him to act.
A function is a definite end or purpose that one is intended to perform.
Motivational virtues are the causes and functional virtues are the effects.
All motivational virtues are discriminatory and directed only toward God while all functional virtues are nondiscriminatory and are directed toward all mankind and circumstances.
The motivational virtues are (1) worship, (2) confidence, and (3) personal love for God.
The functional virtues are (1) morality, (2) courage, and (3) unconditional love for mankind.
Worship is directed only toward God and therefore is discriminatory.
Worship is expressed in several ways that are proscribed in Scripture: (1) Bible study, (2) the Eucharist, (3) prayer, (4) singing, and (5) giving, all directed exclusively toward God.
The functional virtue that is the result of worship is directed toward all mankind and is therefore nondiscriminatory it is demonstrated as virtue toward all mankind that is based on biblical mandates.
Confidence directed toward the Word of God and its doctrines is discriminatory.
The functional virtue that is the result of confidence is courage toward life and circumstances that is nondiscriminatory.
Personal love toward God is discriminatory since it is directed only toward God.
The functional virtue that is the result of personal love for God results in unconditional love directed toward all mankind that is nondiscriminatory.
The three categories of motivational virtues are the responsibility of the believer's royal priesthood while the three categories of functional virtues are the responsibility of the believer's royal ambassadorship.
Perception of biblical truth is the responsibility of the royal priest and it results in motivational virtues of personal love for God, worship of God and confidence in God.
Application of biblical truth is the responsibility of the royal ambassador and produces the functional virtue of unconditional love for mankind with it's courage and morality.
This concludes our study of the mandate to the believer for the diligent study of the word of God that is found in 2Tim 2:15;
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