Reflections of BT1 – BT3
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What in the world is keeping us separated from the genuine-life of God that is in Christ? Ephesians 4:18 says people become “alienated/estranged from the zoe genuine-life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart and the darkened understanding.” Christ’s unconditional love is the only thing that can bring us to our senses to see things as they really are and to soften our hard hearts!
Jesus says “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child shall not enter it” (a). I asked the Lord recently “what makes a little child so important to be like?” and I heard “they have no life yet to lose.” Jesus said: “Remember Lot’s wife. Whoever seeks to preserve/save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep/save it” (b). Lot’s life looked back at her life she left in Sodom and Gomorrah and was turned to stone. The biggest block to the Holy Triune God is the unholy tri-unity of me, myself, and I. Jeremiah 31:31-33 says that God will teach his people under the completely different-in-kind New Covenant directly, “from the least to the greatest” – no longer from the top-down (c). No, God would teach directly by His Spirit to the least first, and then to the greatest. Jesus said the last shall be first and the first last. The more we “love our life” here, the harder it is to “lay it down” for Christ, but if we can be like a little child and look to our Father instead of “our own life,” then we will start hearing from God directly! <Notes> a) Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17, b) Luke 17:32-34, c) Moses to the high priests who teach the priests under them, who teach the men, who teach the women, who teach the children, and finally teach the slaves and foreigners.
Is this like passively “welcoming” like the way we receive an email or a postal letter or voicemail? No, it means to “hospitably welcome as with a guest, accepted into your home, taken a hold of or embraced for oneself, even with a holy kiss” and is used interchangeably with lambano, which mean “taking a hold of or seizing for yourself, or openly welcoming.” Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 2:14 “The natural man does not welcome the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. He cannot understand them, because they are discerned by the Spirit” – see New Covenant Ways – BT16.
Paul explains in Romans 8:5-8 the importance of the Holy Spirit: “For those who live down-from/according-to the flesh presently/ongoingly set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live down-from/according-to the Spirit presently/ongoingly set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is zoe genuine-life and peace/harmony. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not surrender to God’s law/instruction; indeed, it unable. Those who are in the flesh are unable to please God.” The Greek word phroneo for “set the mind on” means to “be disposed to think, feel, or be preoccupied in a certain direction; to lean in one direction, to have a worldview of.” So if we spend our time thinking or being preoccupied with the Spirit we move toward the Spirit’s life and are able to please God. However, if we lean toward the desires of the flesh, we end up with more darkness and death, and are unable to please God.
For although Christians “have already put off the old self with its practices” during their conversion in water-baptism (a), Paul reminds them in to “presently/ongoingly put off [like soiled clothes] this old self, which belongs to the Christian’s former manner of life, which is corrupted through deceitful desires and/coupled presently/ongoingly be renewed by the Spirit belonging-to your minds, and presently/ongoingly put on [like fresh clothes] the completely different-in-kind New self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness” (b). In other words, if you continually wear the old clothes of the old man you will still stink! <Notes> a) Colossians 3:9, Roman 6:6, b) Ephesians 4:22-24.
Paul goes on in Romans 8:11 to say “If the Spirit of Him (the Father) who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead shall also give you zoopoieo genuine-life also/even/moreover to your mortal (perishable) bodies by the means of His Spirit who dwells in you.” Zoopoieo is related to zoe meaning: revitalizes, invigorates, arouses, quickened into life as with germinating/springing up/growing seeds, or born alive as animal babies. The context shows that this isn’t talking about a future resurrection, but that God’s living, indwelling Spirit will not only renew our inward spirit, but even renew our flesh – of course ultimately this is completed after our death at the resurrection.
Paul goes on in Romans 8:13-14: “But if by the means of the Spirit you presently/ongoingly put to death the deeds/practices of the body/flesh, you shall certainly genuinely-live. For all who are presently/ongoingl led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” This here-and-now victorious life also fits Romans 6:4 “We were buried therefore with Him by water-baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in completely different-in-kind newness of genuine-life.” Finally, Paul concludes in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, do not be conformed to/shaped-into-the-image-of the world, but be butterfly-like-transformed by the renewing (a continuous process of renovation after the initial birth) of your mind so that you are able to test and approve of what the perfect, good, and well-pleasing will of God is.” The Lord wants to give us new life now, not just in heaven!
So, is our freedom and salvation a one-time event or a lifetime process? Jesus promised ion John 8:31 to newly “saved” believers that if they continued abide in My logos [gospel] message, then they really would be His disciples and then they would genuinely, experientially, relationally epiginosko know The Truth, and The Truth would set them free.” But this is not doctrinal truth, but Jesus per John 14:6, for it is the Son who sets us free per John 8:36, not even truth about Him!
Paul also prayed “that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give to you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward/into/onto/for/among us who have trusting-relying-faith” (a). Paul also prayed “the trusting-relying-faith you share with us may become effectual by the means of the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of every good thing/blessing that belongs to you in Christ” (b). Paul prayed “that you may be filled with the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God” (c). Paul desires that “their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, to reach all the riches of full assurance of understanding and the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God’s mystery, which is Christ” (d). Paul explains that the “completely different-in-kind New man is presently/ongoingly being renewed in genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge down-from/according-to the image of the One (Jesus) who created it” (e). This intimate, relational, experiential knowledge of God is important! <Notes> a) Ephesians 1:17-19, b) Philemon 1:6, c) Colossians 1:9-10, d) Colossians 2:2-3, e) Colossians 3:10.
Peter says in 2 Peter 1:2-4, 8: “May grace and peace be lavished on you by the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord as his divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him . . . by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. . . . For if these qualities – trusting-relying-faith, gnosis informational-knowledge [likely a reference to prophetic knowledge that belongs to Christ], self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly love, unconditional love – are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Peter and Paul are on the same page!
Finally, even the meaning of “salvation” as “being restored to wholeness” implies something more than a one-time event: “For the logos [gospel] message of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (a), and “the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to logos message I preached to you (b). Jesus didn’t “save” us to leave us on earth “as is” until heaven. John says: “Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (c). Paul says: “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (d). Paul also says: “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (e). He continues: “He predestined us to be conformed (g) to the image (h) of God’s Son” (f). <Notes> a) 1 Corinthianns 1:18, b) 1 Corinthiann 15:1-2, c) 1 John 3:8, d) Ephesians 2:10 , e) Philippians 2:10, f) Romans 8:29, g) complete and durable sameness of character, h) imprint or mold.