Knowledge – BT8
The New Covenant calls us to go deeper than book knowledge
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The New Covenant wants us to go deeper than a book for intimate knowledge to make it thus genuine. There were so many Jewish and Gentile competitors to Christianity who said they knew God, but they absolutely did NOT! Jesus said to bible experts trying to trick him, “You err, because in possibility you eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know neither the scriptures nor the power of God” (a). Elsewhere Jesus said to these Jews: “You absolutely in fact have already [with lasting results] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know neither Me nor My Father. If you had already [once-and-for-all] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know Me, you would have already [once-and-for-all] eido mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know My Father also” (b). Jesus says they were lying hypocrites: “You say, ‘He is our God.’ But you absolutely in fact have not experientially, relationally ginosko known [with ongoing effects] Him. However, I have [with ongoing effects] mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know Him. But if I were to say that I absolutely in fact have not [with ongoing effects] mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know Him, I would be a liar like you” (c). John tells Christians: “Whoever says ‘I have experientially, relationally ginosko known [with ongoing effects] Him’ but does in possibility not keep/watch/guard His commandments is a liar” (d). <Notes> a) Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24, b) John 8:19, c) John 8:54-55, d) 1 John 2:4 – in context, especially 1 John 3:23, the only 2 commandments in mind here are trusting-relying-faith in Christ and unconditional-love for one another.
Gentiles also have this problem, as Paul acknowledges: “For some have no knowledge (a) of God. I say this to your shame” (b). Peter echoes this: “the foolishness of ignorant (a) men” (c). Paul implies that the Gentiles’ sin, as we shall see in Knowledge – BT9, is the result of not knowing God: “the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not in possibility eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know God” (d). <Notes> a) agnosia = a as a negative prefix + gnosis knowledge, b) 1 Corinthians 15:34, c) 1 Peter 2:15, d) 1 Thessalonians 4:5.
Because Jews and Gentiles often use the verb ginosko or noun gnosis so inaccurately, as we’ve seen above, Paul often used a more intensive verb epiginosko or noun epignosis to further emphasize what God really means: “some women (a) were always learning (b) but never able to arrive at the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of The Truth (c) . . . so these [men] also oppose The Truth (c), men (a) corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding The trusting-relying-Faith” (d). <Notes> a) women or the anthropos men who were coming into these households to “take captive weak women burdened with sin,” b) manthano: hearing to be informed or understand – the women were certainly being deceived by these men teachers, but these men who “opposed The Truth” of Jesus and His gospel were in turn deceived by the men who taught them – scribes and Pharisees. Certainly, the Jewish scribes and Pharisees were ever learning, but Jesus said in John 5:39-40 that these “diligent scripture searchers/studiers refused to come to Him for zoe genuine-life that they [erroneously] supposed was in the scriptures,” c) The Truth throughout the NT is Jesus per John 14:6, His Spirit per John 16:13, and His gospel message per Galatians 2:5 – see The Truth page for many more verses, d) 2 Timothy 3:7-8.
If you do an extensive study of the noun epignosis, you will find it is used for having a more intense, richer or fuller or more thorough, more precise or accurate or clearer, genuine form of intimate, experiential, progressive ginosko knowledge, which in itself is completely different-in-kind than simply gnosis info-knowledge that Jew and Gentiles religions relish! You can collect lots of gnosis info-knowledge about God through bible study, but because this is NOT through direct, experientially, relationally ginosko knowing God, it can NOT be authenticated as genuine, thus the terms epignosis and epiginosko.
Epignosis is only used 20 times in the NT, but the verb form epiginosko is used 39 times. This kind of knowing is what the completely different-in-kind chadash/kainos New Covenant now promises through Christ, which is completely different-in-kind than anything the old covenant was ever able to deliver. As we mentioned above that will be explored more in the next Knowledge-BT9 BLOG, Paul says sinfulness is actually the result of not having this genuine fellowship with God (a). Knowing the OT commandments of God only brings us into an intimate knowing of sin – not God, which then actually increases sin (b). “Zeal” for the Torah Law of conditional-favor from obedience to commandments results in being ignorant (d) of God’s genuine righteousness (c). <Notes> a) Romans 1:28, b) Romans 3:20, 5:20, c) Romans 10:2-4, d) agnoeo: a [negative prefix] + ginosko experiential, relational knowing.
The Greek Septuagint OT often translates the Hebrew yada with the Greek words ginosko or even epiginosko, to show that God has always desired this genuine, experiential, relational knowledge, even though He says of the bible-expert, teacher-leaders: “watchmen: blind guides leading the blind, blind fools, without yada/ginosko knowledge, shepherds without sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding, all turned to their own ways, for their own gain, drunkards, hypocrites” (a). <Notes> a) Isaiah 6:10, 56:10; Jeremiah 2:8.
As a whole, God accused the Israelites of NOT having yada/ginosko knowledge of Him, certainly not genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge, because they lacked the eido mental ‘seeing’ to perceive/know vision of the prophets, and so the people “did evil without bounds (a), worshipped idols, were without faithfulness, were without steadfast unconditional-love, abandoned the Lord, and provoked Him to anger and judgment, causing Him to turn them over to be plundered by their enemies” (b). Yet God says “But let him who boast, boast in this: that he suniemi ‘connects-the-dots’ to understand and/coupled experientially, relationally yada/ginosko knows Me” (c). Throughout the bible, we see God ‘connect’ true “understanding” to this fellowship, experiential knowing of Him by the means/instrument of the Spirit. The OT says those who yada/ginosko know the Lord shall indeed batach, elpizo trust/hope and seek-out (d) Him (e); this is how they will “be caused to yada/gnorizo know the way to go” (f). <Notes> a) swearing, lying, murder, stealing, adultery, etc., b) Jeremiah 5:28, c) Jeremiah 9:24, d) darash/ekzeteo: frequently pursue, diligently search, crave, and worship, e) Psalms 9:10, f) Psalms 143:8.
The OT prophesies, even by personifying “Wisdom and Understanding” in Proverbs 2:1-5, “My son, if you welcome/take-hold-of My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word, My [singular] entole [official, binding] commandment, hiding/treasuring/storing up para alongside/close-beside you . . . ” Here the scholars correctly see “hiding/treasuring” as clarifying “welcoming/taking-hold-of” and “[singular] commandment” as clarifying “[singular] spoken/heard prophetic rhema word.” None of this refers to written scriptural commandments, but “treasuring up that 1 thing you have just heard directly from God!”
How do you do this? “By inclining your ear to hear/understand (a) to sophia Wisdom, paraballo throwing/casting alongside your heart (b) toward/reaching sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ Understanding.” The 2nd phrase clarifies the 1st, combining to mean: “purposefully hearing with your heart to understand with wisdom.” <Notes> a) hupo + akouo: by the means of hearing/listening to understand, b) the Jews view the mind, heart, and inner-being as the same, not separated as the Greeks do.
To explain this further Proverbs continues: “Indeed, if you cry out for (a) The Sophia Wisdom and/coupled The sunesis Understanding [both personified] – moreover, definitively/wholly giving your voice (b) for [singular] sunesis Understanding – definitively/wholly seeking (c) [singular] Great Insight (d) . . . ” Here “Great Insight” clarifies “The Wisdom,” but again, both this “discernment and comprehension” are NOT simply cognitive processes of rational man, but are here divinely personified – they are not in books but are part of the Godhead! For more about discernment – see New Covenant Ways – BT16. <Notes> a) summon, a Hebraism for supplication, b) Hebrew idiom for raising/lifting the voice to carry further, indicating significance, another Hebraism for supplication, c) zeteo: searching diligently in order to find, investigate, desire/crave, aim/strive after, d) sensual and intellectual perception, discernment, see Philippians 1:9.
But what kind of seeking? Proverbs continues: “If you baqash/zeteo diligently seek (a) HER like silver and/coupled chaphas/exereuneo diligently search out (b) HER like hidden treasure, THEN you will actually suniemi ‘connect-the-dots’ to understand the fear (c) of the Lord and/coupled continually-in-process (d) find/obtain/perceive/discover the genuine, experiential, relational da’ath/epignosis knowledge of God.” This is a progressive knowledge you discover through relationship, not by cramming your head before a test! This was obviously written to all the bible scholars of the day that thought they could really know God through understanding their book! However, did you catch the relentless pursuit required for the genuine article? <Notes> a) baqash: seek to find, secure, seek the face/person/audience of, desire/demand, require/exact, ask/request; zeteo: searching diligently in order to find, investigate, desire/crave, aim/strive after, b) chaphas in the Qal form: search for, think-out/devise, search/test; exereuneo: search wholly out from, carefully search out with all diligence in an investigative, examining manner of the facts, c) Hebraism: reverential, worshipful awe and respect of, d) imperfect tense.
As we’ve seen from the proseuche conversational-prayer page, the common elements of listening with your mind/heart/inner-being and desperately crying out for and seeking God are all here! A key statement for our lives was said by Jesus in John 17:3, “This ongoingly IS the everlasting zoe genuine-life: that they might ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know You the only true God and/coupled Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” Again, this has absolutely nothing to do with gnosis info-knowledge acquired from reading, studying, searching, categorizing, and memorizing scriptures or learning this from human teachers. If it were, the bible-expert scribes and Pharisees who “diligently searched/studied the scriptures supposing that in them they would take hold of zoe genuine-life” would have found what they were looking for! But they didn’t because Jesus was “The zoe genuine-life” (a) standing right in front of the, “yet they ongoingly refused to Come to Me for zoe genuine-life (b)! <Notes> a) John 14:6, b) John 5:39-40.
However, Paul says of religious knowledge: “This gnosis info-knowledge actually, ongoingly puffs up with pride/conceit (a)” (b), and in context he was particularly referring to the Jews’ following of scripture, particularly about rules concerning “foods offered to idols.” Paul tries to turn them away from following rules taught from a book to simply following “Christ’s Law: Bearing one another’s burdens, having unconditional-love” (c), which he says “concerning this, you have absolutely in fact no need for anyone to write to you, for you are actually, ongoingly being taught by God to unconditionally-love one another” (d). That’s why Paul said in Philippians 3:7-8 that he “has counted everything” he had before, which he thought was to his advantage (e), “as a damaging loss on account of Christ, indeed everything . . . ongoingly counting them as feces-laden garbage so that I might acquire Christ . . . that I might experientially, relationally ginosko know Him and/coupled the Spirit’s power of His resurrection.” Paul’s isn’t theoretically speaking but relaying personal experience! <Notes> a) phusioo: inflates, swells into pride, arrogance, and conceit, b) 1 Corinthians 8:1, c) Galatians 6:2; 1 Corinthians 9:21, d) 1 Thessalonians 4:9, cf. 1 John 2:27 “you have absolutely no need for anyone to teach you”, e) Paul was once a zealous leader-teacher-expert of the OT.
To be one of Christ’s ‘sheep’ you must have personal relationship with Him – it doesn’t matter if you are a bible scholar or do great things for God or not. Jesus said, “My sheep akouo hear/listen-to-understand My Voice, and/coupled I ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know them and they ongoingly follow Me” (a). It is implied in an intimate relationship, if one party is thus knowing the other, that this is reciprocal! You may even “prophesy, cast out demons, and do mighty works in Christ’s name/authority,” thinking that this is “doing the will of My Father who is in heaven” – after all, don’t churches and bible colleges teach you how important it is to ‘work’ for God? I’ve sure heard a lot of sermons and lectures on this! <Notes> a) John 10:27.
But obedience to the commandments of the Torah Law of conditional-favor are called “dead/lifeless/useless works” (a), yet I know so many people saying we need to post the 10 commandments in all public places and get back to honoring and doing them! Have they even read the New Testament? But to the so-called Christian workers, Jesus will say: “I never definitively/wholly experientially, relationally ginosko knew you – depart from Me, you workers – of Lawlessness!” (b). Yes, they may be trying to obey the OT commandments and even doing work for Jesus, but if they don’t really know Jesus they are law-breakers! Why? Because the purpose of the Law was to prepare the Jews to BE in a genuine relationship with their Messiah Jesus, who is the only One that kept or could keep the Law. Without Jesus in you to cleanse you from your sin, you are a condemned “Law-breaker.” The purpose of the Law was not to DO commandments, it was to be delivered from the commandments by the Messiah’s perfect sacrifice! If you don’t really know Jesus, then you have broken the very purpose of the Law! A lot of “important” people in Christendom are in for a rude awakening! <Notes> a) Hebrews 9:14, b) Matthew 7:21-24.
In John 5:38-40, Jesus told the bible gnosis students of His days, who prided themselves in knowing all about God’s written Word: “You do absolutely in fact not have God’s logos Word dwelling in you, for you do absolutely in fact not have trusting-relying-faith in the One whom He has sent. You ongoingly diligently search/examine/study the graphe scriptures [consisting of gramma letters to create a logos message] because you ongoingly think/suppose that in/by them zoe genuine-life everlasting you ongoingly hold in hand/possess; but it is they that routinely are bearing witness/testifying all throughout about Me, yet you are ongoingly absolutely not intending/willing to Come To Me that you might ongoingly hold by the hand/possess The zoe genuine-life.” Hmm, seem that many Christians have the same approach! Many jokingly nickname seminaries, “cemeteries” for a reason!
All of the scriptures simply had one purpose – to testify about Jesus and the zoe genuine-life that He would give so that the Jews would come to their Messiah when He came. Now that He had arrived, the purpose of scripture was fulfilled, but the bible students would rather have their bible than the person it testifies about! Jesus is essentially saying they were “looking for life in all the wrong places!” Jesus said, “For all the Prophets and the Torah Law of conditional-favor – the 2 most common divisions of scripture – prophesied UNTIL (a) John [the Baptist] appeared” (b), and elsewhere Jesus added “[but] SINCE that time (c) the ‘Great News’ of the kingdom of God is preached and everyone is forcing their way into it” (d). As was said earlier, it was actually “Lawlessness” to reject the purpose of the Law – to “Come to Me for zoe genuine-life,” to have a saving relationship with the Messiah! <Notes> a) heos: continued until or as far as, b) Matthew 11:13, c) apo tote, d) Luke 16:16.
Are so many Christian bible students making the same mistake as the Jewish bible students? I know that I have! None of the 5 bible colleges or churches that pounded bible study into me ever showed me this verse! What turned Mark Virkler of 4 Keys to Hearing God’s Voice around was this verse, because after so many years in Christian ministry he had become no different than a scribe or Pharisee, having everything nicely organized in “theological boxes” but really lacking “the power of godliness” that is the supernatural, enabling-power of the Holy Spirit through a prophetic-rhema word connection with Jesus! His book is a great testimony!
Barnabas’ “Book of Hebrews,” written in much higher Greek than Paul writes in, deals extensively with this temptation within the early Jewish-Christian community, teachers of the Law trying to convince them to go back to the supposed security of obedience to the Torah Law of conditional-favor to be more righteous before God. We’ve seen Paul describe his personal stuggle and freedom from the OT “Law of sin and death” in Romans 7:24-25, and the “how-to” is further described in Romans 8 – the freedom of the Holy Spirit’s continued indwelling, filling/baptism, and leading of the Christian! It’s terrible how many study bibles and commentaries try to skirt around Paul’s struggle with sin as a new Jewish-Christian, because like Paul, Peter, James, and other Jews originally did, they wanted to hold onto the OT, insisting we keep the Torah Law of conditional-favor and its rules and rituals of “cleanness,” or at least those they “cherry pick” as still applicable – like so many Christians do today: maybe the 10 on stone, or the 2 greatest of unconditionally-loving God and unconditionally-loving your neighbor, or maybe all the non-sacrificial commandments.
It’s absolutely ridiculous how so many religious people “cherry-pick” commandments to follow, and often the lowest hanging fruit! Remember in Matthew 23:23 how Jesus called the Pharisees “Hypocrits! You tithe mint and dill and cumin (a), and have neglected the weightier matters of the Law: justice and mercy and faithfulness (b).” Paul had to also openly condemn Peter as a “hypocrite” for treating the Gentile-Christians as “unclean” by not eating with them in front of other Jewish legalistic friends of James who were from the Circumcision Party (c). <Notes> a) Luke 11:42 “rue and every herb”, b) Luke 11:42 “neglected justice and the love of God”, c) Galatians 2:11-14.
But just as Paul finally realized as a Jewish-Christian, these other Jews also needed to get set free from the Law and move into the life of the Holy Spirit! That’s what Paul says: “Ongoingly walk/live by the means of the Spirit, and/coupled/thus you will absolutely not me in possibility or ou in fact finish (a) the desires/cravings of [singular] flesh, . . . for the desires/cravings of the flesh and the Spirit are opposed (b) to each other” (c). The answer isn’t more commandments of the Torah Law of conditional-favor, but “[I urge you to] . . . routinely be filled-completely (d) by the means of the Spirit” (e) for the enabling-power (f) to “walk by the means of the Spirit!” <Notes> a) execute, accomplish, finish, end, b) kata antikeimai: set against or oppositely, as adversaries, c) Galatians 5:16-17, d) See Spirit-Baptism, e) Ephesians 5:18, f) see Spirit-Power.
That’s exactly why Paul desperately proseuchomai conversationally-prays for Christians in Ephesians 1:17-18 that “the Father of glory, may give/grant you the Spirit of (a) wisdom and/coupled of (a) revelation.” They already have the Spirit living within them, but they need the “wisdom and revelation” that the Spirit possesses! You can’t be filled with more of a person, but you can be filled with more of their actions! How do I get the Spirit’s “wisdom and revelation?” Paul explains “In/by/with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him.” But how do we have this kind of fellowship with an unseeable God? Paul explains: “Having already had [with ongoing results] the eyes of your hearts enlightened in order that you may already have [with ongoing results] mentally ‘seen’ to perceive/know (eido).” This is the way of prophetic vision to really know God – see also Prophetic-Rhema! <Notes> a) genitive of possession – the Spirit possesses true wisdom and revelation.
We ALSO need to desperately proseuchomai conversationally-pray that God opens the “eyes of our mind/heart/inner-being” for supernatural visions and dreams to see prophetic-rhema words or what they would represent – a picture is worth a 1000 words! This “enlightenment” should have started at our conversion and the effects are certainly meant to continue – this is the force of the perfect tense. This “influence” should impact future experiences. The perfect tense is often used as a motivation to repeat the experience routinely!
But to eido ‘see’ or perceive/know what? Paul continues in Ephesians 1:18-19 “The hope to which God has already called them – that is, the riches of His glory, His inheritance in the saints – and/moreover what [is] the immeasurable greatness of God’s enabling-power toward/reaching us who routinely have trusting-relying-faith.” This is how we get joyful expectation (hope) and amazing Spirit-power in us! But our “action items” are conversational-prayer with is trusting-relying-faith! As complex as this “revelation” of Paul’s is, if you proseuchomai conversationally-prayed as much as he did during his 3 years in Arabia and Damascus in Galatians 1:17-18 before a short stint in Jerusalem, then back out to Syria and Cilicia, finally returning to Jerusalem after 14 years, you probably would have just as many or more revelations – Paul did all this before his actually missionary journeys began!
In Colossians 1:8-11 Paul proseuchomai conversationally-prays as we should: “We have not ceased to proseuchomai conversationally-pray for you, asking that you may be completely-filled with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of His will by the means/instrument of every Spirit-kind of sophia wisdom and of sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding, in order to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him: bearing fruit in every good work and/coupled increasing in the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God, being strengthened with all enabling-power.” Again, God’s will isn’t supposed to be learned via bible study! Notice that “fruit” is linked to “genuine knowledge of God” which is related to “genuine knowledge of God’s will that is by the means/instrument of the ‘wisdom and understanding’ that the Spirit possesses – not that of the scribes and Pharisee teachers!
Peter also understands this: “His divine enabling-power has already granted to us all things that pertain to zoe genuine-life and godliness – this thru-the-realizing-channel-of the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him – . . . by the means of which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises in order that thru-the-realizing-channel-of them you may become partakers of the divine nature” (a). Paul echoes this: Their “new man” is actually “being routinely renewed (b) towards/at the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge down-from/according-to the image of Him that created him” – this being Jesus Christ (c), telling us how this happens: “Be ongoingly renewed (b) by the means of the Spirit belonging to your mind” (d). This is similar to: “Be ongoingly transformed by the renewal of your mind in order to discern what is the will of God” (e). We don’t need more bible study to determine God’s will or to renew our mind, but more of the Spirit’s-power, and this only comes by intimate fellowship with God to acquire genuine ‘wisdom and understanding.” <Notes> a) 2 Peter 1:3-4, b) renovated, freshened, c) Colossians 3:9-10, d) Ephesians 4:23, e) Romans 12:2.
“The Truth [that] shall actually sets you free” from practicing sin in John 8:32 isn’t bible gnosis knowledge, although I’ve seen a lot of preachers hold up a bible and tell you this! In context, “The Truth” to be “experientially, ginosko known through a relationship with a person.” How can you do this with information, even the content of the logos gospel message? You can’t! That’s because verse 36 tells us “The Truth” is actually “the Son [that] actually set you free – then you shall actually be free indeed.” Yet, I’ve rarely heard these preachers say this!
Clearly, gnosis knowledge about “The Truth” acquired through human effort just won’t do – it takes Jesus by His Spirit’s revelation through an experiential, relational ginosko knowledge with God to make this genuine, which is exactly the emphasis of epignosis and epiginosko. This is what Jesus meant by “If you meno remain-connected/dwell in My logos message . . . ” (a), but this is the same as meno remaining-connected to/dwelling in Jesus, who is the living logos Word/Message of God (b). <Notes> a) John 8:31, b) John 1:1; 1 John 1:1; Hebrews 4:12; 1 Peter 1:23.
This is all clearly identical to Jesus’ words in John 15:4-10: “I strongly urge you to meno remain-connected-to/dwell in/by/with Me and I [shall] in you. As a branch [is] absolutely not able to bear fruit separated/off [by] itself unless it meno remains-connected-to/dwells in the vine, absolutely in fact neither in this same manner [can] you in this case [if you are] not ongoingly meno remaining-connected-to/dwelling in/by/with Me. I am the Vine; you are branches. The one routinely meno remaining-connected-to/dwelling in/by/with Me, and I in him, it is he that bears much fruit, for apart/separate from/without Me you can are able to do absolutely not a [single] thing. . . . . If you meno remain-connected-to/dwell in/by/with Me and My directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words remain/dwell in you, then ask whatever you want, and it shall actually be done for you.” Can you see Christ’s emphasis by the number of times He uses the word meno – it’s a key word in all of John’s letters (a). This intimate, experiential relation is the key to everything in the Christian life! The Lord showed me in a long vision what this “Abiding in/by/with Christ” is all about. For more about “in/by/with” see Bible Info. <Notes> a) 1 John 2:6, 10, 14, 17, 24, 27-28, 3:6, 9, 14, 17, 24, 4:12-16; 2 John 1:2, 9.
“Jesus loves me this I know because the bible tells me so” is the furthest thing from John’s mind: “By this we ongoingly, experientially, relationally ginosko know that we meno remain-connected-to/dwell in/by/with Him (the Father) and He in/by/with us, because He has given us ek out of/from His Spirit” (a). John’s logos gospel message of The Truth is completely different-in-kind than modern “bible-anity” that says we need to read, study, memorize, categorize and organize with concordances and systematic theologies every single teaching of Christ and all the NT writers in order to be strong and obedient Christians, to really experience the unconditional-love of God! Every competing religion can say, “because my ‘bible’ tells me so,” but saying “Only our bible is valid” doesn’t make Christianity the ONLY valid religion. John doesn’t say this! He isn’t even saying, “Because I or someone else wrote about the indwelling Holy Spirit, then you can know that “Jesus loves you.” No! He said we can “know that God loves us because God as given us OUT OF/FROM His Spirit.” It’s what comes out of/from the Holy Spirit that dwells within Christians that is the real proof of God living in us! It is the Spirit’s power that creates the Spirit’s fruit/nature within us that is the proof (b). How can Christians have “a hope that we are not ashamed of” when challenged by an unbelieving, even hostile, world? “Hope does not put us to shame, because God’s unconditional-love has been poured into our hearts dia thru-the-realizing-channel-of the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (c). This is not theoretical but a description of a common experience in the 1st century. Is it common for you? <Notes> a) 1 John 4:13, b) Galatians 5:22-23, c) Romans 5:5.
As Christian musicians, do we want to be stuck with only a book like the Jews of the Old Testament or people of other religions and philosophies? Or will we move onto the promise of the completely different-in-kind New Covenant to ALL be prophets, to ALL have visions and dreams, to ALL eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know God and His will? That’s what the New Testament says the Old Testament promised! Are we going to settle with gnosis knowledge from diagnostically understanding a book, or are we going to through our trusting-relying-faith approach God in the name/authority of Jesus by the means/instrument of the Spirit to experientially, relationally yada/ginosko know God and His will, discerning through the Spirit’s sophia wisdom and sunesis ‘connect-the-dots’ understanding by way of revelation, even to epignosko genuinely know?
Without this, we will never have the enabling-power to know the secrets of the kingdom or to be victorious over sin. The bible-students have their pride and conceit, but that’s all! The Sola-Scriptura folks are “the blind leading the blind” – no different than the scribes and Pharisees, only “supposing they have taken hold of genuine-life.” Without the person of the Holy Spirit not only dwelling but filling your life to completion, which is Spirit-baptism, you won’t have genuine-life, His enabling-power over sin or for ministry, or have His godly character “flavors” of the singular-fruit that is unconditional-love. You can’t pick & choose what parts of the Spirit you want – He won’t be controlled, but will “go to the least among you” who will fully welcome Him.
Bible-only folks are stuck in the frustrations of Romans 7, always looking for some spiritual discipline, some rule, some percept, some ordnance, some commandment, or some teaching to “curb the indulgence of the flesh but they are absolutely in fact of no value,” Paul says! These elementary “abc” principles common to every religion simply don’t work because “the flesh is utterly weak, feeble, worthless, and profits nothing,” Jesus said! They are stuck and unable to go to the victory of Romans 8! The only way there is to “count it all as a pile of excrement rubbish,” Paul said. Dump it all! Surrender!
“Coming to Jesus” is not a one-time event for salvation, because soteria salvation is “a process of restoring us to wholeness.” Sanctification or holiness is the continuation of this process by our continuing to “Come to Jesus” and staying connected-to, abiding, or dwelling inside Jesus, by the means of Jesus, and with the company of “The Vine,” who is Jesus. Only then will we “produce much fruit to glory the Father.” Jesus, The Truth, is the only One that can set us free from practicing sin! A book of information will never do this for us, even if we memorize it!
The only New Testament devotion experienced by the early Church and commanded the most is proseuche conversational-prayer, because this is the only part we play in God’s powerful chain of events – it’s the only action item. Everything we need is “in/by/with Christ” and His Holy Spirit is the ONLY means/instrument to make that connection to God! By routinely asking, seeking, and knocking and then watching ‘with wide-open eyes’ and listening ‘with an inclined ear’ for God to prophetically speak or show us ‘a picture worth a 1000 words’ to eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know, turning our hearts to akouo listen/hear to understand/know Christ’s Voice to His sheep, we are habitually drawing ourselves near/close to God, desperately crying out for Him as “beggars poor in Spirit,” and seeking Him out with our whole heart. Only then will He draw near/close to us and be a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him out! Only then can genuine knowledge of God and all that stems from this supernaturally occur.
This takes enduring, trusting-relying-faith to continue to ask for Him and the good gift of the Holy Spirit to abundantly fill you to completion with His own abundant-fullness. It takes enduring, trusting-relying-faith to search for him as for silver, gold, or fine pearls, until you find Him. It takes enduring, trusting-relying-faith to knock until the door is opened and you enter in to intimately dine and fellowship with Him. This is the “obedience of faith” or “work of faith” that Paul says is the essence of the radically different-in-kind New Covenant gospel message. Even little children, the uneducated, the handicapped, and other “least among you” can succeed at this! Will we embrace this or go back to study and doing commandments? Sadly, a lot of Christians have opted for the latter! Only if we embrace the former, can we accurately sing “Jesus love me this I know” and we will accurately finish “because the Holy Spirit of Christ living in me tells me so! And man, can I feel Him!” This is really how little children learn from God!
Without intimacy with the Father through the Son, you have no genuine-life and remain a “Law-breaker” because you have missed the point of the Law, to bring you to Christ and for Christ to fulfill the Law so you would no longer be “Lawless.” You will die in your sin, even if you do great things in Christ’s name!