Class Notes: 11/22/2009
The Doctrine of Thanksgiving as it relates to the spiritual life of the Church Age Believer
Since this week is the national celebration of Thanksgiving it is appropriate to briefly discuss the holiday and it's greater meaning for believers.
The first Thanksgiving is considered to have occurred in 1621 one year after the Pilgrims arrival at Plymouth on the Mayflower when, Governor William Bradford in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, stated:
Therefore, I, William Bradford by the Grace of God today, and the franchise of this good people, governor of Plymouth, say' through virtue of vested power 'ye shall gather with one accord, and hold in the month of November, thanksgiving unto the Lord.'
On October 3, 1863 President Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a national holiday for the last Thursday of November.
Even in war, Lincoln said, we can count our blessings: 'They are gracious gifts of the most high God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy."
Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is celebrated by both the believer and the unbeliever but for believer's thanksgiving is not only a holiday it is an integral component of the spiritual life so today we will briefly consider the Doctrine of Thanksgiving as it relates to the spiritual life of church age believers.
Thanksgiving is a form of worship whereby the Church Age believer acknowledges the benefits related to the divine initiative of antecedent grace from eternity past that extend into time.
The divine initiative of antecedent grace in eternity past is the provision of a portfolio of invisible assets for every believer. Eph 1:3;
These assets are subsequently conveyed by TLJC in time and deployed by the believer in through the function of the three spiritual skills. The three spiritual skills are:
The filling of the Holy Spirit; that is not only the energy and the power for the spiritual life, but it is also a spiritual skill that the believer learns.
Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness is not only a power option but is also a spiritual skill.
The filling of the Spirit and metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness are the basis for the formation of the third spiritual skill that is the problem solving devices on the defensive perimeter of the soul.
The ten problem solving devices are:
Acknowledgement of known sin.
The filling of the Holy Spirit.
The faith-rest drill.
A personal sense of destiny.
Personal love for God the Father.
Impersonal love for all mankind.
Sharing the happiness of God.
Occupation with Christ.
The ten problem solving devices only become operational as believers utilize the two power options and function under three spiritual skills that the believer learns.
The biblical definition of worship is the basis for the true function of thanksgiving. This definition is given in John 4:24, "God is a spirit, and those who worship Him must worship by means of the Spirit (filling of the Spirit) and by means of (truth) doctrine."
Thanksgiving is worship and is a response to God for the provision and the function of the problem solving devices as they become a defensive perimeter in the believer's soul.
All true worship in the Church Age is based on the two power options for the believer's life: the filling of the Holy Spirit and metabolized of Bible doctrine.
The filling of the Holy Spirit plus the metabolization of doctrine plus the problem solving devices on the defensive perimeter of the soul becomes the capacity for and the basis of true thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving therefore is the reflection of the application of Bible doctrine to the believer's experience through the function of the problem solving devices.
Believers do not completely understand thanksgiving until they are consistently functioning in the three spiritual skills. Thanksgiving is a part of the daily function of the ten problem solving devices that are deployed on the defensive perimeter of the soul.
Thanksgiving as worship is a part of the spiritual life, therefore, thanksgiving must be related to the function of the three spiritual skills.
For the believer, thanksgiving is not simply some shallow, transient system of gratitude for something. It is a system of worship of God; it is capacity for worship; it is capacity for life; it is the reflection of the believer's love for God through the function of the three spiritual skills.
Thanksgiving is a moment by moment mental attitude that is produced by the spiritual skills in the soul. It is a part of the divine viewpoint of life. Thanksgiving is the mental attitude that comes from the function of the spiritual skills.
This attitude is a part of capacity for life, and is based on maximum Bible doctrine that is resident and circulating in the stream of consciousness.
Thanksgiving as a mental attitude that is forged from persistent cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine that results in the believer having capacity for life from metabolized doctrine that is available for application to experience from it's launching pad in the right lobe of the soul.
Col 2:7, "Having been rooted and having been built up in Him (TLJC), and being stabilized by means of the doctrine that you have been taught (his thinking), overflowing with thanksgiving."
We see there that there is a relationship between the believer's consistent perception of Bible doctrine and the believer's attitude of thanksgiving toward God because Bible doctrine gives capacity for gratitude.
Col 1:12, "Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us for a share in the endowment of the saints in the light."
"In the light" is the instrumental of means, which is an idiom stating that the means whereby the believer is qualified for a share in the endowment of the saints in is through the light of the infallible word of God.
The only way that a believer can share in this endowment is through metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness.
Thanksgiving is a response to the attainment of spiritual capacity righteousness and the subsequent conveyance of blessings for time.
Thanksgiving is both an expression of the spiritual skills and the capacity for divine blessing in time. Thanksgiving is the expression from capacity for appreciation of God and the mental attitude of gratitude toward God.
Thanksgiving is therefore the believer's daily attitude toward God.
Thanksgiving is an act of giving thanks it is a grateful acknowledgement of the benefits of the grace of God. Hence, it is an expression of gratitude toward God based on the believer's doctrinal capacity to appreciate who and what God is and what he has done.
The only believers who have capacity for this type of thanksgiving are those who are advancing in the PPOG for their life.
For the believer, thanksgiving is more than an outward expression of gratitude it is more than appreciation in a human sense. It is appreciation for God that cannot exist apart from the function of the spiritual skills.
Eph 5:20, "always be thankful with reference to all things toward God, even the Father, through the person of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Obedience to this command requires the filling of the Spirit, metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness, and the function of the problem solving devices.
Thanksgiving is first of all directed toward God, and as an overflow of gratitude it is capacity and appreciation for life.
Thanksgiving is an index or gauge of the spiritual status of the believer.
The greater the content of metabolized doctrine in the believer's soul, the greater is the believer's gratitude and the capacity for the mental attitude of thanksgiving in life.
The more the believer uses the problem solving devices of the PPOG the more the believer has capacity for thanksgiving toward God.
Thanksgiving is related to the function of the spiritual skills.
In Eph 5:18b; we have the filling of the Spirit that results in the happiness and contentment of soul that is demonstrated in verse 19 and leads to the giving of thanks in verse 20.
Thanksgiving accompanies the acknowledgement of known sin as an expression of gratitude for the forgiveness of sins, restoration to fellowship, and the filling of the Holy Spirit.
Thanksgiving is related to metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness. The greater the content of metabolized doctrine in the believer's stream of consciousness, the greater the capacity for the mental attitude of thanksgiving.
Col 1:10, "That you might walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, pleasing to all, bearing fruit in every good work; in fact, constantly growing up by means of metabolized (spirit taught) doctrine from God."
Thanksgiving is related to the problem solving devices.
Once the believer begins to understand God's grace provision for restoration to fellowship through the application of the doctrine of acknowledgement of any known sin, the believer inevitably comes to a point where they express gratitude to God for his grace provision for the forgiveness of sins and restoration to fellowship with God.
The filling of the Holy Spirit causes the believer to express their appreciation to God.
Without the filling of the Spirit believers have no capacity to even express true thanksgiving to God.
The faith-rest drill results in capacity and expression of thanksgiving.
Grace orientation becomes a continual source of thanksgiving to God.
Doctrinal orientation provides greater and greater capacity for thanksgiving until the capacity is so great that the believer shares the happiness of God.
A personal sense of destiny is a source of thanksgiving for the believer understands and is oriented to the objectives, purpose, and understanding of God's will, plan, and purpose for their life.
Personal love for God the Father adds motivational virtue to thanksgiving.
Impersonal love for all mankind relates interpersonal relationships to mental attitude thanksgiving toward God.
With Impersonal love, believers have capacity for and are thankful to God in all circumstances without regard to unjust or unfair treatment.
Sharing the happiness of God provides tremendous contentment in life. Soul tranquility becomes the capacity for thanksgiving in every circumstance in life.
The ultimate in mental attitude thanksgiving and the overt expression of gratitude toward God comes from occupation with Christ.
Without occupation with Christ, capacity for life, or Bible doctrine in the soul, thanksgiving cannot be sustained.
Believers reach the peak of capacity for thanksgiving when they have personal love for God the Father and occupation with the person of Christ as the basis for their gratitude.
Thanksgiving is spiritual orientation to life through residence, function, and momentum inside God's power system for believers.
Thanksgiving fulfills the divine mandates of:
1Thes 5:18; "In everything give thanks; for this God's will for you God in Christ Jesus"
Eph 5:20, "Always giving thanks for to all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God even the Father."
Metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness produces thanksgiving toward God.
2 Cor 9:15, "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."
Rev 7:12, "Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and ability belong to God forever and ever. Amen."
Psa 100:4, "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, honor His person."
Thanksgiving is a function of prayer.
Eph 1:16, "I do not cease giving thanks for you, and I make mention of you in my prayers."
Col 1:3, "We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you."
Col 4:2, "Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving."
Phil 4:6, "Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God."
Giving causes thanksgiving. 2Cor 9:7-12. "Each one on the basis as he has determined for himself in his thinking so give, not reluctantly, nor under pressure; for God loves a gracious giver.
v8: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good of intrinsic value deed.
v9: Even as it stands written, `He has scattered abroad, He has given to the poor, His righteousness (virtue) abides forever.'
2Cor 9:10; Now He that provides graciously the seed to the sower provides graciously for the act of eating, and at the same time multiplies your seed sown and enlarges the harvest of your grace virtue.
v11: Because of your generosity, you will be enriched in all things which through us produces thanksgiving to God.
v12: Because the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but also overflowing through many with thanksgivings to God."
We see in 1Tim 4:3-4 ; that food should be accepted with thanksgiving,
This applies to all food, anytime, anywhere. God has created food to be received with thanksgiving.
Thanksgivings before meals is a part of grace orientation with special emphasis on the appreciation of God's logistical grace provision.
Thanksgivings before meals sanctifies the food, protecting the believer's health from any possible impurities in the food and so that the food will fulfill the requirements of the body when metabolized.
1Tim 4:4-5, For everything created by God is beneficial, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with thanksgiving. for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
As is the case of Thanksgiving Day, Thanksgiving is often a public acknowledgment or celebration of worship. David set aside a day of thanksgiving when the ark was returned to Jerusalem. 1Chr 16:7-36.
The justice of God demands that the believer being blessed have capacity for that blessing. Capacity for blessing means capacity for the expression of thanksgiving.
Potential for thanksgiving depends on the amount of Bible doctrine in the believer's soul, so that the believer who is blessed is not only occupied with the gift but the giver as the source of the gift.
One cannot give thanks for what one does not have. Bible Doctrine enlightens the believer and makes them aware of what they do have and what God has provided for them from eternity past.
To enjoy the gift, the person who is thankful must be occupied with the Giver.
True happiness is loving the Giver more than the gift. True thanksgiving is to be occupied with the Giver more than the gift. Capacity for life is to enjoy the Giver more than the gift.
Thanksgiving is a priestly sacrifice, Psa 116:17, Psa 107:22; Amos 4:5; Heb 13:15.
Thanksgiving is the mental attitude of the spiritually mature believer.
Thanksgiving is a function of the believer with capacity for life, Col 3:15; 2Cor 4:15; 2Cor 9:10-11.
Personal testimonies of mature believers are found in Dan 2:23; John 11:41; Rom 1:8; 1Cor 1:4; Phil 1:3; 2Tim 1:3;
Believer's who are positive to doctrine are motivated to give thanksgiving regarding others, 1Thes 3:9;
So, we see that for the believer in TLJC, Thanksgiving is not only a national holiday that is observed once a year, but a continuous function in life.
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