Vol. 16 No 23 – May 28, 2017
Psa 96:2, “Sing to the LORD, bless His name; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day.”
Psa 107:22, “Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”
Summary and Principles: Praises of Thanksgiving.
1) Thanksgiving is first of all directed toward God, and is an overflow of capacity and appreciation for all that He has and will do for you.
2) Thankfulness is based on maximum intake of Bible doctrine in the soul through the function of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP). The GAP of Bible doctrine, causes the believer priest to appreciate the members of the Godhead, the plan of the Father, the principle of grace. Therefore, the believer is in a constant state of thanksgiving regardless of the circumstances of life.
3) Thanksgiving involves grace orientation. This is impossible apart from Bible doctrine in the right lobe and human spirit. Doctrine in the human spirit and right lobe is impossible apart from the daily function of GAP. The greater the spiritual IQ, the greater the grace orientation. The greater the grace orientation, the greater the thankfulness of the Royal Priest. If we have experienced the grace of God, then we ought to be grateful for what God brings to us.
4) Thanksgiving is the state of being Occupied with the Person of Jesus Christ, oriented to the plan of God, and maintaining Divine viewpoint in the right lobe. If we would think more Divine viewpoint, we would thank more.
5) Thanksgiving is a moment by moment mental attitude produced by the spiritual skills in the soul, (Rebound, Filling of the Holy Spirit, and application of Bible Doctrine).
6) Thanksgiving is a result of having Divine viewpoint towards life. It is more than an expression of gratitude, more than appreciation in a human sense. It is appreciation for God.
Col 2:7, “Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.”
Col 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.”
7) Thanksgiving is an act of giving thanks, grateful acknowledgement of the benefits of the grace of God, hence, it is an expression of gratitude toward God based on your doctrinal capacity to appreciate who and what He is.
8) Thanksgiving is a function of prayer.
Eph 1:16, “I do not cease giving thanks for you, and I make mention of you in my prayers.”
Col 1:3, “We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.”
Col 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.”
Phil 4:6, “Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”
9) Thanksgiving is often a public acknowledgment or celebration of worship, 1 Chron 16:7‑36; Rom 14:11; 15: 9.
10) Thanksgiving is not some shallow, fleeting system of gratitude for something. It is a system of worship toward God, capacity for worship, and capacity for life.
11) Giving causes thanksgiving, 2 Cor 9:7-12.
12) Food should be accepted with thanksgiving, 1 Tim 4:3‑4.
13) Therefore, are you known for ongoing thanksgiving or for complaining, murmuring, and pouting? Spirit-filled believers are thankful people, not complaining people. When we consider what God has done for us in the previous chapters of Ephesians, how could we not live with constant gratitude for His amazing grace? People who are always thankful, always grateful, and who have an object, as well as content of thanksgiving, are the best oriented people in life, and this is the normal procedure for the Royal Priest in Phase Two.
14) Thank Him today because:
He formed you and made you.
He has given you the breath of life.
He has given you this day.
He is working in you to become all that He has intended you to be.
He is working everything in your life together for the good.
He is using your difficulties and trials to conform you to His image.
Thank Him today for:
The forgiveness of your sins.
The peace that surpasses all understanding.
The smiles that have come to your face because His joy is in your heart.
The comfort of His presence that has quieted your heart and calmed your fears.
The hope that is in you because He has promised to always be with you.
The place in heaven that He has reserved and has prepared for you.
Thank Him today with:
Words of exaltation.
Songs of celebration.
A heart of strong devotion.
Thoughts of deep reflection.
Acts of admiration.
Claps of loud ovation.
1 Thes 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Eph 5:21, “And be subject to one another in the fear of Christ.”
With this verse, we will complete the first segment of our 4th division of Chapter 5, (D. The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9).
- As to one’s self and the church, be filled with God’s Spirit, Eph 5:18-21.
Here we will note the third evidence, result, or demonstration of the Spirit filled life, which is also a means for maintaining the filling of the Holy Spirit:
Vs. 19, we will be joyful, singing praise to God.
Vs. 20, we will be thankful to God the Father for all things.
Vs. 21, we will be submissive toward one another and our Lord.
Vs. 21, also sets up the overarching principle for the next four topics of relationships to follow: marriage, family, working, and worldly.
The word “and” is not in the original language for this verse. It begins with, “be subject to one another,” which is HUPOTASSO, ὑποτάσσω, ALLELON, ἀλλήλων.
ALLELON means, “each other or one another.” It means the quality or state by which there is a mutual exchange between others and ourselves. This could reference every other member of the human race, as other scriptures do, but more specifically, it is talking about other members of the Royal Family of God. In both applications, it sets up the following groups we interact with, our spouse, our parents or children, our bosses and employees, and those in the world / Satan’s cosmic system. Each, in their own unique way, call for some form of genuine humility, as noted in the term HUPOTASSO, on our part in order to have meaningful and successful relationships, as well as to remain filled with the Holy Spirit and produce Divine Good.
Specifically, HUPOTASSO means, “to be subject to, put in submission to, to be or make subject, to submit oneself, to be under obedience, to subordinate, etc.” It is in the Present, Middle, Participle, Nominative, Plural. The root word TASSO means, “to appoint or order.”
The Active voice of this verb means, “to place under, to affix, or to subordinate.” This describes involuntary submission or obedience, and occurs less often.
The Passive voice means, “to be made subject to.”
The Middle voice, as we have here, means, “to subject oneself, to be subservient, to submit voluntarily, or to place oneself in submission.” The middle voice is used showing the necessity of voluntary submission.
In classical Greek, it frequently occurs in the middle voice, as it does here, and most often indicates voluntary submission or obedience.
In the LXX it is used in Psa 37:7, “Rest in, (be in subjection to. The Hebrew is DAMAM, “stand still or keep silent”), the LORD and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”
In our verse, it is a general humility corresponding to the mutual subjection of fellow members of society, especially of those who are part of the Body of Christ.
It is used of submission in the sense of voluntary yielding in love, 1 Cor 16:16; Eph 5:21; 1 Peter 5:5.
1 Cor 16:16, “That you also be in subjection to such men (Pastors and Evangelists) and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.”
1 Peter 5:5, “You younger men, likewise, be subject to your elders; and all of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, for GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” Cf. Prov 3:34; James 4:6.
Submission to authority is another extremely important issue. Although we are all equal in Christ, believers are to give deference to elders, those in positions of high standing, and to all operating in the body of Christ.
Gal 5:13, “For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”
In society all members of the human race, all men and women, in various positions of authority, leadership, following, or dependence, are equal, even though their functions vary and their responsibilities are diverse. As Scripture tells us, we are all equal before God, Gal 3:28. Likewise, we are all equal in the laws of society, and yet we have varying functions and responsibilities. If we accept certain functions under the authority of a fellow human, we must then subject ourselves to that individual to accomplish the desired goal. The functions are equally important, although different in scope and responsibility. They are different, not because we want them to be, but because God made them to be so. Therefore, within the Church, where we are all members of the body of Christ, yet have differing spiritual gifts, ministries, and impact, we are to support one another in humility to achieve God’s Plan for our generation.
As we see in the second half of this verse, we have the manner by which we voluntarily place ourselves in subjection to one another, as the situation calls for, as it reads, “in the fear of Christ.” This is also an indirect statement of the deity of Jesus, the Lord.
The Greek reads, EN PHOBOS CHRISTOS, with the Dative of Manner for EN PHOBOS indicating “how” this submission to one another, (genuine humility), is accomplished.
With this we have the Genitive of Source of CHRISTOS. There is no article here, so this phrase should read, “in fear of Christ.” This is also a principle of Occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.
Doctrine of Fear of the Lord
PHOBOS means, “fear, fright, terror, or alarm,” but also “respect, awe, or reverence.”
“As early as Homer (Eighth Century B.C.) the Greeks used phobos in the sense of “fright” or “panic.” The word is related to phobeō (5236), “to flee” or “run away” (Liddell-Scott). Throughout the classical period, the word was used not only for “terror” and “headlong flight” but “fear” or “apprehension,” whatever the cause. Fear of death was a common example. Sometimes the word was used in the positive sense of “respect, awe,” or “reverence,” especially toward authorities to whom one is responsible or to deity. As early as Homer the god Phobos was ranked high in the mythological system, depicted as a typical war-god (ibid.).”
(Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary)
Fear is Used Two Ways in the Bible.
- Fear is used for an emotional mental attitude sin, characterized by panic when in a dangerous situation. It is a painful emotional distress aroused by impending pain, danger, disaster, evil, or by illusions regarding the same. It is worry, apprehension, consternation, or horror. Fear is also an active feeling of dread, of which fright and terror are the more intense degrees. This is the “bad” category of fear.
- Fear is used for reverence, respect, or awe. It is a reverence manifesting itself in obedience. In this respect, fear is a Christian virtue, 1 Peter 2:17. This is the “good” category of fear.
1 Peter 2:17, “Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.”
The latter is the application for this verse. But remember, a little emotional fear goes a long way to having respect and reverence for the Lord.
Fear is a natural, and in its purpose, a beneficial feeling, arising in the presence or anticipation of danger, and moving to its avoidance; it is also awakened in the presence of superiors and of striking manifestations of power, taking the form of awe or reverence.
This kind of fear is also an expression of two great Problem-Solving Devices, our Personal Love for God and Occupation with Christ, 2 Sam 23:2-3; Neh 5:9; Job 28:28; Psa 19:9; 34:11-12; 111:10; Prov 1:7; 9:10; 10:27; 22:4; Mal 3:16; Eph 5:21.
First and foremost, in the believer’s life, is to have this kind of fear / respect / awe for God, where we revere, honor, exalt, lift up, hold in high regard, esteem, worship, yield, and surrender to Him, Deut 13:4.
Deut 13:4, “You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.”
In fact, the entire world should fear the Lord, Psa 33:8, “Let all the earth fear the LORD; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him,” just as the thief on the Cross did, Luke 23:40. But unfortunately, the world has no fear of God and does not honor Him, Rom 3:10-18, “18THERE IS NO FEAR OF GOD BEFORE THEIR EYES,” just as there is no fear of Him in the sinner, Psa 36:1.
Yet the fact is, if we live in sin, we absolutely should fear the Lord, because one day He is going to judge us, Psa 119:120.
Psa 119:120, “My flesh trembles for fear of You, and I am afraid of Your judgments.”
One of the greatest restraints on sin is fear of the righteousness and justice of God, Ex 20:20.
Ex 20:20, “Moses said to the people, ‘Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin’.”
Legitimate fear of failure is helpful in utilizing the Faith-Rest Drill and making doctrinal applications in life, Heb 4:1. Believers should be afraid of subjective thinking and failure, and instead claim the doctrines, promises, and logistical grace blessings of God.
Prov 14:26, “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and His children will have refuge.”
Prov 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life, so that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”
In Lev 25:17, fear prevents wrongdoing toward other persons, “So you shall not wrong one another, but you shall fear your God; for I am the LORD your God.” Instead of reacting to the wrongdoing of others, you should put the entire matter in the hands of God.
When you realize in humility, your own weakness and dependence upon God, and knowing that God will judge you according to your own works, you are commanded to “pass the time of our stay upon earth in fear,” 1 Peter 1:17. In doing so, the believer will be kept from the arrogant self-confidence, which so often leads to falling.
As Paul states in Phil 2:12, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
To fear God is to:
- Realize that sin is in your life.
- Respect that He did something about it.
- Be in awe of Him, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming down to become a man in our own image to take our sinful place on the Cross.
- Realize how much sin cost, which was His humanity dying on a Cross for mankind.
- That is reverence of God.
Fear denotes respect for God’s Word, Bible doctrine, that results in respect for the Lord, Deut 17:19 “It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes.”
Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, Psa 111:10; Prov 1:7; 9:10.
Prov 1:7, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
Prov 9:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”
Psa 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding has all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.”
The respect for the Lord is the beginning of a lifetime of learning Bible doctrine and having that Bible doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness.
As a result, it keeps you away from evil with the results of a healthful life, Prov 3:7-8; 16:6.
Prov 16:6, “By lovingkindness and truth iniquity is atoned for, and by the fear of the LORD one keeps away from evil.”
Prov 3:7-8, “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and turn away from evil. 8It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.”
The Bible is full of assurance to those who “fear God, and keep his commandments,” Eccl 12:13.
Eccl 12:13, “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.”
In that relationship of love and trust, for those who fear Him and keep His commandments, God delivers them from bondage, and gives them the spirit of adoption (son-placing), so that they confidently call God “Father,” as the glory of the gospel, in that a new relationship with God, overwhelms the negative aspects of fear.
- As noted above in Prov 14:26, it gives you strong confidence, boldness, and assurance in all aspects of life.
- It fulfills the desires of your heart, Psa 145:19.
Psa 145:19, “He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.”
- It saves and protects you, Psa 34:7; 91: all.
Psa 34:7, “The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”
- It leads to a life free of fear and worry, Psa 19:23.
Prov 19:23, “The fear of the LORD leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.”
- It prolongs your earthly life to maximize your service to God here on earth, Prov 10:27.
Prov 10:27, “The fear of the LORD prolongs life, But the years of the wicked will be shortened.”
- It leads you to voluntarily place yourself in subjection to God and to one another in support and service of the body of Christ, Eph 5:21.
To voluntarily place yourself in subjection to one another, especially in the four areas noted in Eph 5:22-6:20, you must have respect for our Lord Jesus Christ, which is demonstrated by following His commands and mandates, Deut 11:27; 1 Sam 15:22; Jer 7:23; 11:4, 7.
Deut 11:26-28, “See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: 27the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, which I am commanding you today. 28and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today…”
1 Sam 15:22, “Samuel said, ‘Has the LORD as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams’.”
Spirit-controlled believers are to submit to one another, willingly serving others and being under them rather than dominating them and exalting themselves. Basic to your attitude toward others, is your reverence for Christ. Whatever relationships exist in life, in order for them to be successful, wonderful, and have great content, they demand self-discipline on the part of one person, as a result of fear and respect of the Lord, (i.e., authority orientation to the Person of Jesus Christ), which also means occupation with the person of Jesus Christ.
The believer priest is to submit to the various authorities in life, as noted in the following verses of Eph 5:22-6:20, through self-discipline provided under the ministry of the Word of God and the Filling of the Holy Spirit, in the fear of the Lord. Therefore, we submit to others, because Christ is the ultimate authority over our lives. This does not mean believers live in terror of Christ. It means they stand in awe of Christ, who is the King and Judge. Believers stand in awe not only of His holiness but also of His forgiveness, Psa 130:4. We belong to Christ’s kingdom. He is the King. Out of reverence for Him, we gladly submit to His rule and serve others with compassion.
With this verse, we begin the second segment of our fourth main division of Chapter 5, which has two categories.
The Believer’s Walk in the World; God’s Standards for Authority and Submission in the Church, Eph 5:18-6:9.
- As to One’s Self, Eph 5:18-21.
- As to One’s Home, Eph 5:22-6:4.
- Husbands and Wives, Eph 5:22-33.
- Parents and Children, Eph 6:1-4.
This verse begins a great discussion regarding the Godly marriage relationship between husbands and wives, which is Divine Institutions # 2 that runs through the rest of this chapter, vs. 33. Before we get into the details of these verses, I first want to review two important doctrines, Divine Establishment Principles, (Institutions), and Authority Orientation.
Divine Establishment Principles:
God has ordained certain laws for the survival, protection, and freedom of the human race during the course of human history. When segments of a nation’s population ignore these laws, anarchy will inevitably result. These laws directly affect freedom, civilization, authority, evangelism, spiritual growth, and the perpetuation of the human race. They are as important to us as is the law of gravity. Therefore, God has provided Laws of Divine Establishment to provide the freedom to fulfill God’s plan as ordained in the Divine decrees under many types of government.
The Laws of Divine Establishment are designed and directed toward both believer and unbeliever. They have been in operation since the fall of man, and will remain through the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, including the Millennium with some modifications in compatibility with perfect environment.
The Laws of Divine Establishment define freedom in terms of privacy, property, and authority. There is no such thing as the enjoyment of life or freedom without authority. All systems of freedom function under authority. Both the privacy of the individual and the function of legitimate authority are necessary for the function of human freedom. Therefore, God created four Divine Institutions under the Law of Divine Establishment: volition, marriage, family, and nationalism. These are the basis for the Laws of Divine Establishment.
God also has Divine laws for angels and nature. All these laws are designed to resolve the Angelic Conflict using an inferior creature, man.
Establishment and the Divine Institutions.
Two of the four Divine Institutions, (D.I.’s), under God’s Laws of Divine Establishment, are addressed in our passage, Eph 5:22-6:4, Marriage and Family, where we are given instruction on how to operate inside of them. The other two D.I.’s are Volition and Nationalism.
Volition. God has prepared a soul for every member of the human race that houses your human life and placed it inside your body at physical birth. The justice of God imputes human life to the soul; human life resides in the soul forever. No one can remove human life from the soul. This is the doctrine of human security.
The soul is made up of self‑consciousness, mentality, emotion, and volition as the authority of the soul. Human volition must have freedom and privacy for proper function. Your soul has privacy since it is hidden in the skull. While people are not born equal or live in equality, God has given them freedom of choice and the right to make decisions for themselves. With your freedom of choice, you have the option of positive or negative volition at God-consciousness, the freedom to accept or reject Jesus Christ at gospel hearing, and the freedom to choose to go forward in God’s plan for your life by learning and applying His Word or not.
When we believe in Christ, God’s perfect righteousness is imputed to us and we now have a purpose in life: the imputation of blessing to that perfect righteousness, which glorifies God. The Laws of Divine Establishment give freedom to exercise our positive volition toward Bible doctrine so that we can develop the capacity for these blessings.
Marriage. The second D.I. is the civil union between one man and one woman in monogamy. This is ordained of God to remind mankind that He has, from the beginning, a design called right man – right woman, Gen 1:26:27; 5:1‑2; 2:18‑25; 1 Cor 7:2‑4.
When Jesus Christ created Adam, he said, “it is not good that man should be alone…” Therefore, God provided the female. Jesus Christ constructed Adam’s right woman. Their relationship, established in the garden, was continued after the fall. It has never been cancelled in any generation.
Marriage is the most basic and fundamental organization in the human race. Even the unbeliever, whose life is a total failure, can have great temporary happiness by marrying the right woman, Eccl 9:9.
Eccl 9:9, “Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun; for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.”
It is the basis for stability in society and for the formation of civilization. It is the protection for the home, where the parents exercise authority over the children.
Under the authority of the Laws of Divine Establishment, the right man – right woman relationship becomes the normal, legitimate expression of category two love, 1 Cor 7:9; 1 Tim 5:14; Eph 5:22-23, 28, 33; Heb 13:4. This monogamous relationship is also an example of our relationship to Christ, as noted in our passages, Eph 5:26-33.
Marriage is the beginning of authority in life for adults. The husband has all the authority; there are no exceptions or rationalizations. Violations of a principle do not change the principle. We cannot deny the principle of marriage just because some have made bad marriages, or some husbands do not properly exercise their authority.
Marriage rejects the theory of revolution, anarchy, promiscuousness, and/or communal living.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#17-056 & #17-057 & #17-058
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!