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GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

Robert R. McLaughlin Bible Ministries

The Tree of Life is a weekly teaching summary.

The Tree of Life from the week ending 07/08/07

What it means to be initiated into the secret of the mystery. Part 66.

The Doctrine of Supergrace. Part 7.

So far we have the phrase in PHI 4:14 However, you have done well... The Greek adverb kalos is translated well, and the word means honorably. The Philippians gave totally apart from emotional giving or trying to bribe God to do something special for them. PHI 4:14 However, you have functioned honorably to share with me in my affliction. The Greek word for shareis sunkoinonesantes; it means a sharer, here it means to share something. Through the Philippians' gift we have the principle of bravo grace under logistics; they have shared their money with Paul, and therefore have entered into partnership with him. So we translate PHI 4:14However, you have functioned honorably when you shared money with and entered into partnership with me, in my adversity.”

Let's note some principles: 1) The adversity refers to Paul's Roman imprisonment in AD 62 at the time of writing. 2) The unsolicited, but timely giving of the Philippians indicates there were a maximum number of Supergrace believers in that congregation. 3) Giving apart from pressure or coercion is a manifestation of Supergrace status. 4) Supergrace provides the true motivation for grace giving. Grace giving is a part of logistical grace. 5) Giving without emotional involvement or gimmicks indicates the vast inner resources of Bible doctrine resident of the souls of the Philippians. This provided them their correct motivation. 6) The Supergrace believer occupied with Christ, sharing God's happiness, has capacity for love, capacity for life, and is therefore correctly motivated to give in an honorable manner. The function of giving must be related to honor and integrity. The point is Paul was prosperous even in adverse situations.

As we have noted, many believers think that Jesus was relatively poor while He was growing up as the son of a carpenter. Perhaps He was poor while He was working as a carpenter. However, we are concerned here with His earthly ministry, the approximate three year period between the time He was baptized in the Jordan River until the time He was crucified on the Cross. Was He really poor during this great three year period which has changed the world forever? Let's examine the facts. Some people believe that Jesus was poor because He said in LUK 9:58 “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air {have} nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Jesus didn't have a home where He slept every night because He was the first traveling evangelist. He was constantly on the move. Surely He could have stayed in the home of the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea or in other nice homes where He was welcomed. I believe that He slept in the open air by choice and not by necessity.

So, think of it, He had twelve disciples and seventy other men traveling with Him? Look at LUK 10:1-2, Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them two and two ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your ways; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.” LUK 10:4-8, “Carry no purse, no bag, no shoes; and greet no one on the way. And whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace {be} to this house.’ “And if a man of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him; but if not, it will return to you. And stay in that house, eating and drinking what they give you; for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not keep moving from house to house. And whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat what is set before you;”How can anyone say that Jesus was poor if He was able to meet the needs of such a large group of people? How many poor people have a treasurer to keep track of their finances? Jesus and His organization had a treasurer, Judas (JOH 13:29).

Jesus was a master of God's laws of prosperity, and He used those laws repeatedly to meet His needs. Jesus Christ had the purest faith that has ever been seen on this earth. As a result, He was able to turn little into plenty. He had absolutely no need for worldly, material assets because He knew that He could apply His faith to God's laws of prosperity in order to obtain whatever He needed. For example, in MAR 8:13-21, And leaving them, He again embarked and went away to the other side. And they had forgotten to take bread; and did not have more than one loaf in the boat with them. And He was giving orders to them, saying, “Watch out! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the leaven of Herod.” And they {began} to discuss with one another {the fact} that they had no bread. And Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you discuss {the fact} that you have no bread? Do you not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear? And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?” They said to Him, “Twelve.”

“And when {I broke} the seven for the four thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?” And they said to Him, “Seven.” And He was saying to them, “Do you not yet understand?” What poor man could provide for others like this?

When the tax collectors of Capernaum came to Peter and asked for money, Jesus was able to pay them. Here is what He said to Peter, MAT 17:27 “Go down to the shore and throw in a line, and open the mouth of the first fish you catch. You will find a coin to cover the taxes for both of us; take it and pay them.” Now you may say that these were all miracles! I'm going to prove to you how miraculous things happen to believers who have PVTD and by that I mean perception, metabolization, and especially application of Bible doctrine. By application of doctrine, I mean you having the faith to put God's laws for prosperity into action! Our Lord could have used these same laws to produce money for any of His other needs, if He so chose. When Peter and the other disciples had fished all night and came up empty, Jesus was able to produce so many fish that the nets broke (LUK 5:1-11; JOH 21:1-11). Now you say that's a miracle. Was it? Or was the Lord so much in fellowship with His Father and God the Holy Spirit that He received divine guidance concerning where the fish were?

When Jesus needed a donkey to ride into Jerusalem on that first Palm Sunday, He didn't have to rent or buy a donkey. He simply told two of His disciples to go into the village of Bethphage to look for a donkey and its colt tied alongside the road. He told them to take these animals and, if anyone asked what they were doing, to say that the Lord needed them (MAT 21:1-7).

When Jesus needed a room to serve the Passover meal, He didn't go to a hotel to rent one. Instead, He sent two of His disciples into Jerusalem and told them to contact a certain man who would lead them to another man. They should tell this man that they needed a large upper room and he would take care of everything. That is exactly what happened in MAR 14:12-16.

When Jesus hung on the cross, the soldiers who crucified Him gambled for possession of His expensive, seamless one piece robe and His other garments. If He was poor during His earthly ministry, where did He get a robe that was so valuable that soldiers gambled for it?

So, again let me remind you that Jesus Christ had the purest faith that has ever been seen on this earth. As a result, He was able to turn little into plenty. He had absolutely no need for material assets because He knew that He could apply His faith to God's laws of prosperity in order to obtain whatever He needed. Don’t think that this has no meaning for you, look at JOH 14:12-15, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater {works} than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do {it.} If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Jesus Christ followed all of God's laws; He relied totally upon God's Word and upon the Holy Spirit living within Him. Jesus followed God's laws of prosperity, and He enjoyed not just financial prosperity, but total prosperity of the spirit, soul, and body throughout His earthly ministry. JOH 14:12-15 tells us that we can enjoy this same total prosperity during our lives here on earth. Our Father wants His children to prosper instead of the evil sinners who now enjoy much of the world's prosperity. Look how Job put it, JOB 27:16-17, “The evil man may accumulate money like dust, with closets jammed full of clothing; yes, he may order them made by his tailor, but the innocent shall wear that clothing and shall divide his silver among them.”Job knew God's laws for prosperity and he used them!

So, our Father wants us to prosper financially; however this prosperity isn't automatic just because we're Christians. We have to follow His laws of prosperity which are carefully laid out in His Word. If we follow these laws, God won't withhold any good thing from us. PSA 84:11 “No good thing will he withhold from them who walk along his paths.” Each day we are told that He loads us down with benefits, PSA 68:19 “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits.”

We begin with the first law for prosperity: Always keep God first. The Lord told us in MAT 6:33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” Whatever any of us need in any area of our lives, God's laws say that He will provide them to the exact degree that we keep Him first in those areas. One example of keeping God first is to never start a day without first spending a period of quiet time of prayer. This is to be a time when you can speak with Him and ask Him for guidance, direction and help concerning any thing that you're going to need throughout the day.MAT 7:8 “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened.”

            Another example of keeping God first is to set definite goals of Bible study either through face to face teaching or personal Bible study on a daily basis. 2CO 13:5 “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves!” Here is a test, ask yourselves these questions:

- Do you place God ahead of each member of your family?

- Is God always more important to you than your friends?

- Do you spend more time seeking God each day than you do watching television or enjoying hobbies?

- Is God more important to you than any possession you have?

So, again our corrected translation of PHI 4:14 “However, you have functioned honorably when you shared money with and entered into partnership with me, in my adversity.” PHI 4:15 “And [now] you yourselves also know, Philippians, that at the first preaching of the gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone;” Paul is talking to Supergrace believers, and therefore he does not have to teach a lot of details, or basics; he can start with an advanced subject, and that's what he does. In the Corinthian epistles, we have in 2Co 8-9, the teaching of the basic concept of giving. This was because the Corinthians were not advanced, and therefore basic concepts in that field had to be covered. But in this paragraph in Philippians, we have the advanced concepts of giving because Supergrace believers are involved. Then we the phrase that at the first preaching of the Gospel, this is a reference to Paul's ministry in Philippi. The Gospel was what Paul originally gave them; they were unsaved, and they were evangelized. Once they were evangelized, they were new babes in Christ, so they had to be fed and nourished and taught the basic things. Eventually Paul had to leave them, very quickly as a matter of fact, in order to save the face of the Philippian jailer, who by now is a Supergrace believer (the story of ACT 16:25-40). Then Paul goes on to say; no church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving but you alone; Here we have the Greek word oudis, which means not one, or no one. Then we have the Greek word for church, ekklesia, and then koinoneo, which is a word for giving. So not one church had contributed; no one had really grown up enough in order to give. No one at that particular stage had really had enough proper motivation to give honorably, and this is not a complaint, this is merely a statement of the status quo. Do not give until you are properly motivated. Do not give because you are emotionally involved, because of gimmicks or because some missionary wrings your heart out with a sad story. That's all false, all wrong, and all evil.

So the corrected translation of PHI 4:15 “Now you yourselves also recognize, Philippians, that in the beginning with reference to the Gospel, after I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me with reference to the doctrine of giving and receiving but you alone;”

One of the sure signs of understanding doctrine is to translate such doctrine into grace action. For example, in the book of Ephesians, Paul wrote in the first three chapters what God did for every believer. EPH 1:3-5, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,”

Then in the last three chapters, we have what the believer should do for God. In EPH 4:1 “walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,”

In EPH 4:22-23, “that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,”

In EPH 5:1-2, “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”

EPH 5:18 “be filled with the Spirit,”

Then EPH 5:22 Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Or EPH 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;”

In EPH 6:1 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

In EPH 6:5 “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ;” Then in EPH 6:11 “Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”

So, one of the sure signs of understanding doctrine is to translate such doctrine into grace action. Doctrine is in the left lobe as gnosis; this is simply knowing it, but you can't use it, you can't apply it. Doctrine must be transferred to the right lobe when it is fully understood and believed, and then this epignosis goes into the frame of reference and the memory center. The memory center takes it to vocabulary and category, norms and standards, and then it's put on the launching pad where it is ready to be applied. You cannot apply doctrine you simply know; you can only apply doctrine you truly understand and believe. Doctrine in the left lobe (gnosis) cannot be applied or utilized or form the basis for motivation. Only doctrine in the right lobe is applicable, and that means that it must become epignosis, and sophia, the Greek word for wisdom. Epignosis is full understanding of the doctrine.

The Philippians not only knew the doctrine of giving, but they understood it, and this was revealed by their application of the doctrine. God is able to use the epignosis type believer in logistics. Grace action in the Royal Family of God originates from the doctrine you understand, not the doctrine you simply know. The Philippians demonstrated by their grace giving, their reception of doctrine and resultant spiritual advance. They are ready to follow Paul from Supergrace to ultra-Supergrace, and when Paul says move out, they're ready to follow Paul. The way in which they have given manifests their Supergrace motivation. Only by being honest with yourself, concerning the questions we looked at earlier, will you ever begin to live in God's laws for prosperity.

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