Thursday July 16, 2020
EPH 3:14-19: The indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Christ.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men, but as wise, 16 making the most of [redeeming] your time, because the days are evil [surrounded by evil]. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation [asotia: an abandoned dissolute life (Thayer)], but be filled with the Spirit
This life of wisdom and redeemed time filled with the Spirit results in harmony in the body of Christ and great joy in the heart of the believer…
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; 20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; 21 and be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.
The life of dissipation (asotia: abandoned, reckless, senseless, dissolute) is a life outside of God’s values (wise life, Spirit filled life) in which we “redeem” our time.
There are a number of deep truths involved in this. It is deeper than merely doing good works when we should and resisting bad works or sin when we are tempted by them. We must follow the commands, but there is a deeper aspect of that truth, which is the reason for doing so.
As I learn more about the functioning of the world, a world trying to free itself from the absolute authority of God, I can see more clearly why the Christian way of life is the only way. It’s not that we need sin and evil to be able to see truth. We will continue to learn of truth in heaven when all sin and evil are gone forever. It’s just that we live and a dark world and since we, the body of Christ, have walked through the narrow gate into life, we have been given the great blessing of seeing the light, God’s glory. We can’t help looking back at the world we left, and in contrast to the light, we see it very differently. When we look at darkness again and again, as we gain more understanding of light, we can see more deeply why light and glory are what they are.
The world of men trying to get away from the authority of God and create their own values, their own morality, have a common cause. They seek to control themselves, their destiny, and even nature.
I imagine the first great scientists to be lovers of knowledge. They weren’t, in that aspect, any different than alchemists or magicians. It’s just that the latter two didn’t work. To explore out of a love of knowledge is to be like a child exploring an unknown cave or attic. To the contrary, modern science is a quest for control of nature; to manipulate nature to our own control so that we can use it for money or power. The first explorations of the atom were out of pure curiosity. Some of the further explorations of the atom were to make bombs out of it. There is something to this. Man seeks control of himself and his world. He seeks then to manipulate himself and his world into his own design and purpose. This is what Satan has been attempting. When man does this, and he does so right in the face of God’s good purposes, he loses his humanity. He was made in the image of God after all.
The answer isn’t to get rid of science and go back to the stone-age. What is the difference when a man seeks to explore nature out of pure love of knowledge? He is not trying to control it or change it. It is something he only wants to know about.
What is the difference when man explores himself for the sake of understanding rather than trying to make his own desired outcome? He only wants to know himself. The same is true in man’s desire to know God.
The point I’m getting at in all this is that when man is subject to what has forever been true, he finds himself. When he desires to control himself and his world, he loses himself. He only makes lies and tells himself they are true. He becomes an animal propelled by impulse. His time, his walk through life becomes asotia: senseless, reckless, abandoned.
To find ourselves we must first submit to the gospel and then submit to the value of life that is Christ. And when we do, we will discover all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hidden in Him.
To find ourselves, to find life, we must be subject to that which has always been true and not make our own truth. In this way we find a real secret: life is truth. “In the beginning was the Word.” Outside of truth we lose what makes life, zoe not bios, possible.
To live, we must be under the control of God and not try and take control. And, as we have noted again and again, letting God take control doesn’t mean that we, our decisions, lose control. We don’t let go in some fashion or ritual and become remote controlled robots. That’s not life. AI will never become alive. We let God take control by obeying His way.
We actively take part in letting God’s rule take precedent by obeying Him in all things: you were called to be holy, 1PE 1:15.
We see this very thing in the introduction to the Book of Psalms, which are the first two psalms.
1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked [unbeliever, ungodly],
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
3 And he will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season,
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.
The simile is a tree representing a flourishing and fruitful life. The water is the word of God constantly feeding the individual (tree).
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth.
4 The wicked are not so,
But they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
Nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.
6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
But the way of the wicked will perish.
Psa 1 begins by reminding the reader that those who order their lives by God’s word will find success in this life: they will find life. Those who reject life under the authority of God’s word will be like wind or chaff - vanity, senseless, meaningless.
Chaff has no value. It is the husk separated from the grain by being thrown up in the air from the threshing floor with a winnowing fork. The gathering of the grain apart from the chaff was always a time of great celebration.
This, along with Psa 2, the salvation that the righteous have in their divinely chosen King, is the theme of the entire psalter.
The word “law” is torah. It is related to its verb yarah, which means “to show, point, direct.” That verb in the qal stem was used for shooting arrows or rain shooting down. In the hiphil it means to point the way, as in pointing out to Moses a tree that would make the bitter waters sweet.
Both meanings of yarah [verb of torah or law] 1) pointing out and 2) shooting a straight arrow, give to us the richer meaning of God’s law: pointing out to us the straight and narrow path.
Notice in vs. 2 that the law is his delight. In Psa 19 the law is sweeter than honey and opened the way to a full and happy life.
1 Why are the nations in an uproar,
And the peoples devising a vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth take their stand,
And the rulers take counsel together
Against the Lord and against His
3 "Let us tear their [God the Father and Son] fetters apart,
And cast away their cords from us!"
4 He who sits in the heavens [opposed to “kings of the earth”] laughs,
The Lord scoffs at them.
5 Then He will speak to them in His anger
And terrify them in His fury: [they will be judged]
6 "But as for Me, I have installed My King
Upon Zion, My holy mountain."
7 "I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord:
He said to Me, 'Thou art My Son,
Today I have begotten Thee.
'Ask of Me, and I will surely give the nations as Thine inheritance,
And the very ends of the earth as Thy possession.
9 'Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron,
Thou shalt shatter them like earthenware.'"
10 Now therefore, O kings, show discernment;
Take warning, O judges of the earth [He will put down all rebellion].
11 Worship the Lord with reverence,
And rejoice with trembling [fear].
12 Do homage to the Son [kiss: surrender to His authority], lest He become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!