Class Notes: 3/1/2009

Separation from the kosmos comes from the PMA of Bible Doctrine Rom 12:1-3


We are in the midst of a discussion on The Doctrine of Separation or how to protect one's spiritual life when dealing with those who are living in the kosmic system. that is found in 2Thes 3:6;,2Cor 6:17; and 2Tim 3:5;

The Greek words that are used in these passages for this command are:

"Stello" that means to avoid." aphorizo" that means to be separated, and "apotrepo" that means to turn away from.

In 2Thes 3:6 Paul states it as a direct command and in 2Cor 6:17 and 2Tim 3:5 the Greek words are in the imperative mood of command.

Separation is the technique of mentally switching from personal love to unconditional integrity love or of physically separating in order to deal with those who are persistently living in the kosmic system.

Last time we started discussing the passage in Rom 12:1-3 where the process of separating from the kosmos is discussed.

We left off in Rom12: 3; - with the following expanded translation.

" I say through the grace that has been given to me to everyone who is among you, stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think objectively "

The way that the believer is to think is explained by the present active infinitive of the Greek verb "sophrono".

"sophroneo" means "to be reasonable"; "in one's right mind"; or, "in terms of sanity"

So we have the translation: "in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion"

The present: tense refers to what is customary referring to what is to habitually occur or is reasonably expected to occur. This is a system of thinking that is to be developed into a lifestyle of righteousness from function inside the PPOG.

The active voice indicates that the believer is to produce a habitual system of thinking that is rational, reasonable, and sane that is established from Divine viewpoint.

As an infinitive it shows that the purpose or goal of the controlling verb's action. It looks ahead to the intended result. The believer's thinking should proceed from a sound mind.

The implication from "sophroneo" is that objective thinking is both sane and rational.

Those who are mentally sound are able to analyze and anticipate the effect of their actions.

The question that arises is what constitutes a "sound mind" An answer to this is presented by Paul in his second letter to Timothy:

2Tim 1:7; - For God has not given to us (pastors) the mental weakness of cowardice (The Greek word "deilia": always used in the negative sense as opposed to the Greek word "phobos" that can refer positively to the fear of God or toward legitimate establishment authority that is positive while to fear life or circumstances is negative) ...

but inner power ( the Greek word "dunamis" referring to Bible doctrine resident in the soul ), love ( the Greek word " agape" referring to the virtue love associated with the filling of the Holy Spirit ), and of a sound mind (the Greek word "sophronismos" the noun form of "sophroneo", referring to self-discipline through Biblical wisdom )

The concept of a "sound mind" is essential for the believer to make rational decisions in the face of opposition, challenge, danger, confrontation or disaster of any kind.

To think with power, moderated by virtue love, and as a result be instructed by the absolutes of sound doctrine enables the believer to make rational decisions with true confidence in God without fear. 1John 4:18;

Cowardice is not a mental state that should ever define the life of a believer but instead the believer's live should be defined by the confidence that comes from the power of the Word of God circulating in the soul's stream of consciousness, the unconditional love that proceeds from the indwelling Holy Spirit, and the sound mind that results from the deployment of these assets in the believers soul.

So far our passage reads: Rom 12:3; - I say through the grace that has been given to me to everyone who is among you, stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance beyond what you ought to think, but think objectively in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion.

The word I have "rational without illusion" that is translated as "sound judgment" in the NASB is the Greek word "sophroneo"

The translation of the Greek word" sophroneo" is complex. the Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Volume 7 Pages: 1097-1098; 1104; 1102: states the following:

In the ancient Greek, Homer used "Sophron" for "sound mind." It denotes:

(a) "the rational" in the sense of what is intellectually sound as opposed to (mania: madness, passion, desire),

(b) "rational" without illusion.

(c) "rational" in the sense of purposeful.

(d) "discretion" in the sense of moderation and self-control.

(e) "discretion" as prudent reserve.

(f) "modesty" and decorum.

(g) "discretion" as discipline and order politically,

(h) as "wisdom" as opposed to, aboulos (taking no thought; inconsiderate; ill-advised; unfeeling

Liddell & Scott's Greek English Lexicon, on pages 1097-1098 states the following regarding "sophrosune":

The difficulty of precise translation in many passages makes it imperative to try to grasp more accurately the basic meaning. The reference to sophrosune is to a basic attitude which alone makes possible certain concrete modes of conduct.

regarding "sophronismos": "making to understand," "making wise." Inasmuch as understanding is the basis of virtue and an upright life it also means "admonition to do better."

regarding "sophroneo": Paul uses "sophroneo" in a play on words when he admonishes the Romans, Romans 12:3.

By using "huperphroneo" ("stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance") he opposes "sophroneo". He is using the term in its classical sense: "to observe the proper measure," and "not to transgress the set laws."

Paul defines this measure as the ("metron pisteos" or "a standard of thinking from doctrine") which God gives and that is exhibited in integration into the community and service within it.

With this in view, our verse says: Rom 12:3; - I say through the grace that has been given to me to everyone who is among you, stop thinking of self in terms of arrogance ( huperphroneo ) beyond what you ought to think, but think objectively ( phroneo ) in terms of sanity for the purpose of being rational without illusion ( sophroneo ) as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from doctrine (merizo metron pistis ).

The final phrase "merizo metron pistis" informs us that God has assigned to us "merizo" a standard of thinking (metron) from doctrine "pistis".

In previous studies we have seen that there are three uses of the Greek word "pistis" that is translated as "faith" in the New Testament:

Faith as a non-meritorious system of perception based on confidence in the authority and the veracity of another ,such as faith in TLJC.

Faith as an attribute as in faithfulness or reliability.

Faith as a system of doctrine or a creed perceived by faith; or what is believed.

In this context what is emphasized is that which is believed, or the doctrines of the Bible: standards that distinguish between right and wrong and good and evil.

The Bible is assigned to us by God as our source of objective thought by which we can classify sanity. It is rational thought without illusion. The Bible is our standard of thinking based on its doctrines.

Having a "sound mind" we are enabled to "think rationally" which means we are "sane" and thus "without illusions" about self or others.

This verse says that God has provided the Bible to believers as a standard of thought that once learned makes them sane, enables them to think rationally, and enables them to identify the kosmic lie that is an illusion.

Some of these words that are important to our study of the doctrine of separation are defined as follows in Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary :

Sane: Proceeding from a sound mind: rational; mentally sound: especially able to anticipate and appraise the effect of one's actions.

Illusion: the action of deceiving; a misleading image presented to the vision; something that deceives or misleads intellectually.

Standard: something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example; applies to any definite rule, principle, or measure established by authority.

The New Oxford American Dictionary defines:

Rational: able to think clearly, sensibly, and logically; endowed with the capacity to reason.

Using these our expanded translation could read as:

Rom 12:2; Stop being manipulated by popular opinion but be transformed by the renovation of your thinking so that you may confirm what the will of God is, namely, divine good produced by divine viewpoint from maximum doctrine.

v3; I say through the grace that has been given to me to everyone who is among you, stop thinking of self in terms of arrogant self-centeredness beyond normal self-awareness, but think clearly and logically from a sound mind so as not to be deceived by visual and rhetorical illusions as God has assigned to each one of us a standard of thinking from rules and principles contained in the doctrines of Scripture.

We must always remember that this is the devil's world. He has possessed its rulership since Adam's fall in the Garden of Eden and he has recruited willing advocates to deceive as many as possible away from the divine standards that are revealed in Scripture. Paul describes this in:

2Cor 11:13; Such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. v14; And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. v15;Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.

The kosmos is constantly working to propagandize against Divine Establishment and Bible Doctrine.

We must remember that the Invisible War is a struggle where the renovation of thought is sought by both sides.

The kosmos seeks to prevent people from giving objective consideration to establishment or biblical thought. It's ideologies constantly attempt to renovate the souls of men away from traditional standards that are revealed in the Bible.

Through Faith in TLJC and the PPOG, God seeks to transform those so victimized by demanding the renovation of their souls with establishment and biblical standards.

Proper separation can only be accomplished when the absolutes of the Word of God establish one's priorities in life.... John speaks of this separation in:

1John 2:15; Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. v16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. v17 And the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God abides forever.

Verse 15 begins with the phrase "me agapate ton kosmon 'and is a mandate to "Stop loving the kosmic system (the world's system)."

Previously we have studied the arrogance and hatred complexes of the kosmos that describe how it uses the lust patterns of the OSN combined with the weaknesses of the OSN to dominate the soul of an individual and make them a "lover of the world."

The prohibition against giving one's attention to the allurements of the cosmic system introduces the paragraph: "Do not love the world."

The "world" is the Greek word kosmos and makes reference to all that defines the environment controlled by satan, including his strategy, his tactics, and especially his thinking.

The kosmos includes the "philosophies and empty deceptions," the "traditions of men," and the "elementary principles" that Paul warns us about in Col 2:8;

The teachings of the kosmos are summed up by Paul in 1Tim 4:1;as the "doctrines of demons", in 2Tim 4:4 as "myths" and its teachers are condemned by him in 2Cor 11:13,15; as "false apostles" and "deceitful workers" who "disguise themselves as servants of righteousness."

Dr. C. I. Scofield summarizes the kosmos in a footnote at Rev 13:8; in The New American Standard version of his Schofield Study Bible. On page 1787:

World: (Greek "kosmos"): In the sense of the present world system, the ethically bad sense of the word refers to the order or arrangement under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his Kosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure that are described in (Matt 4:8-9; John 12:31; John 14:30; John 18:36; Eph 2:2; Eph 6:12;).


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