Thursday July 30, 2020
For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 [so that] may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.
The purpose of the Spirit, doctrines of Christ, being rooted in faith is to comprehend the vastness of the love of Christ for you, so that you might be filled up with all the fullness of God.
Strengthened by the Holy Spirit in our inner man to live a life of obedience to the Father so that we come to know the Person of Christ who will reside at home in our hearts through our faith, being thus rooted and grounded, we find the full strength to apprehend the vastness of the love of Christ for us, and that will result in us being filled up with all the fulness of God.
The life has to be lived completely for us to comprehend the vastness of God’s love for us.
It takes full strength to apprehend the love of Christ.
Every believer is called to be a student of the word of God and an executer of its truth. The church has for centuries been weakened by a lazy, blasé Christianity; a cultural or modern Christianity; an entertaining Christianity. Lots of music and emotion and gimmicks and programs are not going to get the truths of Christ in the hearts of believers, and without it they lack power, understanding, conviction, and a real comprehension of how much God loves them and what He expects from them.
When a church focuses solely on instruction in the truth for the one purpose of transforming believers into the image of Christ, which means complete devotion and obedience, a particular segment of Christianity will not attend it. Unfortunately, that segment seems to be the larger.
Yet when sinners, which we all are, are told they must deny themselves daily, they are naturally repelled, hence it is vital that the promises of God’s blessing and the grace of God in salvation and fellowship with Him must always be taught alongside. Still, that segment is unlikely to attend, but what cannot be done to lure them is watering down the doctrines of Christ and sin and obedience and election, etc. in order to make it more palatable to those who greatly desire to hold on to self. Such watered down Christianity imparts little power, if any at all.
It is vital that every believer understand what he has been called to, even though more often then he would like to admit, he doesn’t live up to it. Our frailty does not warrant diminishing the call to holiness.
By understanding that you have no other choice but to live in the full obedience to your calling, you will come to know the things in you that need changing and maturing.
The determination to be Christlike in all things, picking up our crosses, denying ourselves daily, and following Christ will bring to your conscious self all of your weaknesses. The commitment to picking up our crosses means that we will never stop learning and striving to overcome every one of those weaknesses.
Watering down election to some human palpable niceness will allow those weaknesses to remain as we settle for something much less than Christ and call it good.
But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
And we proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, that we may present every man complete in Christ.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths. 5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
9 Make every effort to come to me soon; 10 for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Pick up Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12 But Tychicus I have sent to Ephesus. 13 When you come bring the cloak which I left at Troas with Carpus, and the books, especially the parchments. 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm; the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15 Be on guard against him yourself, for he vigorously opposed our teaching. 16 At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion's mouth. 18 The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
19 Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus remained at Corinth, but Trophimus I left sick at Miletus. 21 Make every effort to come before winter. Eubulus greets you, also Pudens and Linus and Claudia and all the brethren.
22 The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
“The Lord be with your spirit.” That’s not just a nice valediction. He means it. And how is the Lord going to be with Timothy’s spirit? The truths about Christ reside in his heart through faith.
I wanted to read this passage through to the end of the letter so that we get the feeling of commitment in the Christian life that Paul conveys. I sense an exhausted man who is content in having finished the work of his calling. He gave his life to God, and so to others, and it is this final letter of his, exhausted.
Love is only understood through the full knowledge of Christ.
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment [intellectual understanding of that which is excellent], 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent [diaphero: to be different from something, to excel], in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
“excellent” - diaphero = to be different from something, excel. Excellent things that differ from the world’s things.
We are to have full knowledge and understanding of that which is different from the world, or that which is excellent. Our love is to abound with it.
The study of Christ in scripture and experience gives to a mind that was before conversion dull and uninformed, an intellectual quality, a power of discernment and apprehension that trained scholars would envy.
So when we say that full strength and full knowledge are needed to comprehend the vast love of Christ for us, we should understand what that means. It is a mental strength that lives the Christian life, daily denying ourselves and picking up our crosses. When you become saved, you know that God the Father and Son loved you, they sacrificing the most for you. When you find that you can live in the life of Christ by grace and understanding and experiencing that life through faith, you comprehend more of the vastness of that divine love for you.
1 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth,
Who hast displayed Thy splendor above the heavens!
2 From the mouth of infants and nursing babes Thou hast established strength,
Because of Thine adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.
3 When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers,
The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained;
4 What is man, that Thou dost take thought of him?
And the son of man, that Thou dost care for him?
5 Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God,
And dost crown him with glory and majesty!
6 Thou dost make him to rule over the works of Thy hands;
Thou hast put all things under his feet,
7 All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
8 The birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.
9 O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Thy name in all the earth!