Spirit – Power – BT1
Spirit-power causes/makes-to-do His good pleasure
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Sure, we were “created in Christ Jesus for good ergon works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” per Ephesians 2:10, but these aren’t simply marching orders to set out to do as soon as we become Christians, regardless of what churches preach to justify their own “cherry-picked” rules of holiness or OT commandments to keep. They conveniently leave out the 2 verses before it: “By unconditional-favor-of-grace you have already been saved, with ongoing results, thru-the-realizing-channel-of trusting-relying-faith – and THIS (neuter) is absolutely not your own doing; [THIS is] the grace-gift of God, absolutely not [coming] out from ergon works, so that no one may boast, for we are His (God’s) workmanship, having already been 12created by the means of Christ Jesus for good ergon works . . . .” It is just terrible how many churches torture this verse! The neuter pronoun “THIS” doesn’t have any individual nouns to refer back to, because charis unconditional-favor-of-grace and pistis trusting-relying-faith are both feminine. That’s because Paul is referring to the whole phrase “you having been saved …. trusting-relying-faith” as THIS neuter “thing” that is “the grace-gift of God.”
There are entire denominations that believe “trusting-relying-faith” is a grace-gift of God also. If that’s the case substituting “trusting-relying-faith” or even “unconditional-favor-of-grace” into the pronoun “THIS” translates to this: “by charis grace you’ve be saved through the charismati grace-gift of pistis faith,” which is justs as redundant as: “by charis grace you’ve be saved through pistis faith – this charis grace is a charismati grace-gift!” This just doesn’t make sense!
Paul said whether you obeyed the Torah Law of conditional-favor or not, it counts (a) for absolutely in fact nothing (b) because the circumcised Jew or uncircumcised Gentile (c) are both made/declared righteous by pistis trusting-relying-faith alone (d) by “God’s charis unconditional-favor-of-grace as a charismati grace-gift through the redemption…in Christ” (e), having been resurrected into a new creation by trusting-relying-faith (f), and “the promised Spirit is received by trusting-relying-faith” (g). The “free grace-gift of God” is “zoe genuine-life everlasting in Christ” (h) when we are “made/declared righteous by trusting-relying-faith…by His blood …. saved by His zoe genuine-life….a free grace-gift …the unconditional-favor-of-grace of God …the free grace-gift by that unconditional-favor-of-grace of the one man Jesus . . . receiving the abundance of unconditional-favor-of-grace and the free grace-gift of righteousness . . . through one man Jesus (i). The “promise relies on trusting-relying-faith that it may rest on unconditional-favor-of-grace” (j), having “obtained access by trusting-relying-faith into this unconditional-favor-of-grace” (k). That’s why we are “God’s workmanship and none of us can boast!” <Notes> a) is strong, forceful, robust, sound, able, serviceable, b) Galatians 5:6, c) circumcision is the identifying seal of the Law for a Jew, d) Romans 3:30, e) Romans 3:24, f) Colossians 2:12, g) Galatians 3:14, h) Romans 6:23, i) Romans 5:1-17, j) Romans 4:16, k) Romans 5:2.
Churches are quick to quote Philippians 2:12 to be “ongoingly working out down-from/according-to (a) our own salvation with fear and trembling,” but they don’t tell you that “fear and trembling” was a common Greek idiom for “reverential awe.” And they often don’t tell you about v. 13, “For (b) it is ongoingly God who routinely works (c) IN you both (d) to ongoingly will/desire and/coupled to ongoingly work (c) His good pleasure.” The reason we can be in reverential awe of God is precisely because God effectively works His own desires INSIDE of us! The one “working” is God, not us! The Hebrew 13:21 writer blesses Christians that “God may . . . equip you with all good to do His will, [Him] working IN us through Jesus Christ [to do] that which is pleasing in His sight.” This is exactly what was promised for the New Covenant in Ezekiel 36:27 that made it unique from the old covenant way our own “might and power” – “And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes and be careful to obey My rules.” <Notes> a) katergazomai, b) gar introduces a reason, c) energeo: energetically, effectively does, d) with copulative emphasis.
Then why are we strongly urged with the imperative by Paul to “work out what comes down-from/according-to our salvation” in Philippians 2:12? God showed me that it’s like going to a gym. It’s arrogant to think we actually build muscle! We can only pump them up with blood and actually tear the muscle tissue. It’s God who rebuilds them when we are resting between workouts! God told me the same thing about physical healing: Sure, it’s good to workout hard to rebuild your body, but He told me that He rebuilds me as I’m resting, so I need to rest more! Our salvation is a free grace-gift, but we still need to exercise our salvation “muscles” by living for the Lord out of reverential awe! We aren’t “debtors-obligated to the flesh to live down-from/according-to the flesh” (a) . . . but by the Spirit . . . led by the Spirit of God, not receiving the spirit of slavery (a) to fall back into fear [of punishment] but . . . the Spirit of adoption as sons” (b). <Notes> a) in context, living by the “Torah Law of conditional-favor that brought sin and death” that relies on the obedience of our flesh through our own “might and power,” b) Romans 8:1-15.
It shouldn’t be the Torah Law of conditional-favor that motivates us to work! Paul says, “For the unconditional-favor-of-grace of God has appeared, . . . training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives . . . waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for Himself a people . . . zealous for good works” (a). Certainly, “God’s kindness is meant to lead us to repentance” (b). Paul calls this the process of “sanctification” or practical “holiness,” which is living “separately” from a condemned “unclean” world (c). <Notes> a) Titus 2:11-15, b) Romans 2:4, c) Romans 6:19, 22; 1 Thessalonians 4:3; Hebrews 10:14.
“What must we ongoingly make/do, in order to ongoingly be energeo working the ergon works of God?” That’s what the Jews asked of Jesus in John 6:28, and Jesus answered: “This is the ergon work of God: that you ongoingly have trusting-relying-faith towards/at Him (Christ) whom He (God) has sent (a).” This is “the ergon work . . . that [does not] perish, the [work] for the food that endures [unto] zoe genuine-life everlasting, which the Son of Man will give to you” in John 6:27. This must also be consistent with Christ’s other words: “I eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know the ergon works of you: The unconditional-love [of you] and the trusting-relying-faith [of you] and [respectively] the service [from the unconditional-love of you] and the patient endurance [from the trusting-relying-faith] of you . . . The one who routinely conquers victoriously (b) and/coupled routinely carefully tereo watches/guards/attends-to-maintain My ergon works to the end, to him I will give authority over the nations . . . even as I myself have received authority from My Father” (c). This must also be consistent with Paul’s “the ergon work of/belonging to the Lord [Jesus], knowing that in the Lord [Jesus] your extreme weariness/fatigue from labor (d) is not in vain” (e), just as with Paul’s “ergon work of trusting-relying-faith” and “extreme weariness/fatigue from labor (d) of unconditional-love” are the distinguishing marks of the Christian (f). It’s no wonder that 1 John 3:23 integrates “definitively/wholly have trusting-relying-faith in the name/authority of God’s Son Jesus Christ and/coupled ongoingly unconditionally-love one another” as the only 2 NT commandments. This is certainly the “works” of a true Christian! Much of this has already been said above in the section about a Christian’s “good works.” <Notes> a) officially, authoritatively, set apart on a mission as an apostle, b) nike: “hold fast trusting-relying-faith unto death”, c) Revelation 2:19, 26-27, d) kopos: deep fatigure or extreme weariness from toiling labor, even as if struck by blows, e) 1 Corinthians 15:58, f) 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:3, 11; Colossians 1:4; 1 Timothy 1:14.
Paul makes it clear in 1 Corinthians 12:6-7 that the grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit are not given because we merited them from our work, for “there are many varieties of activities/operations (a) but it is the same God who routinely energeo works (b) [them] ALL IN every [person in the Body-of-Christ] – to each [person] is given the manifestation/exhibition/expression of the Spirit for the common good. Then Paul lists in verse 11: logos messages of wisdom and logos messages of gnosis info-knowledge . . . prophecy, discernment of spirits, tongues and their interpretation and says, “ALL these are ongoingly energeo worked by the means of one and the same Spirit, who routinely divides/distributes to each one individually as He wills.” This has nothing to do with putting our natural talents to work for God, as so many churches teach and practice, but about having trusting-relying-faith in God to supernaturally do this work IN and through us by the Holy Spirit! The “various services/ministries” of 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 are not supposed to be our own natural “might and power” now dedicated to God – that’s religion – but given from “the same Lord” Jesus Christ (c), just as the “various grace-gifts” by “the same Spirit” and “various activities/operations” are from “the same God” – but that takes trusting and relying fellowship, doesn’t it? <Notes> a) energema from ergon: active, operating, efficient and effectual, works within, b) energeo, verb of energema, c) cf. Ephesians 4:7-11.
As Christians musicians, will we continue to perpetuate the old covenant demands of obedience to God by using our own natural “might and power” abilities for God or embrace the New Covenant distinctive to trust God to work IN us His good pleasure to cause us to walk in His ways? Are we going to trust and depend on the power of the Holy Spirit to make us holy or strive to do it ourselves? Do we still think that the Old Testament Law counts for anything, when Paul declare it counts for nothing? A gift by grace is the opposite of what is earned by work! But we are God’s workmanship and our part is to exercise our faith in God and then rest. Any “good works” are those of faith in Christ and loving others just as Jesus loves us. Let’s us behold with reverential awe God’s grace and then watch Him work IN our lives! Let us ask for more of the Holy Spirit’s enabling power to do God’s will, because the ability sure won’t be ours!
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