educate equip enable
Col 1:9-10 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; (10) that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
This Scripture is talking about an intimate knowledge.
I know theoretically how an engine works. The fuel gets fed into the cylinder, there's a spark, the fuel ignites and the piston moves up and down. But there's a big difference between that and knowing how to take that same engine apart and put it back together again.
We're going to look at each person of the Godhead and see the different facets of God that each one teaches us.
John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.
Those who are born of the Spirit take on the characteristics of the Spirit.
What are those characteristics?
John 3:8 The wind (pneuma) blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit (pneumatos).
Pneuma - from a root word which "denotes dynamic movement of the air"1 - wind.
The Holy Spirit is just like the wind - He is mysterious.
Even the Bible, while it gives us lots of information on what He does, it doesn't tell us much about what He is like.
We ought not to think that just because we have a Bible that we know everything about God there is to know.
Because there is so much to know.
Paul understood this aspect of God's nature when he said: Rom 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Ps 145:3 Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable.
Is 40:28 Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.
God is immense, and for that reason He is mysterious to us in many ways.
Holiness doesn't mean that everyone has to talk in a particular way, or wear the same style of clothing, or have the same haircut.
Holiness has all sorts of connotations, but simply put it means separated.
The Holy Spirit is separated from sin, from unrighteousness, from evil.
If we are to be holy, then we must also be separated from those things.
In practical terms, holiness means to love what God loves and to hate what God hates.
And keep ourselves separated to righteousness, and from sin and evil.
John 16:13-14 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. (14) He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.
The Holy Spirit does not put His own interests first - but the interests of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That's how we should be too.
Jesus was slapped, punched, beaten with rods, scourged mercilessly, forced to carry His cross, ridiculed, nailed to a cross - hands and feet. The more He sagged, the more His weight increased the pressure of the nails inside His wrists. To alleviate the excruciating pain, He had to push up with His legs, meaning that His weight transferred to His feet. Then came the throbbing cramps rushing through His muscles, making it extremely difficult to push upward to breathe. He could inhale, but not exhale. As carbon dioxide collected in His lungs and blood stream, the cramps lessened and He was able, irregularly, to push up again to breathe. All the while, the skin on His back was being ripped as He pushed up and down against the cross. Then He experienced chest pain as serum filled the pericardium compressing the heart. Finally, there was death.
This is the self-sacrificing nature of God.
I figured that the accusation could easily be made that God does not possess courage.
Because since God can do anything, He doesn't need courage.
That might sound reasonable, except for Jesus.
If ever there was someone who displayed courage it was Him.
Matt 26:51-53 At Jesus' arrest, someone with Jesus drew his sword and struck the high priest's servant.
Jesus knew what was going to happen to Him yet ...
Mat 26:52-53 But Jesus said to him, "Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. (53) Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?"
Twelve legions! - a Roman legion was 6,0002.
That's at least 72,000 angels at His disposal!
But He didn't call them - because of courage.
Here's another example of His courage.
Rom 6:23 For the wages of sin is death ...
Rom 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned;
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Death comes about because of sin, but Jesus never sinned.
So it was impossible for anyone to kill Him - He had to lay down His life of His own accord.
John 10:17-18 Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. (18) No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.
He suffered the most horrific beating, whipping, (many people died from the whipping alone) torture and crucifixion.
At any time, He could have said, "That's it. I've had enough. These losers aren't worth it."
What made Jesus tough it out when He could easily have gotten divine help, or died too soon?
What made Jesus stick at it when He could easily have allowed Himself to die after the scourging?
Love, certainly - but it was also raw courage.
61% of the households in America today are fatherless! 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. 85% of all children that exhibit behavioural disorders come from fatherless homes. 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes. 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes. 75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse come from fatherless homes. 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions come from fatherless homes. 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.3
There's a crisis of fatherhood in the Western world, so that fatherhood is not really understood.
Power is the ability to come up with the goods.
God has the power to back up anything He says.
1 Pet 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
That word - kept - means to protect or guard4.
You would expect a father to provide for his family.
In fact, 1 Tim 5:8 says, "But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever."
God, as a Father, provides for His own.