Expositional commentary on Scripture using an inductive exegetical methodology intent upon confronting the lives of Christians with the dogmatic Truths of God's inspired Words opposing Calvinism and Arminianism, Biblical commentary, doctrine of grace enablement, understanding holiness and wisdom and selfishness, in-depth Bible studies, adult Bible Study books and Sunday School materials Dr. Lance T. Ketchum Line Upon Line: Synergism: Opening The Door to God’s Indwelling Power

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Synergism: Opening The Door to God’s Indwelling Power

Chapter One

God’s Distribution of Power to Us in the Indwelling Holy Spirit

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” (II Peter 1:1-11).

I have known many people in my life time that the world would consider to be great Christians. Yet, in all of those many souls, I believe only a handful of them manifested the power of God in their lives. I am talking about great prayer warriors, great soul winners, and people who really lived and walked in the power of the indwelling Spirit of God. These were people that the Devil knew their names and trembled in fear when they got on their knees before God. These were people who lived their lives in the center of the spiritual storms and battles of this life. Spiritual difficulties were constant in their lives because they were in the center of the will of God and they daily fought in a warfare most Christians try to avoid at any cost. They experienced the warfare of satanic opposition, but most importantly, they knew the power of the presence of God in their lives and lived in fellowship with Him.

When the believing sinner is “born again” of the Spirit of God “by grace through faith,” he is removed from the cursed family of Adam and baptized into the family of God. This baptism is referred to theologically as the baptism with the Spirit. This once-for-all act of the Spirit of God happens instantaneously and synchronously with a decision of faith to trust in Christ. The believer is baptized with the Spirit of God into the body of Christ. This body of Christ is “the regeneration” (Matthew 19:28) and is what gives the believer a position of both great power with God and responsibility “in Christ.”

Peter says in II Peter 1:2, “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” God’s grace is the greatest treasure of the Christian life given to us freely and without reservation or limitation. The word “grace” is translated from the Greek word charis (khar'-ece). Grace refers to the divine influence upon the heart, and the reflection of that divine influence in a person’s life.

This is a very basic definition of God’s grace. Scripturally and theologically, grace is best defined by the manifestations of God’s power in and through the lives of His people throughout Old Testament books such as Exodus, Joshua, and Judges. Grace is manifested and defined by the miracles of God in the lives of men like Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel. These men were shown to have power with God. They spoke and God acted in response to their words because they lived in such a union with God, their wills and God’s will were almost identical. This is what is necessary to see the power of God in anyone’s life. This is what defines revival. Power with God (synergism) is nothing more than the manifestation of a right relationship with God. If you do not see the power, you do not have a right relationship with God. Since God does not change, the conditions for power with God do not change.

The word “grace” refers to this supernatural empowering or working of God in and through the lives of believers. The word “multiplied” in II Peter 1:2 is from the Greek word plethuno (play-thoo'-no). The Greek word pletho (play'-tho) means to fill. The Greek word plethos (play'-thos ) means fullness or multitude. In Ephesians 5:18, where Paul says, “ . . . be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit,” the word “filled” is the Greek word pleroo (play-ro'-o), which means to cram full. Whatever God fills, He fills to abundance. Whatever God fills, He fills to overflowing. King David knew and experienced this multiplied grace of God in his life.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over” (Psalm 23:4-5).

Notice that this overflowing, multiplied grace of God is “multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.” The word “knowledge” is not mere intellectual knowledge of facts or theology. The failure to understand the meaning of this word is why so many people fail to ever see the power of God in their lives. “Knowledge” here is from the Greek word epignosis (ep-ig'-no-sis). Gnosis is the word used for mere intellectual knowledge. For instance, I know the formula E=MC2. However, to know it and understand the depth of its meaning and significance in the realm of Physics and Quantum Mechanics is another kind of knowledge altogether. Epignosis refers to a full, complete, intimate knowledge of something or someone. In regards to people, it is used of the most intimate of relationships. It is this intimate relationship with God that defines the source of empowering knowledge.

Here is why few Christians ever have this overflowing, multiplied grace of God in their lives manifested by power with God in answers to prayer, power with God in producing the fruit of the Spirit, and power with God in seeing souls brought to Christ and discipled to His glory. They are just not yielded to God’s will in the way that produces this intimate union where the power of the Spirit of God simply overflows through their lives. Notice how Paul speaks of this supernatural power of God in I Corinthians 12:1-13.

1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. 12 For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. 13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:1-13).

The word “spiritual” in I Corinthians 12:1 is from the Greek word pneumatikos (pnyoo-mat-ik-os'). The word “gifts” is italicized in our KJV, meaning it is not in the original Greek text, but is added for clarification. A literal translation would be “concerning spirituals.” The word pneumatikos refers to something far beyond the normal. It refers to something supernatural or ethereal. The word pneumatikos refers to things, works, or actions that cannot be produced by human wisdom, great talents, or abilities. No matter how good, talented, intelligent, or great a person might be, he cannot produce “spirituals” through his life apart from an intimate knowledge/relationship with God.

Streaming Audio and Down Loadable MP3 available at link below:

Anonymous comments will not be allowed.

No comments: