Body Ministry – BT20
Body-of-Christ ministry supernaturally happens in the presence of God.
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Now everything we need from God for life and ministry is found “in Christ,” but the only way to actually experience a grace-gift is to welcome it (a) and receive it (b), and that takes trusting-relying-faith (c). The only way to naturally overflow from your life into others through serving, giving, and witnessing/evangelism is to first be filled to completion (d) of wisdom and knowledge, filled to completion with the fruit of righteousness, filled to completion with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and understanding, and ALL of this by simply routinely being filled to completion by the means of the Holy Spirit with all the fullness (e) (f). This is the KEY to Spirit-power living – see Spirit-Baptism (h). <Notes> a) dechomai, b) lambano: not passively, but actively grabbing a hold of for one’s own possession, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) pleroo, e) pleroma: abundance, f) Romans 15:14; Ephesians 3:19, 5:18; Philippians 1:11; Colossians 1:9, 2:10, h) Luke 1:15, 41, 67; Acts 2:4, 4:8, 31, 5:3, 9:17, 13:9, 52.
In fact, Paul strongly urges (using the imperative case) Christians to “be routinely filled (a) by the means of the Spirit” instead of “getting drunk with wine for this is debauchery” (b). The Lord gave me a dream once where He showed me that every time I filled myself up with wine or beer, I was choosing to fill myself up with “spirits sold here” instead of the Holy Spirit. Boy that was hard to swallow! I wanted to “party” but the Lord had a different “party” intended for me. Instead the Holy Spirit is the “means or instrument” (dative case) by which Christians can genuinely and “routinely be filled,” just as every Christian should have been initially filled at conversion, though we have seen many instances where they weren’t (c), usually because of poor teaching on the matter. <Notes> a) passive for of pleroo: become filled to completion, b) Ephesians 5:18, c) Acts 8:13-19; 19:1-7.
As a passive verb of action done to us, all we can do is routinely ask for this “filling.” That’s why Paul earnestly proseuchomai conversationally-prays “on his knees” in Ephesians 3:14-19 that “you be strengthened/empowered with dunamis enabling-power thru-the-realizing-channel-of His Spirit within your inner being, that is, Christ to dwell thru-the-realizing-channel-of The-trusting-relying-Faith in your hearts, by the means of unconditional-love.” Our trusting-relying-faith (a) in Christ starts the process, but the Spirit’s enabling-power of unconditional-love (b) dwelling in us is the means by which Christ continues to dwell/live in us. Can you see that coupling of trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love again? <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) Galatians 5:22; 1 John 4:8.
Now Paul clarifies these Christians had “already been, with ongoing results, rooted and/coupled already have been, with ongoing results, grounded” in this trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love. Yet he is here proseuchomai conversationally-praying for these “ongoing results” (a) “in order that you comprehend (b) with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth [i.e, the dimensions of] and/coupled to genuinely, experientially, relationally know (b) The unconditional-Love of Christ that ongoingly surpasses gnosis info-knowledge (c), in order that you may be filled to completion (d) with j) all the fullness (e) of God (i)” – this is the “super-abundant (f), genuine-life (g) that Christ came that we might have” (h). Can you see having the grace-gift of God’s infinite, unconditional-love of Christ given to us is a fact, whether we fully experience or not. This you can take by trusting-relying-faith, and that’s where a lot of churches stop! But Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays they will have much more: the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of this infinite, unconditional-love so we can grasp by a comprehension that far surpasses gnosis info-knowledge learned from books (even the bible) and teachers, in order that we can be filled with God’s fullness. This is the abundant life! <Notes> a) the perfect tense, b) grab down-from/according-to, c) gnosis: there’s Paul’s disdain of mere info-knowledge again, d) pleroo, e) pleroma, f) perissos, g) zoe, h) John 10:10, i) Ephesians 3:19, j) ‘genitive case of content’: You can receive less or more of the “fullness of God” many times, but you can’t receive less or more of the person of the Holy Spirit only 1 time! Thus Ephesians 5:18 “be filled en the Spirit” should have the preposition en translated “dative of means/instrument. Together it should read, “Filled to completion with the content of all the fullness of God . . . filled by the means of the Holy Spirit.”
That’s why we need to also continue proseuchomai conversationally-praying for the Spirit to empower us with trusting-relying-faith and unconditional-love so that we too can ‘fully grasp from above’ Christ’s unconditional-love – which will far surpass any bible gnosis info-knowledge because this ginosko knowledge is instead experientially, relationally known. Only then can we be ‘filled to the brim’ with all the fullness of God! We need to experience more Spirit-power, not gain more bible intelligence, reasoning, logic, philosophy, doctrine, theology, etc. It’s not WHAT you know that counts, but WHO you know!
Douglas Petrovich proved that en pneumati always means “by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit” (a), which then makes so many bibles once again very misleading. Although many scholars and commentators agree, I only found 5 bibles that were on target! The Holy Spirit is the means/instrument of being repeatedly filled with (b) all the fullness of God! (c). Only by this Spirit-power growing within us will we be able to intimately ‘grasp from above’ the dimensions of Christ’s unconditional-love, which far exceeds any bible gnosis info-knowledge, and only then can we intimately experience the fullness of God – see Knowledge. <Notes> a) the instrument view, correctly translating the preposition en followed by the dative of instrument as “by”, b) the genitive case of content, c) Ephesians 3:19, 5:18.
It is just as incorrect to think Christians can repeatedly be “filled WITH the content of the Spirit” (a), because the Holy Spirit is a whole person that comes to dwell in a person, once and for all, sealed upon conversion (b)! Again, if we don’t have “the Spirit of Christ,” we are then not “in the Spirit but still in the flesh” and therefore “do not belong to Christ” (c). You are either “of the flesh” or “of the Spirit!” The Spirit is not a Star War’s “force” that we can get more or less of. The Spirit is not a quantity of “living water” or “light” or “electricity” or anything else that we can get more or less of. The Spirit is a divine person, almost always in the masculine case! However, if we refer to the enabling-power (d) or anointing (e) of the Holy Spirit, then we sometimes see the neuter case and can speak of varying quantities. <Notes> a) the ‘Spirit-filled’ translational viewpoint, incorrectly translating the preposition en followed by the dative case as “with” as if it were the genitive of content used in Ephesians 3:19 of ‘the fullness of God’, b) Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; Galatians 4:6; Romans 5:5, c) Romans 8:9, d) Micah 3:8; Zechariah 4:6; Luke 1:35, 4:14; Acts 1:8, 10:38; Romans 1:4, 15:13, 19; 1 Corinthians 2:4; Ephesians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 2 Timothy 1:7, e) 1 John 2:20, 27.
We can’t get more of a person, but we can get more of what they offer! For example, we often see Paul proseuchomai conversationally-praying for Christians to get more “wisdom and revelation that Spirit alone possesses (a) by the means of genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Christ” (b). Christians have already been enlightened (c) when the Holy Spirit came into them, but Paul uses the perfect participle in Ephesians 1:18 to indicate: “the eyes of your heart having been enlightened” with continuing lifestyle results! <Notes> a) and here is willing to share, b) Ephesians 1:16-20, c) Hebrews 6:4, 10:32.
You can be “filled” with more of the “fullness” or “abundance” or “the riches of the glory” of the content of God the Father, that is, to “become partakers” or “companion, fellowshipping sharers” (a) of “His eternal power and divine nature” (b), to experience more of Christ, who is “the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature” (c). And you can get this “filling BY the means of the Spirit,” but we have to remember that Christ is still the agent – without Him, no grace-gift of the Holy Spirit nor His supernatural grace-gifts of ministry (d) would be given (e). We owe everything to Christ! <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:4, b) Romans 1:20, c) Hebrews 1:3, d) Romans 11:29, 12:6; 1 Corinthians 12:1-31, 14:1; Hebrews 2:4, e) Ephesians 4:7-16.
Therefore, Paul is saying in Ephesians 5:18 something like this: If you want a great ‘buzz’ worth seeking, seek after the “abundant, rich, glorious fullness of God, through the giver Christ, by the means of the Holy Spirit through devoted, patiently-waiting, watching, listening, worshipful, conversational-prayer instead of a seeking to ‘fill up’ with beer, wine, or any other unholy ‘spirit’ because getting drunk on these things IS a self-indulgent, reckless waste of your valuable time in this evil, dark work. Focus your time on being more in the light by ‘filling up’ on God by the Holy Spirit!
I’ve mentioned this before but when it comes to the Triune God, the Lord has shown me repeatedly that the preposition en with the dative case following can actually be translated all 3 ways and it will be equally valid, though the context may lean one direction or another: “in/inside the location or sphere of,” or “by the means/instrument of,” or “with the company of.” We have to be careful to not put God in a box – the experts often are proven wrong later!