Spirit – Baptism – BT11
‘Being filled with all the fullness of God by the means of the Spirit’ is impartially accessible
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The word pleroma that Paul uses in Ephesians 3:19 for God’s “abundant-fullness” is the “content” of what we are to be “pleroo completely-filled” with. That’s exactly why God “is able to do far more abundantly than all that we can ask or imagine, down-from/according-to the enabling-power at work IN us” (a), a clear reference to the indwelling Holy Spirit! This is the same “abundant-fullness” used in Ephesians 1:22-23, “He (the Father) put all things under His (Christ’s) feet and appointed Him (Christ) as Head over all things to/for the Church, which is the Body of Him – the pleroma abundant-fullness of Him who is routinely pleroo completely-filling these (His Body members) all by the means of everything.” And we know in context this is referring to the grace-gift the Holy Spirit and His supernatural grace-gifts of ministry to build up the Body-of-Christ, where each person is pleroo filled-to-the-brim in their “metron measuring-cup unto the stature/maturity of the pleroma abundant-fullness of Christ” (b), and we know this “measuring-cup” is one-size-fits-all because it “measures the same, equal amount” so that God shows no partiality! John confirms that “one gracious grace-gift after another we have already received” is “from His pleroma abundant fullness” (c). This is the same pleroma abundant-fullness of God that dwelled in Christ in bodily form (d). That’s why Christ can bring perissos super-abundant life (e). <Notes> a) Ephesians 3:20, b) Ephesians 4:13, c) John 1:16, d) Colossians 1:19, 2:9, e) John 10:10.
This pleroma abundant-fullness is also obviously referring to the “ploutos riches of His glory” in Ephesians 3:16 that God’s Holy Spirit enabling-power comes from. It is also where our hope and inheritance comes from in Ephesians 1:18, which takes the Holy Spirit’s revelation to even eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know. It’s where the riches of God’s grace and mercy dwell (a). This is how “God will supply every need of yours, down-from/according-to His ploutos riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (b). “The ploutos riches of the glory of [God’s revealed] mystery IS Christ in you [by His indwelling Holy Spirit], the hope of [future] glory [by our inheritance as sons of God, co-heirs with Christ]” (c). It’s where the “riches of full assurance of sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding and/coupled the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s mystery in Christ” dwell (d). <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:7, 2:4, 7, b) Philippians 4:19, c) Colossians 1:27, d) Colossians 2:2.
That’s what Paul is referring to in God’s sovereign plan to include the Gentiles in Romans 9:22-23, “What if God, desiring … to make known His dunamis enabling-power, has endured with much patience [the] vessels of wrath fitted/prepared for destruction, in order to make gnorizo known the ploutos riches of His glory upon the vessels of mercy, which he has prepared-beforehand/preordained toward/reaching [this] glory – that is, us whom He has called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles.” This is where all of God’s riches are: of kindness, forbearance, and patience (a); bestowing them on all who call on Him (b); where the depth of the wisdom and gnosis knowledge belonging to God dwell (c); It’s how God can “richly provide us with everything to enjoy” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 2:4, b) Romans 10:12, c) Romans 11:33, d) 1 Timothy 6:17.
What’s the purpose of Christ “filling up” the saints from the “abundant-fullness of God”? We’ve already seen in Ephesians 4:7-16, that Christ as the agent impartially gives every Christian from His own singular standard metron “measuring-cup” based purely on unearned, unmerited, unconditional-favor of grace from His singular grace-gift of the Holy Spirit, dispensing individual grace-gifts that vary only by praxis function (a), like church-planting apostling, prophesying, evangelizing/preaching, eldering/shepherding/overseering that also teaches others – see Coaches & Facilitators – BT12. We have to remember where the difference in the Spirit’s manifestation really lies: “There are many varieties of activities (b), but it is the same God who habitually energeo effectually works [them] all in all (c) – to each person is given the manifestations of the Spirit for the common good” (d). <Notes> a) Romans 12:4-6, b) energema: energizing or working or operational effects, c) persons in the Body of Christ, d) 1 Corinthians 12:6-7.
These are the “equippers” of Christians. But it is ALL Christians who “do the work of the ministry” and who are to build up the Body of Christ with their grace-gifts used toward unity of The Faith and/coupled ALL genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko knowing Christ, with the purpose to grow up into the mature singular ‘measuring-cup’ of pleroma Christ’s abundant-fullness, so that we aren’t so [easily] deceived by human teachers, like little children can be, but instead speaking The Truth of Christ in/by/with unconditionally-loving, growing up in every way INTO Christ, who is the only Head/leader in which the rest of the Body parts each work together in unity to build itself up by unconditional-love.
So the purpose of our Holy Spirit’s “filling” and grace-gifts of “filling” are all to unify the Church by having a common, genuine, experiential, relational knowing of Christ so that together we will grow up in every way into the single “measuring-cup” of Christ’s abundantly-full stature, thus full of The Truth and full of His unconditional-love. He really is our One Teacher and leader per Matthew 23:8-10 – certainly not the “equippers of the saints” – see Coaches & Facilitators and Teach One Another – BT10 Paul said “there are many varieties of activities (b), but it is the same God who habitually energeo effectually works [them] all in all (c) – to each person is given the manifestations of the Spirit for the common good” (d). Do we really believe that everybody in the Body is called to a commonness – unity? Then why isn’t everybody called the “laity” which means “common” and some made special, called “clergy?” Isn’t this partiality and division? <Notes> a) Romans 12:4-6, b) energema: energizing or working or operational effects, c) persons in the Body of Christ, d) 1 Corinthians 12:6-7.
Too many churches have seriously misunderstood Paul’s teaching – they miss the forest through the trees! Every Christian is a common minister! A pastor who has been given a “grace-gift to teach” or is “able to teach,” doesn’t mean he should be called “Teacher,” especially when Jesus made it really clear that there is only “One Teacher” and to “call no man ‘teacher’ (rabbi) because we are ALL brethren” per Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10.
Why do many churches insist on misinterpreting Paul’s discussions about the “praxis functioning grace-gift of teaching” and “being able to teach” (a) and “paideuo childlike-training (b)” (c) and “equipping” (d) others (e) and “nourishing the mind” (f) (g) and “exercising/training the mind” (h) (i)? It really comes down to elevating some men to be “special” and somehow “over” others, but this negates all of Christ’s teaching on authority, titles, and offices, His “only headship,” God’s impartiality, and thus us ALL being equal “brethren.” <Notes> a) 1 Timothy 3:2; 2 Timothy 2:2, 24, b) paideuo: correcting, chastening, disciplining, as with children, c) 2 Timothy 2:25; Titus 2:12, Acts 22:3, d) katartizo: thoroughly make fit, prepare, e) Hebrews 13:21, f) entrepho: form the mind, educate, g) 1 Timothy 4:6, h) gumnazo: exercise the body or mind, i) 1 Timothy 4:7; Hebrews 5:14, 12:11 “Trained by paideuo discipline.”
As Christians musicians, are we leading ALL people EQUALLY to “routinely be completely-filled with the content of the abundant-fullness of God by the means/instrument of the Holy Spirit?” Only with God’s enabling-power IN us, can it work OUT of us to do more than we can ask or imagine! We can’t honestly give what we don’t have! Are we building The Great Wall by saying NO to the way God works IN and OUT of us – a lifestyle of regular Spirit-baptism overflowing with His signs & wonders of His grace-gifts to build up the Body of Christ unto the full-stature of Christ? Are we still promoting partiality and favoritism that God gives only some of these grace-gifts nowadays or gives more to some and less to others, thus limiting “ministry” to a select few on our church stages?
If our Christian assurance comes from ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding of God that is directly linked to an intimate knowledge of God,” no wonder so many in today’s churches aren’t quite sure where they stand or are going after the said “the sinner’s prayer.” If God has “riches of His glory” stored up for us in His “abundant-fullness” and tells us to “routinely be filled” by this, who or what is stopping us? What is our part for getting this?
Are Christians worship leaders “supposing” they are the one’s “doing the work of the ministry” when they are only coaches & facilitators “to equip the saints for the actual work of ministry?” Are the church’s ranking of gifts, creation of a stage-audience format, assigning of who gets to play worship music, deciding who gets the time to speak, and lack of format that allows “everyone to weigh in on what was said” as Paul spoke discussed for a “decent and in order” worship service so “all could prophesy one by one” and so that “all may learn together” helping to actually create division instead of unity toward ALL of us equally experiencing Christ’s unconditional-love and growing up together into Christ’s full stature?
Christ as One full measuring-cup of His abundant-fullness of which He gives to us equally without partiality, but are we telling people they have different-sized measuring-cups or that they get less in theirs than others do? Does it look like those on stage must have bigger cups or more in them? Is that what we are portraying? Is that really being impartial like God is? If we are to honor others more than ourselves, shouldn’t the ‘leaders’ be setting the example by putting all the others on stage or giving them all an equal voice in “speaking to one another, addressing one another, admonishing one another, teaching one another, or weighing in on what was said so that all can learn together and be encouraged?” Aren’t ALL the members in the Body of Christ actually “the ministers who do the work of ministry?” Having a unity that builds us ALL up to the fullness of Christ won’t naturally occur until the churches move the New Testament Church model!