Seed picking with Philosophers

 

Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, “What does this babbler want to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods,” because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection. Acts 17:18 NKJV.

Babbler, spermologos, Strong’s #4691: Athenian slang for:

  1. A bird that picks up seeds;
  2. Men lounging around the marketplace, making a living by picking up whatever falls from the loads of merchandise;
  3. A babbler, chatterer, or gossip retailing bits and pieces of misinformation;
  4. A pseudo-intellectual who insists on spouting off.

Tragically, the super-intellectuals on Mars Hill failed to see in Paul all the necessary ingredients for being a truth bringer.

Epicureanism (seeking tranquility as the highest good) and Stoicism (being free passion and passively accepting everything in life as inevitable, impersonal fate) were popular philosophies.

 

 

The Elephant in the Room

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.” “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.” “All these evil things come from within and defile a man.” Mark 7:20-23 N.K.J.V.

Pride, huperephania, Strong’s #5243 Twelfth on the list of thirteen inner vices, the word means haughtiness (blatantly and disdainfully proud) arrogance (an attitude of superiority manifested in an overbearing manner) ostentatious pride bordering insolence, and disdainful attitude toward others.

It is a pharisaical sin characterized by superiority of attitude. It is a state of pride that is the very opposite of Jesus’ claim for Himself, meek (praotes) and lowly (tapeinos).

When the Elephant in My Room is Pride

The Bible is clear on pride.  Pride is not from God but from the world (1 John 2:16).  Pride will bring us down (Prov. 29:23; 16:18) and bring disgrace (Prov. 11:2).  Jesus said that it is one of the defiling expressions of a heart opposed to God (Mark 7:22).  It is one of those pervasive heart problems that can drive a life like few other struggles can. It can even drive good things we do in ministry.

Any thoughts?

Will your mind and heart stand up under examination?

I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who examines the minds and hearts. And will give to each one of you according to your works.” Revelation 2:23.

Hearts, kardia, Strong’s # 2588 is from a root word meaning “to quiver” or “to palpitate.” The physical organ of the boy, the center of physical life, the seat of one’s personal life (both physical and spiritual), the center of one’s personality, the seat of one’s entire mental and moral activity, containing both rational and emotional elements.revelation2v23

It is the seat of feelings, desires, joy, pain, and love. It is also the center for thought, understanding and will. The human heart is the dwelling place of the Lord and Holy Spirit. In verse 23, the omniscient Lord sees into the innermost being where all decisions concerning Him are made.

Are You exercising Your Spiritual Ministry With Authority?

 

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the circumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting (certificate of debt with its) requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And having taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the Cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:13-15.29bd8d64cafbe4926a698eade7ed45db

Wiped out, exaleipho, Strong’s # 1813. From ek, “out,” and aleipho, “to anoint”; to wipe out, wipe off, wash. Use metaphorically, the word means a removal or obliteration, whether of sins (Acts 3:19), of writing (Col. 2:14), of a name (Rev. 3:5), or of tears (Rev.21:4).

Jesus Christ’s triumph over sin and evil powers was accomplished in “it”—that is in the Cross. This text, joined to and studied beside others (Eph. 2:13-16; Gal. 3:13,14; 2 Cor. 5:14-17; Rom. 5:6-15; and Rev. 12:10,11), firmly establishes Jesus suffering, shed blood, sacrificial death, and resurrection triumph as the only adequate and available grounds for ransom from sin, reconciliation to God, redemption from slavery, and restoration. The Cross is the sole hope and means for full reinstatement to relationship with God and ruler ship under Him –to “reign in life” (Rom. 5:17).

Two points need to be expressed to avoid presumption or imbalance.

  1. God’s sovereign authority and almighty power is the source from which mankind derives any ability to share in the exercise of God’s kingdom power.
  2. But even more important, seeing sinful, fallen man had lost all claim to his early privilege of ruler ship under God, let us remember the grounds upon which all kingdom privilege or power may be restored and by which such spiritual ministry with authority may be exercised.

Can a man change a man—short answer-NO, only Jesus can change a man.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 NKJV.

Renewal, Anakainosis, Strongs#342, a renewing or a renovation which makes a person different than in the past.butterfly

To “renew” is “to renovate” implying a restoration to freshness or to an original state. It implies the potential of redemption’s power to reinstate features of God’s original intention for humanity and a recovery of many potentialities of the soul as designed before the fall.

The mind speaks to the intellect or understanding, but also includes all that is described in the word “mind-set,” that is, the feelings (emotions) and the will (a group as a definition of the soul, mind, will, emotions). Being “transformed” by the renewal of the mind indicates a literal “change in the form or formulas of thought or being.”

This speaks of redemption’s provision of power to instill godliness in us—a power that transforms:

  1. Our thoughts, which lead to formulating
  2. Our purposes, which proceed to dictate our actions; and, so,
  3. Our actions become character-determining habits, shaping the life and setting the course for the future.

The path to godly living is not some complex plan, nor is it energized by the flesh, but it does call the believer to willing submission to the Father’s provision and ways.

Seeing the invisible: Therefore, we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing yet the inward man is being renewed day by day (speaks to a process over time) 2 Cor. 4:16.

And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Col. 3:10. By your patience possess your souls. Luke 21:19.

Seek the one who can transform a man Jesus.

 

 

Justification through the Blood, Sanctification through the Spirit.

He-is-Risen

Being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Romans 3:24-26 KJV.

Redemption, apolutrosis, Strong’s #629. “To deliver by paying a price.” The N.T. records the fulfillment of the O.T. types and prophecies of redemption through the sacrifice of Christ. The completed truth is set forth in the three words which are translated redemption:

  1. Agorazo, “to purchase in the market.” The underlying thought is of a slave market. The subjects of redemption are “sold under sin” (Romans 7:14), but are moreover, under sentence of death (Ezk. 18:4; John 3:18, 19; Rom.3:19; Gal.3:10). And the purchase price is the blood of Redeemer who dies in their stead (Gal.3:13; 2Cor.5:21; Mat. 20:28; Mk. 10:45; 1 Tim. 2:6; 1Pet.1:18).
  2. Exagorazo, “to buy out of the market.” The redeemed are never again to be exposed to sale.
  3. Lutro, “To loose,” “To set free by paying a price (John 8:32; Gal.4:4,5, 31,5:31Rom.8:21). Redemption is by sacrifice and by power (Ex. 14:30); Christ paid the price, The Holy Spirit makes deliverance actual in experience (Rom.8:2).

He is our Redemption, He is Risen, let us rejoice.

Character is the backbone of the soul

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation tend days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10 NKJV.

Tested, peirazo, Strong’s # 3985. To explore, test, try, assay, examine, prove, attempt, tempt. The word describes the testing of the believer’s loyalty, strength, opinions, disposition, condition, faith, patience, or character. Peirazo determines which way one is going and what one is made of.  Tested in a good sense John 6:6; 2 Corinthians 13:5; Heb. 11:17 and in a bad sense Matthew 16:1; 22:18; 1 Corinthians 10:9.

A current example of the latter is found in the cesspool of our highly payed branches of organized government the Kleptocracy.

quote-much-of-a-man-s-character-will-be-found-betokened-in-his-backbone-i-would-rather-feel-herman-melville-123-39-32

Do you answer to the Heebie-Jeebies?

heebiejeebies

For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV.

Sound mind, sophronismos, Strong’s # 4995: combination of sos, “safe,”and phren “the mind”; thus, safe-thinking. The word means good judgment, disciplined thought patterns, and the ability to understand and make right decisions. It includes the qualities of self-control and self-discipline.

The spirit of fear may find a place by reason of one’s natural temperament, but it is not merely a human mentality; it is not from God; and it can immobilize and torment its victims, making them feel powerless and alone (1 John 4:18).

Indecision or wrong decisions are then made that could give place to bondage and great human suffering. In the face of fear, we are to remember our calling from God (2 Tim. 1 :6). We have within us:

  1. The power of God, through the Holy Spirit, enabling us to no longer be victims (our text);
  2. The perfect love of God, poured into our lives through Jesus Christ and His abiding presence (Rom. 5:5);
  3. The mind of Christ by which we can apply the ways of God in making “sound” choices (2 Tim.1:7).

Applying this truth determines whether we overcome fear or are overcome by it (1 John 5:4).

 

Can we say, “We joyfully accepted the plundering of our goods?”

Not in America, certainly not in our churchs.The plundering is coming ready or not. Can we say what the Apostle Paul wrote in the tenth chapter of Hebrews?

But recall the former days in which, after you were enlightened, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and enduring possession for your selves in heaven. Hebrews 10:32-36.

Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise.

Endurance, hupomone, Strong’s # 5281: Constancy, perseverance, continuance, bearing up, steadfastness, holding out, patient endurance. The word combines hupo, “under,” and mone, “to remain.”

pers

 

Hupomone is associated with hope. Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father 1 Thess. 1:3 NKJV.

Hupomone refers to the quality that does not surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial. It is the capacity to continue to bear up under difficult circumstances, not with a passive complacency, but with a hopeful fortitude that actively resists weariness and defeat.

What do you think?

God is a great dancer

Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name. For His anger is but for a moment, His favor (grace) is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalm 30:4, 5 NKJV.

Verse 5 gives a good example of contrasting parallelism common in Hebrew poems.

Joy, rinnah, and Strong’s # 7440 this is a shout of rejoicing; shouting; loud cheering in triumph; singing. The description of rinnah is one of joyful shouting at the time of a great victory. Proverbs 11:10, rinnah describes the jubilation of the righteous when the wicked are eliminated.

Zephaniah 3:17 literally says that God will dance over His beloved people with singing or a shout of joy. Rinnah may best be illustrated by the testimony of the redeemed, returning from captivity.

Life in this verse equal lifetime. The plague lasted all day, so the night was full of weeping. Endure literally “lodge as a guest.” Some awesome parallelisms indeed.

dance20of20grace

Artists comments: ”The Dance of Grace is not intended to be an illustration of a moment in the life of Jesus 2000 years ago, but rather a present depiction of the delight and celebration which He invites everyone to join in the present.
Let Him do as only He can – and join in the celebration of His love and the Dance of Grace.”
~ Mark Keathley

What do you think?

Aside

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