October 18, 2015

Spiritual Words – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,” (Colossians 1:9)

Greek words were chosen under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to reveal the mind of God to Christians.

“For to us God revealed them through the Spirit;…which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (I Corinthians 2:10, 13)

Greek dictionaries (lexicons) can be useful in understanding these precious words, which sometimes do not have perfect one-word equivalents in English.

Paul prayed for the brethren in Colossae, an ancient city of Phrygia, a part of Asia Minor that is now Turkey. He prayed that they would be “filled” with the knowledge of God’s will.

Under the guidance of the Spirit Paul expressed this idea with the Greek word pleroo (filled). The Greek lexicon by Thayer defines the word:

“to render full, i.e. to complete; a. properly, to fill up to the top: so that nothing shall be lacking to full measure, fill to the brim”.

Another lexicon says:

to make full, fill (full)… a ship’s sail filled out by the wind…fill someone’s heart, i.e. take full possession of it” (BDAG)

Today’s religionists, practicing human traditions for their religion, emphasize the surpassing importance of “feelings” which are supposed to reassure and guarantee approval. Paul’s prayer presents a different perspective. Christians will be filled with more joyous, confident feelings when they know that what they are doing is God’s will.

That comes from epignosis (knowledge), another spiritual word used by Paul. Thayer says it means:

“precise and correct knowledge; used in the N.T. of the knowledge of things ethical and divine: absolutely,”

Paul is praying that they be “filled to the top” so that absolutely “precise and correct” knowledge has no more space to fill. False teachers hope you rely on feelings. Can you see the difference and can you understand why?

Paul said the brethren in Rome were full of the goodness that was guided by epiginosis (knowledge).

I myself also am convinced that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able also to admonish one another.” (Romans15:14)

Peter says that epignosis (knowledge) was the means by which He…

“has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us…For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent  promises, so that by them you may become  partakers of the divine nature,…” (II Peter 1:3-4)

This perfect and complete knowledge of His will, with which we are to be filled to the brim, includes the wisdom, (sophia) to use the knowledge. Thayer’s lexicon defines:

“wisdom, broad and full intelligence …the varied knowledge of things human and divine,…the science and learningskill in the management of affairs,…skill and discretion in imparting Christian truth,…the knowledge and skill in affairs requisite for the successful defense of the Christian cause against hostile accusations,”

Paul use this word when he instructs the Ephesians about…

“…the riches of His grace which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight” (Ephesians 1:7-8)

The wonderful knowledge and wisdom that God has provided for us includes sunesis (understanding). The lexicon BDAG defines:

“1. the faculty of comprehension, intelligence, acuteness, shrewdness”

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all Christians were filled with this, in addition to knowledge and wisdom? Would it make a difference? Maybe we need to spend more time praying Paul’s prayer. Paul tells Timothy that sunesis (understanding) is available from an additional source.

“Consider what I say, for the Lord will give you understanding in everything.” (II Timothy 2:7)

Pray and consider (study) what has been revealed. It will make a marvelous difference.

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris III

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