Grace Bible Church
The Tree of Life
A Weekly Review
Week ending 121210
The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?

We have one more principle found in ROM 9:20 which we have been noting concerning the apostle Paul and his use of divine sarcasm. This was basically directed toward both Jewish and Gentiles in Rome who were self-righteous and legalistic.
One of the main reasons why God the Holy Spirit supernaturally directed the apostle Paul to use divine sarcasm in Rom 9 is because the Church of Rome was beginning to reject the messenger, (in this case the apostle Paul), which would accomplish Satan’s ultimate goal, the rejection of the message, the mystery doctrine of the Church-age. This is why at the end of the letter to the Romans, the apostle Paul said:
ROM 16:17, Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye.
The phrase keep your eye is the present active infinitive of skopeo which means to keep on having mental alertness. Mental alertness only comes one way, and that is from doctrine resident in the soul.

Next in ROM 16:17, Now I urge you, brethren, be alert concerning  those who cause dissensions.
The word for dissensions is the Greek noun dichostasia which means discord, disagreements, divisions or splits. It refers to individuals in Rome who were attacking and discrediting the apostle Paul because he was always in trouble in one way or another. Just think what they were saying about this man who was:

– imprisoned, beaten many times, often in danger of death. (2CO 11:23)
– beaten with rods, stoned to death, three times he  was shipwrecked, he spent night and days in the sea. (2CO 11:25)
– faced dangers from rivers, robbers, Jews, Gentiles, dangers in the city, wilderness, on the sea, dangers among false brethren; (2CO 11:26)
– had sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. (2CO 11:27)
– Had the daily pressure of concern for all the churches. (2CO 11:28)

After all that and more, he lived to write ROM 16:17, Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances. The Greek word for hindrances is the noun skandalon (where we get the English word scandal) referring to snares, stumbling blocks, things that offend others, influencing others to unbelief. Of course our Lord warned us about these type of believers when He said in REV 3:11, “I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, in order that no one take your crown.”
So Paul says in ROM 16:17, “Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching or doctrine which you learned, and turn away from them.”
So, the principle is to protect yourself from this type of apostasy and band you together with believers who are positive toward BD, you must have the ability to discern without becoming vicious or entering into a system of revenge, or bearing a grudge.
ROM 16:17, Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.
The command to turn away is the present active imperative from the Greek verb epieikees, meaning to avoid, to turn away, to evade. Present tense = do it habitually.  Active voice = you produce the action of the verb. Imperative mood = a command.

The more doctrine you learn the more you are going to have the Royal Family honor code function of loving certain people from a great distance, which is impersonal love. You determine from your own free will to avoid that person, to shun that person, to stay away from that person, to have nothing to do with that person. You do not hate them, you are not bitter toward them, not vindictive or implacable; you simply love them from afar. That is impersonal love, love that depends upon the high standards from doctrine resident in your soul.
Let’s notice some principles concerning this verse:

  1. Note that this passage infers that negative volition toward doctrinal teaching from a pastor is the source of dissention, apostasy, and reversionism.
  2. Lack of authority orientation, as well as arrogance, causes the believer to resist the teaching of doctrine from another human being. (Arrogance competes with the man first and then the message).

This is another principle that the apostle Paul was dealing with under the principle of divine sarcasm which was the rejection of spiritual authority. This is what caused Paul to deal with those who may be thinking or saying such things as God was being unfair and unjust. I wonder where that thought might have come from? Perhaps, EPH 6:16, the flaming missiles of the evil one or the fiery darts of the wicked. Perhaps these type of believers failed to destroy speculations and every arrogant thought raised up against the knowledge of God, and did not take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, and we are ready to punish all disobedience, whenever your obedience is complete. You are looking at things as they are outwardly. (2CO 10:5-7)
But If anyone thought that God was being unfair and unjust and was thinking of saying such things as ROM 9:19, You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?” Paul cut them off right at the pass when he saidROM 9:20, Who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?

ROM 9:21, Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use, and another for common use?\

The rejection of spiritual authority inevitably leads to the rejection of the spiritual information which is the basis transformation.
Resisting the teacher inevitably leads to resisting the teaching. Resisting the under shepherd leads to resisting the over Shepherd and Guardian of your souls, 1PE 2:25, For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls.  Our Lord taught this principle when He sent out the seventy elders who were following Him, He said in LUK 10:16, “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

  1. Since arrogance and inordinate ambition sets up a revolutionary group, classified as a mutual admiration society, a click, a secret spiritual fraternity with their own vocabulary, it is quite obvious that those who resist doctrine always look for others who resist doctrine.
  2. The only answer to a believer so involved is separation or avoidance as in our passage in ROM 16:17 which says, and turn away from them. This is such an important principle that Paul said to Timothy concerning the church of Ephesus in 2TI 3:5beware of those holding to a form of living the spiritual life, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.  To the Thessalonians Paul said in 2TH 3:6, Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the doctrine which he received of us.

2TH 3:14, And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.

  1. In these satanic divisions designed to discredit the messenger, (in this case Paul) and the message (in this case grace and forgiveness), it is because of the double standards of the carnal believers.

ROM 16:18, For such men are slaves, not of our Lord Christ but of their own appetites or emotions and by their smooth and flattering speech they [messengers of false teaching] deceive the right lobes of the unsuspecting.
That’s how you prove why the apostle Paul said what he said and did what he did in Rom 9 because he knew he was going to have some opposition concerning his message of grace, especially from the Jews, who were saved, but still had a tendency toward legalism and religion.  In Rom 9 Paul began to say some things that were shocking to some of the legalistic self-righteous Jewish believers, as well as to some of the Gentile Believers in Rome who became deceived. For when the apostle Paul said such things as:
For this is a word of promise: “At this time I will come, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac; for though the twins were not yet born, and had not done anything good or bad, in order that God’s purpose according to His choice might stand, not because of works, but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? There is no injustice with God, is there? May it never be! For He says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. (ROM 9:9-16)

Then in ROM 9:18-19, So then He has mercy on whom He desires, and He hardens whom He desires. You will say to me then, “Why does He still find fault? For who resists His will?”

The apostle won’t even answer that question but instead he knew the reason why they were asking questions, not to learn but to discredit him. So he says, and I like to think he looked a little arrogant and maybe even sounded a little arrogant when he said;

ROM 9:20, On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?
So, when it comes to LUK 6:40, “A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher.”
You need to understand and learn about our Lord’s life and adversities and hardships as He picked up His cross daily to be our example of what it means to follow in His footsteps. This is why Peter said in 1PE 2:21, For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps. With the message comes the life!  When it comes to our Lord and the teaching ministry of the apostle Paul, we are to be taught about our so-great salvation and the fantastic mystery doctrine for the Church-age. The book of Romans actually teaches us how to choose a local assembly, or better yet, how to find your right pastor teacher. In so doing, you must remember a few things. The main issue that our Lord taught concerning this was what said to Peter in;
JOH 21:15, So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love[agape] Me more than these?”

The phrase do you love me more than these is a reference to the 10 others that were there! It is a pres-act-ind of the verbagapao which is a reference to impersonal unconditional virtuous love. The Lord was asking Peter if he had that type of love, that impersonal unconditional virtuous love, which emphasizes the virtue of the subject and not the object. Peter knew and understood what the Lord was saying! The Lord was saying you cannot serve Me without this virtue or this impersonal unconditional virtuous agape love.  However, when virtue love is directed toward God, another word is better to use which is phileo it used for personal love for God. This is one of the reasons why Peter became upset when the Lord kept asking this question.
So in verse 15, the Lord used agapao, He didn’t use phileo. The Lord said “do you agape-love Me more than these”? However, to say we just have impersonal unconditional virtuous love for the Lord is blasphemous. We do not love the Lord because of who and what we are but who and what He is!

So Peter considers this to be sort of an insult. In fact, personal love for God must come before impersonal unconditional agape love for all mankind.
JOH 21:15, So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love[agape] Me more than these?” He [Peter] said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.”

Peter is a little angry and disturbed. The Lord said, “do you agape me”? Peter said, “you know I phileo you”! Peter used the pres-act-ind of phileo which means I keep on loving you personally because of Who You are. So our Lord said in effect, “Do you have impersonal unconditional love for Me,” and Peter said, “Lord you know I love you personally”!
I want you to notice that as a result of his answer Peter receives a command!

JOH 21:15…He [the Lord] said to him, “Tend My lambs.”

This is a command for all pastors to produce the action of the verb which is to feed new believers.

The word for lambs is the noun arnion which refers to baby sheep, lambs and therefore, analogous to the new believers. The Lord is saying to Peter, if you really love me personally you’re qualified to feed new believers! Arnion refers to the freshmen in the Christian life!  There are three categories of freshmen in the Christian  life.

  1. New Converts.
    b. Ignorant Believers.
    c. Carnal believers-or cosmic believers who have repented!

So Peter is commanded to feed the Lord’s lambs if he really loves the Lord. When the Lord asked Peter if he loved Him more than these, there is a very important principle here! No man can function as a pastor-teacher with his eyes on people. Secondly, the motivational virtue for the gift of pastor-teacher must come from personal love for TLJC. If people are more important than the Lord the pastor becomes a people pleaser and therefore a loser-pastor! Or he’s so controlled by people that he ends up in some form of depression and quits the ministry.

So in verse 16, another command is given.

JOH 21:16, He said to him again a second time, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love [pres-act-ind of agape] Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love [phileo] You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”
Note this time that our Lord dropped the phrase “more than these.” He just simply said “do you love me?”  Again the Lord said “do you agape me”? Peter said, “you know I phileo you.” You have two entirely different words in the verse and yet the English translates both words exactly the same! If God the Holy Spirit intended for the words to be the same, He would have used thesame words. In fact, at least the Living Bible made an effort to distinguish between the two.
So, in verse 16, the Lord gives him a second command! The word shepherd is the pres-act-imp of poimaino which means to rule or clobber which is how the pastor-shepherd must function with some. Now, this time he didn’t use the word arnion for sheep as in verse 15. This time He used the accusative plural of probaton which is translated sheep and it refers to the sophomores in the Christian life. They are the ones that have a little knowledge of doctrine and think that they have a lot.
With arrogance, a little knowledge is assumed to be omniscience, all knowledge. When there is this high opinion of self-knowledge there is the rejection of the authority of the pastor-teacher. Therefore, the authority of the pastor now becomes a major issue in the believers’ life.  The sophomore stage is the most dangerous stage of the Christian life. More people fall back into apostasy and the cosmic system in the sophomore stage.

In verse 17, we have a final question and command.

JOH 21:17, He said to him the third time, “Simon, {son} of John, do you love [phileo] Me?”

This time our Lord switched from agape to phileo.

Peter was grieved [distressed] because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

 

This is the type of love that is expected from a believer who has proper momentum in the spiritual life. The Lord was making a point not only for Peter but for the benefit of all future pastors in the Church-age. The pastor must possess personal love for TLJC to be effective in the teaching of Bible doctrine. This is what made Paul so great.

Secondly, the pastor who truly loves the Lord will feed doctrine to the Lord’s people! This means that the pastor must havephileo or personal love for the Lord and must have agape or impersonal unconditional love for all. No pastor can survive in the ministry apart from occupation with the person of Jesus Christ. When pastors get their eyes on people they lose out. They become discouraged, distracted, despondent, filled with self-pity, etc.

Peter said to the Lord, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love [phileo] You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

The word for tend is the pres-act-imp of bosko which is the command to moderately and prudently feed my humble sheep which is a reference to the seniors or the mature believers. All you have to do for mature believers is teach them doctrine! You cannot do that in the sophomore stage as in verse 16, you have to poimaino them!

Poimaino means you have to kick or use that stick a shepherd carries! The shepherd has to whack the sheep at times to keep them from running off the cliffs. The pastor doesn’t do that literally, he does that with his communication of doctrine. The pastor must use his authority in a very strict way with sophomores. You can’t horse around with sophomores. However, once a person becomes a senior, he has developed enough humility to be teachable. There are only two categories of teachable believers basically; freshmen and seniors.

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