Surrender Control – BT10

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Confession to bring sin and weakness “into the light” for forgiveness and cleansing

 

 

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The Greek verb exomologeo for “confess” literally means “wholly/fully-out-from-yourself-agreeing, thus to “whole-heartedly agree and openly declare without reservation, literally from the words ek out from + homou of persons assembled together + logos message which emphasizes content.”  Thus confessing/confession was often done publicly at one’s water-baptism in order to be saved, also done at John the Baptist’s water-baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins (a).  This was standard practice in rabbinal water-baptism but only for Gentile proselytes.  That’s why the Pharisees asked by what authority John was water-baptizing Jews, who were “right with God” by birth and circumcision.  Uniquely, Christian water-baptism with “confession of ‘Jesus as Lord,’ and announcement of practiced unrighteous activities/deeds (b)” was done by Jews and Gentiles alike (c), even though there will be a future time when every tongue will confess that “Jesus Christ is Lord” (d), and James 5:16 advises Christians “confess your sins to one another and/coupled offer a request (e) to God for one another so that you may be healed.  The deesis supplicating-prayer of a righteous person is actually, ongoingly powerfully-enabled-to-do (f) much.” <Notes> a) Matthew 3:6; Mark 1:4-5, b) praxis, c) Romans 15:9; Acts 19:18, d) Philippians 2:11; Romans 14:11, e) euchomai, f) ischuo: avails.

 

A corresponding Greek noun homologia is used in Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering for faithful is He who promised.”  Jesus is “the apostle and high priest of our confession” (a), and “since we have a great high priest . . . Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession” (b).  Paul reminds Timothy of his own confession:  “Compete in the competition of The Trusting-Relying-Faith (c) and lay hold of that eternal life [prize] that you were called for and that you made your confession for in the presence of many witnesses” (d).  Clearly, public confession was standard practice!  Paul reminds the Corinthians that their service of giving gifts, directly related to koinonia intimate-fellowship, to other churches in need “will glorify God because of your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ” (e). <Notes> a) Hebrews 3:1, b) Hebrew 4:14, c) like the Olympic Games, d) 1 Timothy 6:12-13, e) 2 Corinthians 9:13.

 

The corresponding Greek verb homologeo is used in Matthew 10:32, “Whoever than confesses Me before people, I will confess before My Father in heaven” – now you can see why water-baptism and confession were public events!  Again, “Whoever confesses Me before people, the Son of Man will also confess before God’s angels” (a).  “Everyone who denies the Son does not have the Father either.  The person who confesses the Son has the Father also” (b).  “If anyone confesses that ‘Jesus is the Son of God,’ God lives in him and he in God” (c).  Again, there is that “earliest known creed of The Faith” as Paul also declares: “If we confess with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and have trusting-relying-faith in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart a person has trusting-relying-faith unto righteousness moreover with the mouth confesses unto salvation” (d).  You can’t get around it – the early Church taught that public confession at water-baptism was saving!  Hebrews 13:13-15 says “We must go out to Him (Jesus), then, outside the camp (e), bearing His reproach . . . Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is the fruit of our lips confessing His name.”  The test of a false prophet was simple:  “Every spirit that does not confess ‘Jesus’ is not from God, for this is the spirit of the antichrist” (f), “for many deceivers/antichrists . . . people who do not confess ‘Jesus as Christ coming in the flesh’ . . . ” (g). <Notes> a) Luke 12:8, b) 1 John 2:23, c) 1 John 4:15, d) Romans 10:9-10, e) the city dump where trash and bodies were burned, f) 1 John 4:3, g) 2 John 1:7.

 

Now for the ongoing Christian life, this may the most important homologeo confession:  1 John 1:5-10 “This is the announcement (a) we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is absolutely in fact no darkness at all.  1) If we say we have koinonia intimate-fellowship with Him while we presently/ongoingly walk/live in darkness, we lie and do not practice The TruthA) However, if we presently/ongoingly walk/live in the light as He is in the light, then we actually have koinonia intimate-fellowship with one another, and/coupled the blood of Jesus His Son actually, presently/ongoingly cleanses (b) us from all sin.  2) If we say we presently/ongoingly have no sin, we deceive (lie to) ourselves and The Truth is absolutely in fact not in us.  B) If we presently/ongoingly confess our sins, then He is actually, presently/ongoingly trustworthy and/coupled righteously just in order to definitively/wholly forgive us our sins and/coupled definitively/wholly cleanse (b) us from ALL (d) unrighteous injustice (c). 3) If we say we have already, with lasting results, absolutely in fact not sinned, we make Him a liar and His logos gospel message is absolutely in fact not in us.”  There are 3 “If we say” lies or deceptions going on, but 2 parts A & B of 1 truth that will be discussed below. <Notes> a) logos gospel message of The Truth, b) katharizo: purify us from all admixture, filth, c) violation of God’s justice that brings divine disapproval, d) this is one of the fewer times pas like means “the whole of” instead of “every of a kind/class of” as in 2 Timothy 3:15-16, “pas scripture [the kind that is] God-breathed is profitable for instruction” in the context of v. 15 is referring to Messianic prophetic “oracles of God” [as in Hebrews 5:12 and 1 Peter 4:11] that were able to make Timothy and others “wise unto salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”  In no way would Paul permit the reading of the 5 books of Moses per 2 Corinthians 13:4-18.

 

Concerning part A of the Truth:  “Holier than thou” legalistic Christians tell us that living ‘pure and clean’ or holy by being sinless is the only way we can “ongoingly walk/live in the light” in order to have intimate koinonia fellowship with Christ.  And if you aren’t, shame on you, and you might be going to hell!  But that’s not what the Apostle John is teaching here in parts A and B, and it is not what the logos gospel message of The Truth says.

 

It is true that “God is light and in Him is absolutely in fact no darkness at all.”  But John doesn’t deal with the practice of sin until 2 chapters later in 1 John 3:2-10, although it seems obvious that it’s impossible to be habitually walking/living in the dark and the light simultaneously.  However, the context here of “ongoingly walking/living in darkness” is specifically referring to 1 John 2:11 “But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and ongoingly walks/lives in the darkness” because it’s the exact same phrase!  John is laying the foundation here in Chapter 1 for his specific teaching in Chapter 2.  And even the context of Chapter 3 “practice of sin” is still hating your brother.  This certainly can’t be walking/living in the light of The Truth because it breaks “the Law of Christ” (a), the only “completely different-in-kind New Commandment” (b) given by Christ (John 15:12), one of only 2 NT commandments (c), which is to unconditionally-love one another.  <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 9:21; Galatians 6:2, b) John 13:34, c) 1 John 3:23.

 

But for now these “If you say . . . ” phrases are certainly part of “ongoingly walking/living in the darkness” because these lies are not “in the light of The Truth!”  In fact, 2 of those lies is believing that you are “holy” because we have not sinned in the past and are therefore currently sinless (3) or presently/ongoingly don’t have sin (2).  And that’s exactly what some “Holier than thou” Christians were saying then and even now, but they are actually the ones deceived and lying, and thus ongoingly walking/living in the darkness!  Pride and denial of The Truth is only “opposed by God, but God gives grace to the lowly/humble” per James 4:6 and 1 Peter 5:5.

 

None of these 3 extremes is walking/living in the light of The Truth in the presence of God.  The Truth is that we ALL have had sin when we come to Jesus for salvation from our sin and that it still ongoing affects us, and we ALL presently/ongoingly have sin as saved Christians.  Walking/living in this Truth is part of walking/living in the light and having fellowship with the Lord!  Denying either is definitely walking/living a lie and thus walking/living in darkness and definitely not the gospel Truth!

 

Now the Part A and Part B solution to “presently/ongoingly walk/live in the light where Jesus is in order to have intimate fellowship and be presently/ongoingly cleansed from ALL sin or definitively/wholly cleansed from ALL unrighteous injustice is to presently/ongoingly confess our sins.”  This implies ALL Christians will presently/ongoingly have “unrighteous injustice and sins,” and to deny this is self-deception or lying and walking/living in darkness.

 

The only way to continue living in the light of God’s Truth and presence and to be continually cleansed/purified of not only the sin we are conscious of but of ALL sin, even that which we aren’t aware of, is to presently/ongoingly confess our sins.  Don’t hide or deny it, but bring it ALL out into the light, confess it ALL before God.  Then God can be trustworthy in His promise to us to “never leave or forsake you” and at the same time be a Righteously-Just Judge, condemning our “unrighteous-injustice” and “sins” by the death of His Son and/coupled using Christ’s blood to presently/ongoingly and definitively/wholly cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness and injustice.  Wow, the Lord covered all the bases!  This is exactly what sacrificing an unblemished lamb did during the temple sacrifices, and especially on the Day of Atonement. This speaks to the divine exchange of our unrighteousness for His righteousness called “propitiation” or “atonement” we first began speaking of in Surrender-Control – BT2 and – BT3.  This is ultimately where we surrender our control by confessing that we lost our self-control and sinned, and we exchange our lack of self-control for Christ’s perfect self-control and resultant righteousness.

 

As Christian musicians who desire to live in the light and have the Lord’s Spirit flow through us to co-create anointed, prophetic, even spontaneous worship music, we can’t fall into any of those 3 traps above that hide or deny sin in our day-to-day lives.  From the previous BLOG we found that by exposing our weaknesses to the Lord we can be strengthened by the anointing of the Lord!  That was the “flipping/turning point” for Paul’s ministry – the more he turned his weaknesses over to the Lord, even boasting in them, the more grace and enabling-power he received from the Lord!  God gives grace to the humble/lowly but opposes the proud!

 

Thus we need to regularly bring our sin into the light of The Truth through confession of our sins to the Lord.  Only then can the darkness be regularly cleansed from us.  Only then can we continue to be in the light where the Lord can flow through us as we receive more grace and more enabling-power!  And we certainly can’t go around pretending that “we have our act together” because that is simply not The Truth for any human being on this planet, thus making Jesus and His logos gospel message of The Truth both to be liars.

 

The Truth is that at the beginning of our walk:  “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (a).  The Truth is during our walk:  Paul says as a Jewish-Christian, “O, wretched man that I AM!  . . . So then, I myself serve the Torah Law of conditional-favor of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law (f) of sin” (b) these are all present tense verbs.  Paul is talking about a present/ongoing battle between his inner man/spirit indwelt by the Holy Spirit and his flesh – his soul (c) and his body – see Identity.  It is terrible biblical interpretation to break up the natural flow of his argument in Romans and try to say that Paul was talking about His pre-Christian days. No!  ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (d), and ALL means him – not just then, but now for “None is presently/ongoingly righteous, not not one; no one routinely seeks for God . . . no one routinely practicing good, not even one” (e). <Notes> a) Romans 5:6, b) Romans 7:24-25, c) mind, emotions, and will, d) Romans 3:23, e) Romans 3:10-12, f) nomos generically as “principles or instruction.”

 

That’s exactly why we ALL ongoingly desperately need a savior!  The “turning/flipping” point in our lives and ministry will also come when we realize what God said to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9:  “My unconditional-favor-of-grace is sufficiently-enough-for or to-satisfy you, for My enabling-power is made perfect/complete in/by/with [your] weakness.” Total surrender of our “might and power” efforts at holiness, ministry, or whatever through confession not only cleanses us, but also it empowers us!  This will be our “turning/flipping” point, too!

 

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT9

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Should we boast in our “might and power” or our weaknesses?

 

 

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Instead of boasting in our musical might and power prowess, shouldn’t we accept our obvious human weaknesses, including the playing of beautiful music unto the Lord, as clearly shown in the previous BLOG and from the “Might and Power” page?  Shouldn’t we think-pleasingly-acceptable and even boast in our weaknesses for the sake of Christ (a), because after all, Christ’s “enabling-power is made perfect/complete in our weakness” (b)?  Do you know the reason why Paul was so quick to speak of his weaknesses (c) and even boast in them (a)?  Paul found out that his great “might and power” of the flesh from being “a zealous Pharisee, persecutor of the Church, blameless down-from/according-to the righteousness of the Torah Law of conditional-favor” (d), and “educated at the feet of Gamaliel, a teacher of the Torah Law of conditional-favor, held in honor by all the people” (e) turned out to be a “complete loss . . . even a pile of excrement” (f).  What a cathartic realization!  Paul had a life-changing revelation:  “For the foolishness of God is wiser than [the wisdom of] mankind and/coupled the weakness of God is stronger than the [the strength/might & power of] mankind” (g).  The scales are seriously out of balance! <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:5, 9-10, b) 2 Corinthians 12:9, c) 1 Corinthians 2:3, d) Philippians 3:5-6, e) Acts 5:34, 22:3, f) Philippians 3:7-8, g) 1 Corinthians 1:25.

 

When did Paul get this ‘flipping or turning-point’ revelation?  Paul could have easily become haughty and insolent after the revelation simply based on his impressive Jewish background of “might and power”, and Paul reveals this natural tendency above.  Many times it really sounds like Paul was very close to bragging, but he justifies it to make a point.  I’ve done the same on the Bible Info and About pages.  Just think about the “Brood of Vipers” that Jesus regularly dealt with (a)!  Paul could have been one of these or associated with them or was still studying under Gamaliel during Christ’s ministry.  We don’t know, but he sure wasn’t a nice guy!  He had their same arrogant attitude become a lead persecutor of the Church, traveling long distances to have one Christian after another stoned to death (b).  He had a lot of blood on his hands!  When Paul was converted and healed of his blindness from seeing Jesus on the road to more persecution, the Lord said through the prophet Ananias, “I will show you how much you must suffer for the sake of My name.”  That’s exactly what happened!  Paul was intensely persecuted by the very Jews he was previously defending.  Crazy! <Notes> a) Matthew 3:7, 12:34, 23:33; Luke 3:7, b) Acts 8:1-8.

 

In 2 Corinthians 12:1-10 Paul tells of us when the “flip or turn” occurred. He was a Christian “14 years earlier,” which calculates to be around 42 AD.  Since 2 Corinthians was written 56 AD and he was converted 33-36 AD, making him 28-31 years old since his birth in 5 AD, Paul would have only been in ministry a short 6-9 years around 42 AD.  That would make him only 37 years old as an apostle to the entire Gentile world.  Don’t you think that could go to anybody’s head?  Especially based on Paul’s track record as a zealous haughty Pharisee?  This has happened to more than one zealous young man!  Alexander the Great started his military campaigns to rule the world at 20 years old.  He succeeded and died at 33 years old.  Young, ambitious men can be very haughty and very dangerous!

 

So in 42 AD at 37 years old Paul is “taken into the 3rd heavens into Paradise” and “shown/heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter.”  Wait a minute!  Wasn’t the apostle John given the Book of Revelation, but God didn’t prevent him from telling us about heaven and the end of the world?  Evidently, God knew what kind of man John was and that he would remain humble, but not Paul!  So Paul admits, “So to keep me from being made haughty (a) due to the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a crucifixion-like-stake (b) was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to kolaphizo violently beat-by-fists (c) me in order that in possibility [that I may] not ongoingly be made haughty (d). Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me.  But He said to me: ‘My unconditional-favor-of-grace is sufficient for you, for My enabling-power (e) is made perfect/complete in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast ALL the more gladly of my weaknesses in order that the enabling-power (e) of Christ may definitively/wholly rest-like-a-tent (f) towards/upon (g) me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I eudokeo consider-pleasingly-acceptable in/by/with weaknesses, in/by/with insults, in/by/with hardships/pressing-situations, in/by/with persecutions and/coupled stenoxoria difficult-confining-distressing-circumstances.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  We can see that Paul is associating his weaknesses with insults, pressing-situations, persecutions and links this all to difficult-confining-distressing-circumstances.  Jesus did say that Paul would “suffer greatly for My name sake!” <Notes> a) huperairomai: being made lifted/raised up, exalted, insolent, arrogant, b) skolops: pointed instrument like a stake or poll producing pain, used as a Greek equivalent of stauros for cross, c) kolaphizo: striking by blows of the knuckles of the fist, stinging and crushing, internally sharp and painful, d) huperairo: lifted/raised up, exalted, insolent, arrogant, e) dunamis, f) episkenoo: dwell like a pitched tent over – this is exactly the anointing of the Holy Spirit, g) epi with the accusative case following.

 

It’s crazy what people think Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” was – his bad eyes, his poor health?  Paul tells us he was violently beaten-by-fists by a high-level demon or angel, directly from Satan.  The skolops “thorn” is actually a pole or stake used from crucifixion as a form of persecution.  At Christ’s crucifixion Satan didn’t even send a “messenger” but came himself!  Paul links this “weakness” directly by kai with insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficult-confining-distressing-circumstances!  This crucifixion-like ‘beating’ likely took place 3 times because Paul pleaded with the Lord 3 times for it to never happen again!  Didn’t Paul just talked about “3 times I was rhabdizo beaten with rods (a), . . . and 3 times I was shipwrecked, even in the deep sea for a night and day” (b)?  These beatings where done by Jews and the crowds they won over, and I bet it was fists, feet, rods, or whatever!  If they could have crucified him, they would have!  In one case after a stoning Paul was dragged outside the city to be thrown into the smoldering Gehenna trash heap, because they thought he was dead (c)!  Satan’s messenger was certainly behind all this!  Just as with Job, Satan was allowed by God to persecute him.  Clearly Paul wasn’t just getting tired of this intense persecution, he was painfully pleading for this to stop, and he did it 3 times!  The context leads me to believe it was for each of the 3 beatings. <Notes> a) rhabdizo the verb of rhabdos: staff, walking-stick, scepter, rod or branch, b) 2 Corinthians 11:25, c) Acts 14:19.

 

We always assume these “special” people of the bible like Paul get a total “flip/turn” of behavior in an instance.  We don’t see the lapse of time in the bible narrative, sometimes very long lapse of time!  I was recently talking with a brother who was sharing about his hippie days in the 1970s when Jesus-freak hippies were sharing the gospel with him and his buddy.  He didn’t want to hear them, so he turned away from his friend and walked away a bit.  Nevertheless, 1 or 2 words out of everything they spewed out somehow were heard by him and/or got stuck inside him because for days he couldn’t get them out of his head.  This began his road to receiving the Lord in the park at a later date by some other hippies when he got immediately delivered by the Spirit from heroin!

 

Well, as he was telling me this I saw in my spirit the apostle Paul sitting on a big rock crying because he had failed once again to convince a group of Jews their need for The Truth of the gospel.  This was early in that first 6-9 years of ministry when he was trying with all his “might and power” to reach his fellow countrymen.  A lot of street ministers will tell you how brutal it is in those early years of ministry rejection when no matter how much zeal, no matter how much “might and power” training or effort, you just get “beaten up” and see so few results.  You either quit or you get the Spirit’s empowerment and this only comes through profound revelation!

 

There is no coincidence that Paul later speaks often of “words of eloquent wisdom” (a) and “lofty speech or wisdom” (b) or “every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God” (c).  Paul is attacking the very people that he was trained as an expert to be like!  He had the same zeal, pride, and self-determination!  He boasted he was a leader in such!  But these “beatings” associated with “insults, pressing-situations, persecutions, which are all linked to difficult-confining-distressing-circumstances” really brought him to the end of his rope.  They ‘beat’ the “might and power” right out of him – all his personal resources and Jewish educations just wasn’t enough, it wasn’t working, and it was getting him ‘beaten’ near death.  He was also stoned once!

 

When the Lord showed me Paul crying while sitting on that rock, having once again being terribly rejected by the crowds in his early ministry, I started weeping inside for him, and I still feel it as I write.  He was terribly frustrated and physically in pain.  He was heartbroken and wept bitterly!  I know this because in many ways my attempts at ministry often met the same fate.  In 1980-83 I evangelized the University of Arizona campus for the Church of Christ, but never led one person to the Lord!  I can’t tell you how many people I invited to dorm bible studies.  I argued with so many people, and one is my friend now but he still hasn’t confessed “Jesus is Lord” or got water-baptized.  And that’s exactly why the Lord showed me this, because He knows I can’t move effectively into the lives of people I know, which is rapidly expanding, or through this music ministry operating on the same zeal, self-determination, “might and flesh” that I’ve used in my extensive formal education and profession work careers – see Bible Info and About pages.  It just isn’t effective in the kingdom of God! <Notes> a) 1 Corinthians 1:17, b) 1 Corinthians 2:1, c) 2 Corinthians 10:5.

 

Paul desperately wanted the Lord to stop the Jewish rejection and persecutions.  He probably thought about quitting ministry or at least quitting his ministry to the Jews and turning instead to the Gentiles.  He eventually did in Acts 13:46 after Barnabas and himself just had it with the Jews!  This was around 46 AD, so about 4 years into his new understanding of Spirit-empowered ministry through humble confession of weakness.  However, back in 42 AD Paul was saying to God that he wanted to remain Saul of Tarsus, though now just for a better “Christian” mission.  But God said, “No” you are going to be “Paul” with a different ministry!  Actually, this is just what happens to a lot of young ministries!  But there’s a lot of older ministries that haven’t learned much better either!

 

But Paul came to the breaking point of surrendering his control, which he found was failing miserably, in exchange for the Lord’s unconditional-favor-of-grace, which is not based on our effort or merit, not based on our zeal or self-determination that comes with pride of accomplishment in our own “might and power. The Lord revealed to Paul that eventful day, “My enabling-power (a) is made perfect/complete in weakness.”  Wow, Paul never saw that coming!  It knocked him all the way to the ground!  That’s when Paul was shown ministry in a completely different-in-kind way, just like the New Covenant Way has nothing to do with the old one, sharing absolutely in fact with it, just as Zechariah 4:6 says:  “No longer by might or power (d) but by My Spirit, says the Lord!”  Paul decided then:  “Therefore I will boast ALL the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the enabling-power (a) of Christ may definitively/wholly episkenoo rest-over-like-a-tent (b) towards/upon (c) me.”  Then as he walked in this new ministry, he saw the Lord’s work and effectiveness in his life.  This “resting like a tent over” is exactly what the anointing is! <Notes> a) dunamis, b) episkenoo: dwell like a pitched tent over, c) epi with the accusative case following, d) man’s external resources and internal abilities – see Might & Power page.

 

Paul was now experiencing a completely different-in-kind ministry, an anointed ministry!  It’s not a “word-only” preaching ministry any longer, but a “full-gospel” ministry, because it is now “in demonstration/proof-manifestation of the Spirit and/coupled of enabling-power (a), so that your trusting-relying-faith might not in possibility rest in the wisdom of men (b) but in the enabling-power (a) of God” (c).  The “coupling/linking” means that “enabling-power is the demonstration/proof-manifestation of the Spirit!”  Paul told the Romans, these “proofs” were “what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience – by logos message and/coupled ergo work/doing in/by/with the enabling-power of signs and wonders, in/by/with the enabling-power of the Spirit of God (d).  Paul also reminded the Corinthians:  “The signs of a true apostle (himself) were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works” (f), just as Mark records Jesus promising in the Great Commission:  for “these signs shall actually accompany those who have trusting-relying-faith: . . . [grace-gifts including tongues and healing] . . . the Lord worked with them and confirmed the logos message by accompanying signs” (e).  Consequently, the phrase “signs and wonders” is used 16 times in the NT – 9 time in the book of Acts chronicling the history of the early Church, just as the book of Hebrews confirms:  “God also sunepimartureo bore-witness-with by signs and wonders and various miracles and/coupled by grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed according to His will” (g).  This is how God testifies to confirm the logos gospel message!  Why wouldn’t He still do this? <Notes> a) dunamis, b) the preacher/teacher Paul used to be operating in with eloquent and lofty speech, c) 1 Corinthians 1:17, 2:1, 4-5, 13, 17; 4:20, d) Romans 15:19, e) Mark 16:17-20, f) 2 Corinthians 12:12, g) Hebrews 2:4.

 

After the Lord started showing me all this, especially seeing Paul cry and my friend then giving me a logos message of directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words from the Lord about still unconditionally-loving people like Jesus did with real sinners, like ourselves, who have also rejected my recent logos messages to unsaved people, and after another logos message of directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words and a testimony that night from his wife that she learned from the rejection of her logos message by unsaved friends of hers, her logos message to me to also continue unconditionally-loving them as a “light” but no longer preaching to them but instead consistently proseuchomai conversationally-praying for them, even in tongues, well “after all that” I ended up waking up at 4:30 am to surrender my control and confess my weaknesses in this area.  I handed the 2 people in mind over to the Lord to work in their lives to reach them. The devil’s messengers kept coming to me that night and the next day to accuse me of my failure, but I rebuked them in the name/authority of Jesus and immediately went back there verses about “submitting unto God” by surrendering my control to Him to take responsibility for these 2 people.

 

As Christian musicians, we can “resist the devil” until you are blue in the face, but it will only be your “might and powerflesh trying to do this, even at 4:30 am in the morning, until we also “submit ourselves to God,” because these 2 phrases are kai coupled/linked together in James 4:7.  I can see now why Paul was so quick to admit, even boast, and even consider-pleasantly-acceptable in his weaknesses, because if we give our lack of self-control/mastery that results in our sin, to the Lord through proseuche conversational-prayer, He will give us His self-control/master and resultant enabling-power.  This is the divine exchange of “our failure for His success” that is part of the “propitiation or atonement” of Christ spoken of in Surrender-Control – BT2 and – BT3.

 

That’s the “flipping/turning-point” revelation Paul found out in 2 Corinthians 12:10 and what John realized in 1 John 1:5-10.  This is how we continue walking/living in the light to have koinonia fellowship with God – not by denying, hiding from, or trying harder to overcome our weaknesses that lead to our sin, but to confess them, agree with the Lord about them, and let His blood cleanse us from all unrighteousness!  That’s when the Lord’s enabling-power is released into action; that’s when it is brought to God’s intended completion or perfection!  That’s what we will talk more about next!

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT8

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Jesus understands and helps us in our weakness

 

 

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Jesus, our high priest, “sympathizes with our weaknesses, because in every respect, He has been tempted as we are, but without sin” (a), “because He Himself has suffered when tempted, so he is able to help those who are being tempted” (b), and just as “every high priest is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin.  He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since He Himself is beset with weakness . . . So also Christ was appointed by God, saying: ‘You are priest forever,’ . . . being designated by God a high priest.” (c).  Of course the analogy isn’t perfect, because Jesus is no longer “beset with weakness” because He died and was resurrected from the dead, no more to return to corruption (d). <Notes> a) Hebrews 4:15, b) Hebrews 2:18, c) Hebrews 5:1-2, d) Acts 13:34-37; Romans 8:11.

 

Christ’s “Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we have already, with ongoing results, absolutely in fact do not eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know what to aiteo ask-pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself actually ongoingly intercedes for us with groanings/sighings which cannot be expressed in words (a).  But we know that the very reason Paul “proseuchomai conversationally-prays in tongues more than them all,” and the very reason he tells them he “wants them ALL to proseuchomai conversationally-pray in tongues,” is for this very reason – you don’t have to understand one word of “mystery” you are saying (b) – see Grace-Gifts<Notes> a) Romans 8:26, b) 1 Corinthians 14:1-2, 5, 14-15, 18, Acts 10:46.

 

Jesus said “I will give you another Parakletos (a) to be with you forever, that is, the Spirit of The Truth . . . You know Him for He dwells with you (b) and shall actually be in you.”  There are several NT verses that say that Christ as the Holy Spirit is all this now for us (c)!  <Notes> a) Jesus was the first Parakletos: ‘Close-beside’ caller, summoner, or inviter; helper, succorer, or assistant; encouraging teacher, counselor, comforter, or consoler; defense-attorney, judicial-advocate, or court-intercessor, b) as Jesus, the first, c) John 14:16, 26, 15:26, 16:7; 1 John 2:1.

 

The more common verb form parakaleo is used 105 times in the NT, also including the idea of admonishment, exhortation, entreaty, beseeching, even begging, consoling, encouraging and strengthening by consolation, and comforting, even to encourage with teaching (a).  Paraklesis is the actual calling or personal exhortation or statement that would be used to intercede for us in God’s court.  Wow, the Holy Spirit is wears many hats to unconditionally-love us!  This is the nature of God (b); prophecy can help us all learn together and be encouraged (c); the Church is to encourage one another in every good thing to be built up together (d); Shepherd-evangelists where to exhort others with complete patience in their teaching with full authority, correcting those who speak against the sound teaching of Christ (e); and exhortation is a grace-gift of the Spirit (f). <Notes> a) Titus 1:9, b) 2 Corinthians 1:4, 7:6, c) 1 Corinthians 14:31, d) 1 Thessalonians 5:11; 2 Thessalonians 2:17; Hebrews 3:13, 10:25, e) 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9, 4:2, f) Romans 12:8.

 

As Christian musicians, the little children of God, Jesus deals with us gently because He was fully a child, teenager, and young men, subject to all of our weaknesses at every stage, so He can fully sympathize with us.  Christ intercedes before God for us!  His Spirit intercedes when we don’t even have words to pray by.  With tongues we don’t have to understand a word the Spirit prays through us!

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT7

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We have to learn together how to surrender control, being like little children

 

 

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But I said, ‘learn together’ and this is accomplished by the means of the Holy Spirit through Body-of-Christ ministry!  We are not left alone to figure out how to do this.  The Lord told me just today, “The days of solo Christianity are over.  Didn’t I say where 2 or 3 are gathered in My name/authority there I am in their midst?  And the days of 1 or 2 wearing all the hats are over” – this ‘ball hogging’ is exactly part of The Great Wall quenching the Spirit He once showed me.  Christ by His Spirit as the “One Teacher” (a) directly to us and through His Body (b) of brothers and sisters, “will guide us into ALL truth (c) and “teach us ALL things” (d).  That’s the reason for this BLOG – to learn together!  This is how we “manthano learned Christ . . . you heard Him and/coupled have already been taught by Him as The Truth is in Jesus” (e).  Manthano means to “increase one’s knowledge, be informed, or hear or learn from” Jesus, just as Jesus said, “And they will all be taught by God, for everyone who hears and manthano learns from the Father comes to Me” (f), and “Take My yoke (g) upon you and manthano learn from Me, because I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (h). <Notes> a) Matthew 23:8 – see Teach One Another – BT10, b) Colossians 3:16, c) John 16:13, d) John 14:26, e) Ephesians 4:20, f) John 6:45, g) harness of instruction, h) Matthew 11:29.

 

The Lord knows we are like little children who need to first learn how to crawl before we can walk, and learn how to walk before we can run.  He knows we must first start out riding with training wheels.  Later we can build hang-gliders and planes to learn how to soar (a)!  The Christian life is from “faith to faith” – a common Greek idiom meaning from one step to another (b).  So “we walk by trusting-relying-faith (c), not be sight” (d), “walking in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had even before he was circumcised” (e) (f). <Notes> a) Isaiah 40:31, b) Romans 1:17, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) 2 Corinthians 5:7, e) as a sign of the old covenant, f) Romans 4:12.

 

Walking, like everything, takes practice!  God knows we are going to make a lot of mistakes and fall down often as we learn to “walk” as His little children, who are those born by the Spirit to live by the Spirit (a).  In order to walk by the Spirit (b) instead of the flesh (c) (d), we must learn to be led by the Spirit of God as grown-up sons (e) of God, and this is only possible if we keep in step with the Spirit, so close that we can ‘see’ when our leader moves to the left or write (f).  James admits:  “We all stumble (g) in many ways” (h), and this “mistake or error of the flesh” misses God’s holy target for our lives and thus is the definition of “sin” (i)!  But what then? <Notes> a) John 3:5-8; Galatians 4:29, 5:29, b) God’s nature of unconditional-love, c) our human tendencies, d) Romans 8:4; Galatians 5:16, e) ready of their inheritance, f) Galatians 5:25, g) ptaio, h) James 3:2, i) James 2:10; 2 Peter 1:10.

 

Despite of our frequent stumbling, the Lord loves children who will come to Him (a).  He loves making us the children of God (b), even teknion little children of God (c), and it’s His great pleasure to reveal the secrets of the kingdom to little children but keep these secrets hidden from the so-called wise and learned (d)!  Did you know teknion literally means “deeply-loved infants or little children,” which is certainly before they have even learned how to read, let alone become “wise or learned” through the world’s methods of study!  See The Least Among You. <Notes> a) Matthew 18:2-5, 19:13-15; Mark 9:33-37, 10:13-16; Luke 9:46-48, 18:15-17, b) John 1:12, 11:52; Romans 8:17, 21, 9:8; Ephesians 5:1; Philippians 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 10, 5:2, c) John 13:33; cf. Galatians 4:19; 1 John 2:1, 12, 28, 3:7, 18, 4:4, 5:21, d) Matthew 11:25; Luke 10:21.

Father God has infinite patience with His children because this is part of His [singular] nature of unconditional-loving acceptance (a).  We have not “fallen” (b) until we don’t get up from our “stumbling,” for God has “decisive severity toward those who have fallen, but chrestotes good-gentle-kindness toward you, provided we continue in His moral chrestotes good-gentle-kindness, or we will be cut off, too” (c).  <Notes> a) Galatians 5:22-23; 1 John 4:8, 16, b) pipto, c) Romans 11:22.

 

And this chrestotes “good-gentle-kindness” is simply what God showed toward us when He appeared as our Savior to save us down-from/according-to His own mercy (a) and unconditional-favor-of-grace in Christ (b), being a key aspect of His Spirit’s [singular] nature of unconditionally-loving good-gentle-kindness (c), and this is what should lead us to repentance (d).  We are “being saved if we hold fast to the logos gospel message that was preached to you, otherwise our trusting-relying-faith is in vain (e), “children of God . . . holding fast to the logos gospel message of life” (f), for “we are God’s house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope” (g), so “let us hold fast our confession since we have a high priest . . . Jesus, the Son of God” (h) and “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (i).  Jesus warns, “I am coming soon.  Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown” (k).  We must hold fast to this promise, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (j), for “I have never seen His righteous forsaken or His children begging for bread” (l). <Notes> a) Titus 3:4-5, b) Ephesians 2:7, c) Galatians 5:22, d) Romans 2:4, e) 1 Corinthians 15:2, f) Philippians 2:15-16, g) Hebrews 3:6, h) Hebrews 4:14, i) Hebrews 10:23, j) Hebrews 13:5 citing Joshua 1:5; cf. Deuteronomy 31:6, 8; 1 Chronicles 28:20, k) Revelation 3:11, l) Psalms 37:25.

 

As Christian musicians, the Lord hasn’t left His little children to even figure out how to surrender the control of our lives over to Him as Lord, Supreme Master, and Owner.  His “One is Your Teacher” Holy Spirit will “teach us everything, especially to abide/remain-connected-to Him, so that you have absolutely no need for any man teach you.”  However, Jesus also works through Him Body of brothers and sisters to “build us up together into His full stature” per Ephesians 4:11-13.  He will gently pick us up when we stumble and helps us go from crawling to walking to running and even to flying!  We will be doing a lot of “practicing” and making mistakes, but the Lord will help us, even through His Body!  Don’t give up the “race of faith” or then you will never get to the finish line!

 

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT6

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What repentance is and is NOT

 

 

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But doing good deeds doesn’t mean you have actually repented.  That’s the very problem of all religious systems, even that of the Jews.  All the NT speakers point this out over and over!  Paul told Timothy, his evangelist in training, to “avoid such people” as those who “have the appearance/outward form of godliness (a), but they already have been, with ongoing results, denying/contradicting the enabling-power (b) of it” (c).  They had the right actions but nothing of the Holy Spirit actually inside them to make true godliness possible.  The protestant reformer Martin Luther caught the Catholics mistranslating the Greek word for “repentance” metanoia, which is “a resultant change of mind,” with the Latin poenitentiam agite “doing penance,” which are “voluntary acts of self-punishment as an outward expression of repentance,” to justify their corrupt practices of selling “indulgences” for the forgiveness of sins, especially since “penance” can also mean “the receipt of absolution from sins from a priest by fulfilling some requirement” (d).  But for a long time the Catholic Church granted “indulgences” as a “practical satisfaction that was a part of the sacrament of penance.”  This involved “the commuting of sin for money as part of the temporal penalty due for sin.”  In other words, people could pay a priest for forgiveness of sin or less time in purgatory for themselves or loved ones.  How corrupt can you get!  But in many ways Protestant churches are repeating the same essential flaw – the focus on outward actions without first cultivating the inward enabling-power of true godliness.  It’s like taking cuts in line! <Notes> a) holiness toward God, b) dunamis, c) 2 Timothy 3:5, d) making confessions, saying “Hail Marys” or “Our Fathers” or praying Rosary beads or lighting candles or buying candles for others to light, placing an offering in the plate, etc.

 

Repentance must start with “submission/subjection that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ” (a), for “Jesus Christ has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to Him” (b).  Thus, “the righteousness based on trusting-relying-faith (c) says . . . ‘The directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that is, the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema word of trusting-relying-faith that we proclaim, because if you confess with your mouth that ‘Jesus is Lord’ (d) and/coupled have trusting-relying-faith in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall actually be saved (e)” (f).  Now many scholars believe that “Jesus is Lord” was the earliest public confession of trusting-relying-faith at one’s saving water-baptism, where they also received the grace-gifts of the Holy Spirit. <Notes> a) 2 Corinthians 9:13, b) 1 Peter 3:22, cf. 1 Corinthians 15:27-28; Hebrews 2:8; Ephesians 1:22; Romans 10:3, c) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, d) kurios: master who owns you, e) delivered and healed, f) Romans 10:6-9.

 

The entire Christian walk from beginning to end is a life of repentance by surrendering control of yourself to “Jesus as Lord.”  Jesus emphatically declared, “If anyone would come after Me, let him definitively/wholly deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (a), for “whoever does not take his cross and/coupled follow Me he is not worthy of Me.  Whoever was/is habitually finding/keeping his life shall actually lose it, but/coupled whoever was/is routinely losing his life for My sake shall actually find it” (b).  The apostle Paul declared in Romans 1:17, “For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith (c), just as it is written ‘The righteous shall actually live by trusting-relying-faith’ (d).”  Regarding this commitment, Jesus said “The one who endures to the end will be saved” (e), and “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” (f).  Hebrews 3:6, 14 says, “We are God’s house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. . . For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.”  And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:2, “You are being saved, if you hold fast to the logos gospel message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.”  It’s all to the end or nothing at all! <Notes> a) Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, b) Matthew 10:38-39, c) a common Greek idiom meaning from one step of obedience to the next, from beginning to end, d) Habakkuk 2:4, e) Matthew 10:22, 24:13; Mark 13:13, f) Revelation 2:10, cf. 2:26.

 

As Christian musicians, we can’t fall prey to the heresy that repentance is penance like the Catholics did.  It’s also not “regulations from human-teachings of ‘do not handle, do not taste, do not touch’ that have an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed religion and asceticism and severity to the body, but that have absolutely in fact no actual value in stopping the indulgence of the flesh” as Paul said in Colossians 2:20-23 about the world’s religions, including the Jewish one!  Doing outward works really doesn’t change our insides!  But if we “turn to” and surrender fully to ‘Jesus as Lord’ on the inside, the enabling-power of the Holy Spirit than can work from the inside to the outside.  Repentance is a ‘turn of the heart’ that is indeed going to create results, but don’t make the mistake of putting the ‘cart’ of works before the ‘horses’ of this ‘turn.’

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT5

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What does it mean to ‘surrender’ control?

 

 

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Surrender control is ‘absolute’ by the definition of surrender: “cease to resist; to yield to the power, control, or possession of another; to give up completely.”  Jesus says in Matthew 21:44, citing Isaiah 28:14 concerning Himself: “The one who falls on this Stone [of offense and Rock of stumbling] will be broken to pieces, but if it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”  Yes, we must surrender control in order to be “broken to pieces” in order to be delivered and healed – that is the exact nature we saw in Surrender Control – BT3 of “repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  But if we continue down our “way that leads to destruction” and continue to resist the Lord, one day that Rock will roll right over us and crush us into dust.

 

Although the NT doesn’t use the word “surrender” as the OT does for “giving up/over or falling to” as with cities and peoples to Israel, the Greek word hupotasso also translated “submit or subject to” is similarly used in the NT, which means “to arrange, rank, or place under, thus to be subject to.”  As we’ve seen in Surrender Control – BT3 the act of public and private confessing “Jesus is Lord (a)” means just that, submitting completely to Jesus as the “master or owner, the person who has absolute ownership rights over you.” James 4:4-8 says, “Do you not know that friendship (g) with the world is enmity with God?  Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend (g) of the world makes himself an enemy of God.  . . . Therefore it says, ‘God opposes (b) the proud (c) but gives unconditional-favor-of-grace to the humble/lowly.’  Therefore, hupotasso submit (d) yourselves to God.  Resist the devil (e), and he (e) will flee from you.  Draw near (f) to God, and He will draw near to you.”  <Notes> a) Kurios:  Supreme Master and rightful owner, b) stands firmly against, c) self-sufficient, arrogant, d) hupotasso, e) and his sin, f) a Hebrew idiom for worshipful proseuche conversational-prayer, g) philia, philos:  fond friendship – see Fellowship.

 

Absolute surrender or submission or subjugation is the essence of repentance.  Jesus made this clear to everyone, even very religious people:  “Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish” (a), and to many hard-working churches like those in Ephesus:  “I have this against you:  You have abandoned the unconditional-love you had at first [in time].  Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do/act the first/foremost doings/works.  If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless your repent” (b).  <Notes> a) Luke 13:3, 5, b) Revelation 2:4-5.

 

The “light” Christians and churches are to “let shine before others, like a lamp on a stand, so that the world may see your good ‘doings/works’ and give glory to your Father in heaven” (a) sure isn’t OT “works,” but from this Revelation 2:4-5 verse above is clearly the “doings/works’ that are associated with “the unconditional-love that you had at first [in time].”  The Lord told me once that He meant both “first in time and first in importance” because:  The things we do when we ‘first’ [in time] fall in love with someone aren’t ‘work’ or ‘effort’ at all, but natural ‘doings’ – we can’t wait to listen to every word of theirs, we long to feel their touch, we just want to spend every minute with them, and we want to kiss them – the very meaning of worship.  This love fill us up with genuine-life!  And when we aren’t with them we love just remembering when we were together, because re-living our love fills us up with even more love and longing to return for more loveRemembering and Returning can be an endless cycle!  That intimate fellowship and genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Jesus that they ‘at first’ had with Him, is what Jesus wanted them to remember and then turn back to through waiting, watching, listening, adoring proseuche conversational-prayer and worship.  This intimate relationship is also what is foremost to the Lord!  <Notes> a) Matthew 5:14-16.

 

This is what Jesus is calling many older Christians and churches, like Ephesus was, to go back to or “repent,” because we can see from the progression of NT writings and early Church history that “works” or legalistic Christianity creep in, for “a little leaven (a) leavens the whole lump” (b).

 

Jesus is always having to call a straying Church back to the “first and foremost ‘doings’ of their first love” – proseuche conversational-prayer and worship for genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of Him through koinonia communing fellowship.  If they don’t repent, Jesus will remove them from their chosen-purpose to spread Christ’s light to the world – He will no longer use them to shine His light.  This is exactly what Jesus promised earlier to His disciples (c):  “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it presently/ongoingly meno abides-in/remains-connected-to the vine, absolutely in fact neither can you, unless you presently/ongoingly meno abide-in/remain-connected-to Me.  I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever is routinely/habitually meno abiding-in/remaining-connected-to Me and I in him, it is this one [person] that bears much fruit, for apart/disconnected from Me you can do absolutely in fact nothing.  <Notes> a) of the Pharisees and Sadducees, b) Matthew 16:6, 11-12; Mark 8:15; Luke 12:1; 1 Corinthians 5:6; Galatians 5:9, c) John 15:4-5.

 

As Christian musicians, if we want the Lord to shine His light through us into the world, then we have to be in an intimate, communal fellowship with Him, experiencing a deep love relationship with Him, because that ‘light’ is the unconditional-love of Christ.  The only way to do this is through total surrender, subjugation, or submission to Christ being our Lord or Supreme Master and Owner.  We need to repent from being “the captain of our own ship” and turn to ‘Jesus as Lord’ and publicly confess this at our water-baptism, but then privately remain connected to Jesus as branches in the Vine if we want to continue to experience His genuine-life-giving unconditional-love flowing into us and through us to the world.

 

Yes, we must “fall on the Rock of Christ” and be “broken to pieces,” dying to ourselves by “taking up our cross daily,” and taking that lowly, humble place at the foot of Christ’s cross each day.  But it is here where we can be continually filled by the ‘light’ of Christ’s unconditional-love.  It is here where we can first fall in love and then stay in love.  But Christ knows we are human, get distracted by the “cares of this world” and even by the “works of religion,” so He tells us to remember our first love with Him and the things we did at first during that love-relationship, and this will rekindle our love for Him and longing to return to that first love by being together with Him in proseuche conversational-prayer and worship.

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT4

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What does the phrase “Let go and let God” really mean?

 

 

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The phrase “Let go and let God” likely originated as the “fundamental principle of Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous, which is the recognition that we do not have power over our addictions, and outside help is needed to maintain sobriety.  Thus the 2nd and 3rd steps are “I came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.  I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand Him.”  You see, “our best thinking is what got us here in the first place,” to this place of addiction!  The “letting go” part is surrendering the phony idea that we have control or are responsible for the world beyond our own small interactions.  The “letting God” part means to proseuchomai conversationally-pray along with deesis supplication and then leave the matter in God’s hands – “Thy will, not my will, be done,” just as Jesus taught us in “The Lord’s Prayer.  But like anything, this method takes practice, so don’t be discouraged if your results are part “flesh” and part “Spirit.”  God knows we are like “little children” who need to learn how to crawl before walking, and walking before running!  God knows that “little children” need training wheels to learn how to ride a bicycle!

 

There are a plenty of bible verses to support continuing to turn (repent of) our own puny abilities over to trust the Lord for His unlimited enabling-power, and the peace and confidence that result:  “Cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you” (a); “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by proseuche conversational-prayer and/coupled deesis supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all nous reasoning-mind, will guard your hearts and your noema minds in Christ Jesus” (b); “Commit your ways to Yahweh; trust in Him, and He will act” (c); “Trust in Yahweh with all your heart and do not lean on your own [human] binayh/sophia understanding/wisdom.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight and smooth your paths” (d); “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works” (e); “For it is God who works in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure” (f); “There are varieties of the Spirit’s activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone” (g); “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of Yahweh, which He will work for you today. . . Yahweh will fight for you, and you have only to be silent” (h); Jesus said, “Come to me, all who labor and are weary, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke (i) upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls” (j); “For whoever has entered God’s rest has also rested from his works just as God did from His” (k); “Now may the God of peace . . . equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ” (l).  Well, this is just a dent!  <Notes> a) 1 Peter 5:7, b) Philippians 4:6-7, cf. Psalms 34:17, c) Psalms 37:5, cf. Proverbs 16:3, d) Proverbs 3:5-6, e) Ephesians 2:10, f) Philippians 2:13, g) 1 Corinthians 12:6, h) Exodus 14:13-14, i) a harness of instruction, j) Matthew 11:28-29, k) Hebrews 4:10, l) Hebrews 13:20-21.

 

As Christian musicians, there is good reason to distrust our own limited abilities and turn to the Lord for his unlimited abilities.  What has your experience about repentance been?

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT3

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Repentance is our part in the divine exchange of propitiation or atonement

 

 

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This ‘divine exchange’ of propitiation or atonement between our powerless self-control and Christ’s perfect self-control does not just automatically occur for all man, and so all men are NOT saved.  It only occurs as we surrender control of our asthenes and opheleo “inherent weakness, feebleness, impotence, worthlessness, uselessness, and failure of the flesh” or our “might and power” (a) by trusting-relying-faith (b) in Christ’s perfect control.  This is the essence of “repentance (c) for the forgiveness of sins” that is the essence of the Great Commission Jesus gave to preach to the world (d). <Notes> a) Matthew 26:41; John 6:63, b) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, c) metanoia, metanoeo, d) Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3, 5:32; 24:47; Acts 2:38, 5:31.

 

Metanoia repentance literally means “an after-effect of mind/heart/inner man, implying an internal change after an activity, where the ‘activity’ is defined by the context.”  So what is the “activity” in our particular case?  When we are confronted with “The Truth,” who is Jesus Christ (a) and His logos gospel message of The Truth of our salvation (b) that gives us very long lists of self-evident sins and says:  “I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who practice such things will absolutely in fact not inherit the kingdom of God (c) because “the flesh is absolutely asthenes and opheleo ‘inherently weak, feeble, impotent, worthless, useless, and a failure” (d) and so that there is absolutely in fact none that is righteous, no, not one . . . for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (e), then there should be a “conviction of our sin, Christ’s righteousness, and the judgment to God of Satan and all those you are not saved by Christ” (f).  <Notes> a) John 14:6, b) Ephesians 1:13, c) Galatians 5:19-21, d) Matthew 26:41; John 6:63, e) Romans 3:10, 23, f) John 16:8.

 

“Repentance” involves an an essential inward change!  Certainly it should work itself out into a change of actions, for John who was water-baptizing Jews for repentance and said to the hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees, “You brood of vipers!  Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Bear fruit in keeping with repentance” (a).  The apostle Paul preached that people, “should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance” (b).  This is Morality 101! <Notes> a) Matthew 3:7-8; Luke 3:7-8, b) Acts 26:20.

 

And if this conviction “activity” occurs, then we have a choice to continue on “the way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death” (a) or to surrender control of our own life and confess “Jesus is Kurios Lord, Supreme Master/Owner” (b), the earliest known Christian public confession or creed, giving Him complete control over our lives!  Paul reminds Christians of this decision:  “Or you do you absolutely in fact not eido mentally ‘see’ to perceive/know that your body actually is ongoingly a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have [received] from God?  You are absolutely in fact not your own, for you were brought with a [ransom] price.  So glorify God in your body” (c)!  This is exactly the radical transition of Zechariah 4:6’s “not in fact by might nor power, but by My Spirit.”  But we find throughout the NT that this “let go and let God” decision is not a one-time event at our water-baptism public confession but a daily private decision.”  That’s what we will discuss now! <Notes> a) Proverbs 14:12, b) 1 Corinthians 12:3, c) 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.

 

As Christian musician, we will not experience the dynamite-like enabling power of the Holy Spirit until we surrender our powerlessness daily to Christ.  If we want the “By My Spirit” experience, we have to abandon the illusion we have “might and power.”  This is the essence of repentance – turning away from ourselves and the enticements of the world to Jesus Christ as the sole owner of us.  Now we no longer live for ourselves!  Now we live for Christ.  He is our Lord!

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT2

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The exchange of our control for Christ’s control is propitiation or atonement

 

 

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There are 2 Greek NT nouns hilasterion or hilasmos and 1 verb hilaskomai that speak of a divine “propitiation” or “atonement” or exchange of our unrighteousness for Christ’s righteousness, our evident lack of self-control or ischus inner-power for Christ’s perfect self-control or dunamis enabling-power (a), the disobedience of many men for the obedience of one man (b), our complete “missing of the mark” of God’s holiness (c) for Christ’s perfect “bulls-eye” of sinless, perfect holiness (d), the Son of Man making atonement as our High Priest (e), not just for our sins but for the whole world (f).  It wasn’t our unconditional-love for God that could ever save us, for “This is unconditional-love – not that we have unconditionally-loved God, but that He unconditionally-loved us and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins” (g). <Notes> a) Galatians 5:19, 23; Acts 26:18 Hebrews 1:3, 2:14; Romans 1:16, b) Romans 5:19, c) aka “sin”, d) Hebrews 4:15, e) Hebrews 2:17, f) 1 John 2:2, g) 1 John 4:10.

 

Propitiation is what occurred at the yearly “Day of Atonement” on top of the golden-lid or mercy-seat of the Ark of the Covenant, between the wings of the two golden cherubim to “pass over former sins” until Christ could do it in person on His cross (a), and no longer every year as the OT prescribed!  Hebrews 10:1-18 explains:  “But we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all . . . for when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God . . . for by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are being made holy.  And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us, for after saying:  ‘This is the [completely New in kind] Covenant that I will make with them . . . I will put My laws on their hearts and write them on their minds,’ then He adds:  ‘I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.’  Where there is forgiveness of these, there is not longer any offering for sin” (b) – see the New Covenant Ways page. <Notes> a) Roman 3:25, b) Hebrews 8:10-12; Romans 11:27; Jeremiah 31:31-34.

 

As Christian musicians, the only we can be made holy from God’s point of view and see that holiness from our point of view, is through the divine exchange of Christ’s obedience, self-control, righteousness, and holiness, for our lack.

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control

Surrender Control – BT1

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It really is all about control

 

 

Please follow the BLOG Etiquette to stay on topic and pass the moderator’s check.  Bold, underlined text below = future links to the BLOG pages.

 

The great battle is between our self-control and the Lord’s.  The Greek NT noun egkrateia, verb egkrateuomai, and adjective egkrates mean “dominion exercised from within ourselves, not by others, so it’s often translated as self-control, self-restraint, self-mastery, or continence.”  It’s only used positively 1 time in the NT concerning the natural man and that’s in 1 Corinthians 9:25 concerning the Greek Olympic Games:  “Each competitor must exercise self-control in everything.  They do it to receive a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one.”  The athletes controlled their diet, sleep, exercise, and were abstinent from sex.  Paul admired this drive!  But He knew most men all too well.  In 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 his advice to “the unmarried and widows is to remain as I am [single].  But if they don’t have self-control, let them get married, for it is better to marry than to burn [with sexual desire].”  We will return later to the 1 positive use of this word in the NT, but let’s look at the general aspect of “dominion exercised from within” ourselves.

 

For the natural man or a fleshly Christian, the “dominion within ourselves” is the dominion of man’s naturally-enabling “power” of Zechariah 4:6’s “might and power.”  Regarding this “power,” the Hebrew koach and Greek ischus refer in context to man’s “endowed, already-possessed, ‘held-onto,’ combat-ready power that stays or ‘holds on,’ which is thus an internal capacity of firmness, vigor, strength, might, ability, efficiency, force, and power or control over external things.”  Can you see how all these words mean the same thing?  Let’s see how the NT uses this idea.

 

The Greek noun ischus isn’t used as much in the NT.  Three times it’s used by Jesus, once quoting the OT about unconditionally-loving God with all your inner power, and the cunning scribe reply (a).  2 Peter 2:11 speaks of the inner power of angels.  Revelation 5:12, 7:12 and 2 Thessalonians 1:9 use this word to describe this glorious inner power of the Lord, but we are to be strengthened by His inner power (b), and that the Father’s incomparable greatness of external dunamis enabling-power toward us who believe is displayed in the exercise of His immense internal ischus power (c) – that’s God’s solution to man’s “might and power” in Zechariah 4:6.  Finally 1 Peter 4:11 regarding the exercising the Spirit’s grace-gifts advises:  “Whoever speaks, let it be with the divine oracles (d).  Whoever serves, do so with the inner power that God supplies, so that in everything God will be glorified through Jesus Christ.” <Notes> a) Mark 12:30, 33; Luke 10:27, b) Ephesians 6:10, c) Ephesians 1:19, d) logion: uttered prophetic messages of the directly-spoken/heard prophetic rhema words of God – see Coaches and Facilitators, Prophetic Rhema, Teach One Another, and Might & Power pages.

 

The corresponding Greek verb ischuo for “inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do, perform, or accomplish” isn’t used that much either in the NT.  Often it is used negatively for man’s absolute-in-fact inability to accomplish something.  The Pharisees absolutely in fact couldn’t reply to Jesus’ accusations or trap Him (a), just as the Jews weren’t able to prove their case against Paul (b).  Jesus warned people who wanted to follow Him as a disciple that if they weren’t “all in” by “carrying their cross,” they would be like people who want to build a tower without first computing the cost to see if they had enough money to complete it, so with an unfinished tower they would be laughed at, saying: “This man began to build but was not inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do it unto completion” (c).  Jesus warned:  “Exert every effort to enter [the kingdom] through the narrow door, because a multitude, I tell you, will try to enter and/coupled shall actually absolutely in fact not be inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do this” (d).  Can you believe that Jesus asked His disciples 3 times to stay awake and “watch in proseuche conversational-prayer” with Him for 1 hour and 3 times they fell asleep?  He said, “What’s this?  You absolutely in fact could not be inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do by watching with Me for one hour” (g)?  Jesus spoke often of the “inherent weakness, feebleness, impotence, worthlessness, uselessness, and failure of the sarx flesh” (f). <Notes> a) Luke 14:5, 20:26, b) Acts 25:7, c) Luke 14:27-30, d) Luke 13:24, e) Luke 13:24, f) Matthew 26:41; John 6:63, g) Matthew 26:40; Mark 14:37.

 

But if Christians turn back from NT unconditional-favor-of-grace to the OT Torah Law of conditional-favor, we will quickly loose our ishus inner power.  The problem with legalistic Christianity is that the old covenant Law is a “yoke [of slavery] upon the necks of the disciples which neither our forefathers nor we (apostles) were inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do to bear” (a).  Jesus gives a warning to Christians who disconnect from the Holy Spirit of Christ (b) and try to do it on their own:  “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt becomes flavorless, how can it be made salty again?  Henceforth it is absolutely in fact inwardly-powerfully-enabledto-do for nothing but to be cast out [onto the roads or fields] to be trodden under foot by men.” <Notes> a) Acts 15:10, b) John 15:1-11.

 

Now look at the powerful effect of the Lord’s Spirit!  Jesus said in Luke 6:47-48, “Everyone who comes to Me and listens to understand My logos gospel messages and/coupled routinely does them, I will show you what he is like:  He is like a man building a house, who dug down deep, and laid the foundation on petra bedrock.  When a flood came, the river burst against the house, but it was absolutely in fact not inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do shaking it, for it was founded upon a petra bedrock.”  Jesus is often referred to as the petra bedrock that the Church is built on (a).  It’s sure not Peter (b), contrary to what the Catholic Church believes – see The Great Wall quenching the Spirit in the Church. <Notes> a) Matthew 16:18; 1 Corinthians 10:4; 1 Peter 2:8; Romans 9:33, b) petros means little inconsequential stone.

 

The logos gospel message of The Truth is that the Holy Spirit is now our external dunamis dynamite-like’ enabling-power that lives within us!  Paul testified in Philippians 4:13 that he “can be inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do all things through the One who is routinely externally dunamis empowering me.”  After the burning of the witchcraft books, Acts 19:20 says: “In this way the logos gospel message of the Lord continued to grow in manifested kratos might and/thus was continually inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do [keep] doing.”  Concerning the irrelevancy of the Torah Law of conditional-favor based on obedience to commandments, Paul says in Galatians 5:6 “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumcision actually, ongoingly is inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do [keep] doing (avail) but instead trusting-relying-faith (a) thru-the-realizing-channel-of unconditional-love routinely working.” James 5:16 promises that “the effectual fervent supplication (b) of a righteous man actually, ongoingly, is inwardly-powerfully-enabled-to-do [keep] doing (avail) much.”  <Notes> a) pistis: relational conviction of trusting reliance, b) deesis.

 

Now let’s return to the 1 positive use of egkrateia, verb egkrateuomai, and adjective egkrates in the NT regarding the natural man, as it means “dominion exercised from within ourselves, thus self-control, self-restraint, self-mastery, or continence.”  Because the New Covenant is completely different-in-kind by definition (c) and context, it’s no wonder that these 3 Greek words are used almost exclusively of the self-control of the Holy Spirit, described as a “flavor” of the [singular] fruit (a) of the Holy Spirit who is unconditional-love (b). <Notes> a) karpos: essence or nature, b) Galatians 5:22-23, c) chadash, kainos: fresh, completely different-in-kind, unprecedented, sharing nothing with its predecessors, unique, and superior.

 

So in Titus 1:8 when Paul talks about the qualifications of elders, overseers, or shepherds (a) being “self-controlled,” He is primarily talking about the Spirit’s character “exercising mastery within” them, dwelling within their body as a temple of God to control their humanly passions (b).  When 2 Peter 1:4 talks about “becoming koinonia partakers of the divine nature after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced through lust,” he advises Christians who are spiritually “connected to the Vine of Christ” (c) “for this very reason to make every effort to add to their trusting-relying-faith . . . self-control . . . and finally unconditional-love.  For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and/coupled unproductive in the genuine, experiential, relational epignosis knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  These are all supernatural abilities accomplished in/by/with the Spirit as we continue in this special kind of knowledge of God. <Notes> a) all the same group of men – see Body Ministry-BT2, b) 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, c) John 15:1-11.

 

However, negatively in Acts 24:25 Paul often spoke of righteousness, [the lack of] self-control, and the coming judgment, which definitely frightens some!  That is exactly the logos gospel message of The Truth as Jesus explains in John 16:7-11:  “When the Holy Spirit comes after I go away (e), He will convict the [unbelieving] world (a) of sin (b) and/coupled righteousness (c) and/coupled judgment (d).”  There simply must be a divine exchange of our lack of self-control, which results in our sin and unrighteousness and Day of Judgment to come.  There must me a divine exchange of all that failure for the self-control of Jesus Christ successfully accomplished on the cross!  And this exchange occurs in the surrender of public confession! <Notes> a) kosmos in context are unbelievers, not Christians who are not of this world anymore than Christ is, b) “because they don’t believe in Me,” sin results because of the lack of self-control, c) “because I am leaving” – Jesus, the Holy and Righteous One, was leaving – Acts 3:14; Jeremiah 23:6, 33:16, d) “because the ruler of this unbelieving world is judged,” which means the unbelieving world with him – John 3:18, e) this happened on the Day of Pentecost.

 

Music Reflection:

 

 

As Christian musicians, we can’t “play the fence” between God’s mastery of us and our instrument and our own.  If we want the former, we have to surrender the latter.  That’s what making “Jesus as Lord” is all about – not just at our public confession of The Faith during water-baptism, but our daily private confession.  If we want the “By My Spirit” dynamite-like power of the Lord, then we have to give up our own “might and power.”  Holiness doesn’t come by our Christian work, but by surrender to the Spirit of holiness – we must become intimate partners of the divine nature through intimate relationship.

 

Prayer:

 

 

Lord, I will no longer fight You for who is supposed to have control of me.  I am no longer “captain of my own ship” after I gave my life to You when I publicly confessed “Jesus is Lord” and was water-baptized for salvation.  I confess that I have lacked self-control my whole life, often saying “yes” to my own desires over Yours.  I’ve also had pride in my own “might and power” external resources and internal abilities, and claimed to have self-mastery over many things, even in my zeal to live as a Christian.  But I know that You “oppose the proud but give grace to the humble.”  Therefore, I gladly lay down my fleshly resources and abilities, even my many failures, in exchange or propitiation for the perfect self-mastery of Christ and the dynamite, enabling-power of His Spirit of holiness.

 

Lord, I know that attempting to do even 1 of the 613 Old Testament laws obligates me to do all of them, but the “Law multiplies sin,” thus making it “the Law of sin and death.”  No, I will not keep working on how to be more “right with You.”  Instead I will fully surrender by trusting-relying-faith in Your mercy and grace through the blood of Jesus Christ.  I “will NOT lean on my own understanding, but in all my ways lean on You to make my paths straight and smooth.”

 

Lord, I know that “self-control” is a final “flavor” or “by-product” of the singular fruit or nature of the Holy Spirit that is unconditional-love, so instead of striving for my own “self-mastery,” I will strive to be “filled with all the abundance unconditional-love of God by the means of the Holy Spirit.”  Then I will have “Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and yes, Self-Mastery.”  Therefore, I know in order to have godliness and holiness I must be filled to overflowing by the Holy Spirit.  I know that “partaking in the divine nature to escape worldly corruption that is produced through lust” can only come through intimate fellowship through genuine, experiential, relational epignosko knowledge of You.

 

Lord, I trust that I am “Your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which You prepared beforehand, that I should walk in them” and so “I exercise down-from-above my salvation with ‘fear and trembling’ reverential-amazement that it is You who works in me both to desire and to do Your good pleasure.”  How incredible You are to “take the muscles I tore down in the gym while exercising and rebuild them stronger during the time I am peacefully resting and asleep.”  Now that’s the unconditional-favor-of-grace!  What an awesome God!

 

 

 

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Categories: Surrender Control