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To Gain a Firm Mental Grasp (ἐπίσταμαι)

Having a firm mental grasp or acquiring information is expressed by ἐπίσταμαι (epistamai). Its root means to stand (ιστημι). Therefore, it expresses standing with a firm mental grasp because of the information a person is acquainted with.

In Peter’s denial of Christ, when questioned by a young servant girl if he was with Christ, he adamantly denied it, saying that he neither intuitively knows nor has acquired knowledge concerning Christ, Mark 14:68. After Peter is restored from the attack by Satan that caused him to deny Christ, God uses him to show the Jews that the Gentiles are also being accepted into the Church. In Cornelius’ house, Peter states that they have a firm mental grasp on the fact that it is not permissible for a Jew to fellowship or enter into a place with another nation, Acts 10:28. However before Cornelius sent for Paul, God showed him that he is not to call any man common or unclean and, therefore, Peter came without objection.

During the council in Acts chapter fifteen concerning whether or not the Gentiles should be circumcised and obey the law of Moses, Peter spoke up concerning what God had been doing. The elders and apostles present had acquired knowledge concerning the situation when God instructed Peter to enter into the house of a Gentile so they could hear the gospel. They were neither circumcised nor immersed before the Holy Spirit came upon them in the same manner as He did on the day of Pentecost to show the Jews a sign, Acts 15:5.

When Apollos came to Ephesus, he was mighty in the Scripture; however, he was only familiar with (had a firm mental grasp) the immersion of John, Acts […]

To Gain a Firm Mental Grasp (ἐπίσταμαι)2024-02-15T08:03:08-08:00

Vigilant (γρηγορέω)

In 1 Peter 5:8, we are instructed to be watchful because our adversary, the Devil, roars around seeking whom he may swallow up. Vigilant (γρηγορέω) means to watch; be on alert for danger.

On his way to Jerusalem, Paul takes the opportunity to stop in Ephesus to encourage the Pastors to shepherd the flock of God while taking heed for themselves, Acts 20:28. When he is gone, he is aware that savage wolves will come in among them, Acts 20:39. Even some of their own will draw away disciples after themselves, rejecting the truth and seeking the glory of men, Acts 20:30. Therefore, they are to be on alert, for Paul has warned them of the dangers for the past three years, Acts 20:31. This assembly listened to Paul’s instruction. They tested those who claimed to be apostles and were not, finding them liars. They kept watch in their work, hard labor, and patience, not bearing things that were wrong. However, in doing so, they lost their love for the brethren, Revelation 2:4. We are to remain on guard for false teachers while being cautious not to fall into the same trap as the saints in Ephesus and lose our love for fellow saints.

After rebuking and exhorting the saints of Corinth, Paul encourages them to be vigilant and stand firm in the faith. Rather than being carnal, they are to do all things out from love, 1 Corinthians 16:13. They are to welcome those who are doing the work of the Lord and pay attention to the dangers of false apostles, who had infiltrated their assemblies and caused a lot of spiritual damage. Still today, their impact is felt among many assemblies that are focused on […]

Vigilant (γρηγορέω)2023-12-22T06:26:33-08:00

Scandalize (σκανδαλίζω)

Scandalize is to shockingly offend a person’s moral sensibility.

In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus speaks of a man scandalizing himself when he looks at a woman for the purpose of desiring her for adultery, for in doing so he has already committed adultery in his heart, Matthew 5:28.  The kingdom of the heavens is what Jesus is preaching. After the Messiah comes, is cut off, the Temple is desecrated by Satan, and the Messiah returns in glory, He sets up a Kingdom that will last for 1000 years, Daniel 9:24-27. In setting up this kingdom, God makes a new covenant with Israel in which He writes His law within their heart, Jeremiah 31:33. In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is giving instructions concerning the rules of this kingdom, not for today. This man scandalizes himself because he intentionally violated the law of God that is written in his heart by acting upon a thought to desire another woman by glancing at her for this purpose. Unlike under the Mosaic Law where the act of adultery, which is a sin, would be punished, he is held liable for scandalizing himself by using his members in a way that is contrary to what he knows is right even though the physical act of adultery has not been committed, for sin and scandalizing are not the same thing. This is not referring to today, for we are in a period of time in which we must learn the law of God, which for the Church is to live by grace through faith. Therefore, such desires, although we may strongly desire not to have them, do not scandalize us, for we expect to have to deal with […]

Scandalize (σκανδαλίζω)2023-12-23T11:33:57-08:00

Simplicity (ἁπλότης)

Simplicity conveys a singleness of nature or unity. Therefore, its purpose is not dividable; rather, it is immutable while expressing a state of openness, frankness, or directness.

In addressing the saints in Rome, the Apostle Paul encouraged the ones with the Spiritual gift of giving to use this gift with simplicity, Romans 12:8. Whether we have the gift or not, when it comes to giving, we are not to do it under compulsion, or out from necessity, but with a cheerful heart, for the Lord loves a cheerful giver, 2 Corinthians 9:7. Therefore, let each one determine in his heart what he desires to give from his excess and do it so with simplicity, having no other intent.

In contrast to fleshly wisdom, we are to conduct ourselves in this world in simplicity and godly sincerity, 2 Corinthians 1:12. This is especially important when it comes to ones who teach the Word of God. Their purpose should always be to teach others, not to gain anything from them by teaching. An assembly should take care of its Pastor, and for those who serve well, they should provide for him a double portion; however, the intent of the Pastor should be simple, to equip them unto a work of ministry for the edification of the body of the Christ to bring them all to a unity (oneness) of the faith and a full experiential knowledge of the Son of God so that they are no longer tossed around by every wind of teaching by the trickery of men in deceit.

When it comes to someone who presents a different gospel or receives a different spirit, we are not to put up with them, for they seek to corrupt us […]

Simplicity (ἁπλότης)2023-12-23T11:36:06-08:00

Unrighteousness (ἀδικία)

Unrighteousness (ἀδικία) encompasses both the evil determinations within the mind and the resulting actions that violate standards of right conduct. Therefore, unrighteousness is the bigger term, including both trespasses and sins. A trespass happens within the mind when a determination is made to do something that a person knows is against God’s standard. It is from this desire that sin is birthed, James 1:14-15. Scripture specifically defines sin in 1 John 3:4 as lawlessness and exterior to the body in 1 Corinthians 6:18. Since sins and trespasses are different, for we were dead in both, the trespass happens within the mind when a determination is made to sin and therefore the sin is working out that desire, Ephesians 2:1.

In the first chapter of Romans, we are given a list of unrighteousness. In this list is mental attitudes and actions that are both unrighteous in their nature. “And just as they did not approve worthy to have the God in full experiential knowledge, the God gave them over to an unapproved mind to do what is wrong, being filled up where they lack in all unrighteousness: fornication, malignant evil, covetousness, lacking in character, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, bad character, secret slanderers, backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, arrogant, inventors of wrong, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, without natural affection, irreconcilable, not merciful.” Romans 1:28-31.

In these last times, there are many false teachers among us who bring in destructive heresies, denying the Lord, 2 Peter 2:1. Their ways are of destruction, they blasphemy the truth and by covetousness exploit with deceptive words, 2 Peter 2:2-3. Many of these go after the way of Balaam, who loved the wages of unrighteousness, 2 Peter 2:15, which is the willingness to manipulate Christians into […]

Unrighteousness (ἀδικία)2023-12-23T11:44:14-08:00
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