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How Then Shall We Live? Bookmark

How Then Shall We Live?

“And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (apeitheia). Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1–10, NASB 2020)

543. ἀπείθεια apeítheia; gen. apeítheias, fem. noun from apeithes (545), disobedient. Disobedience, unwillingness to be persuaded, willful unbelief, obstinacy. In the NT, it corresponds in its use with the verb apistéō (569), to be unbelieving, opposing the gracious word and purpose of God; a stronger term than the syn. apistía (570), disbelief, unbelief (Heb. 3:12, 19); hence we have the sons of apeitheías, disobedience, unbelievers, i.e., heathen, pagans (Rom. 11:30, 32; Eph. 2:2; 5:6; Col. 3:6; Heb. 4:6, 11).  Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Are we the sons of disobedience or the sons of unbelief?  Both! Why?  Because one of the afflictions of the flesh is a “reprobate” mind! (Romans 1:28 - ἀδόκιμος adókimos “a reprobate abominable mind, a mind to be abhorred by God and man.” Zodhiates) We may, at length, believe our thinking is pristine.  However, when compared to Christ, my thinkin’ is always stinkin’!  This terminal fault in our DNA leads us to all manner of misconceptions we find present in the flavor of the day philosophy.  Ultimately it leads us to our death!

“And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27, NASB 2020)

Since I do not believe Christ with my reprobate mind my life demonstrates disobedience–the physical manifestation of the wrath of God inflicted against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness (Romans 1:18).  An unrighteous person lives as if there is no will of God revealed.  An ungodly person lives as if there is no God.  But since that day when the Grace of Christ made provision for me to believe I now live in Christ.

How then shall we live?  Perhaps we may glean some insight from Hebrews 4:12-13. The context, Sabbath Rest!

“For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.” (Hebrews 4:12–13, NASB 2020)

When the majority of one’s neighbors are dedicated to values different from one’s own, and may even regard one’s ambitions and priorities as foolish, one must either surrender one’s values or find some way to offset the force of the majority’s opinion. Many minority cultures in the Greco-Roman world accomplished this by focusing their adherents on the opinion and approval of God.  Each of these groups believed that their values were in fact in line with what God valued, and that their priorities reflected God’s priorities.  Commitment to the values of a particular group, then, could be enhanced by affirming that those who fulfilled those values pleased God, while the majority of humanity, unaware of what God truly valued in God’s creatures, lived out their whole lives displeasing God and pursuing what God hated or regarded as empty.  If representatives of that majority culture would, from time to time, reproach the group members for their commitment to different values, the group members or their leaders could sustain commitment by saying, in effect, “The opinion of the uninitiated matters nothing. Remember the One whom you must please, whose approval matters for eternity.”  deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 171). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 

But if any of the violent men who are unmentioned, and who have at different times risen up against the people in their several states, and have enslaved not only other nations, but their own countries too, have still died without meeting with punishment, it is not to be wondered at, for in the first place man does not judge as God judges, because we investigate what is visible to ourselves, but he descends into the secret recesses of the soul without making any noise, and there contemplates the mind in the clear light, as if in the sun; for stripping off from it all the ornaments in which it is enveloped, and seeing its devices and intentions naked, he immediately distinguishes between the bad and the good. (Philo, On Providence)

How Then Shall We Live?

“And you were dead in your offenses and sins, in which you previously walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience (apeitheia). Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest. But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our wrongdoings, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the boundless riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:1–10, NASB 2020)

543. ἀπείθεια apeítheia; gen. apeítheias, fem. noun from apeithes (545), disobedient. Disobedience, unwillingness to be persuaded, willful unbelief, obstinacy. In the NT, it corresponds in its use with the verb apistéō (569), to be unbelieving, opposing the gracious word and purpose of God; a stronger term than the syn. apistía (570), disbelief, unbelief (Heb. 3:12, 19); hence we have the sons of apeitheías, disobedience, unbelievers, i.e., heathen, pagans (Rom. 11:30, 32; Eph. 2:2; 5:6; Col. 3:6; Heb. 4:6, 11).  Zodhiates, S. (2000). The complete word study dictionary: New Testament (electronic ed.). Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers.

Are we the sons of disobedience or the sons of unbelief?  Both! Why?  Because one of the afflictions of the flesh is a “reprobate” mind! (Romans 1:28 - ἀδόκιμος adókimos “a reprobate abominable mind, a mind to be abhorred by God and man.” Zodhiates) We may, at length, believe our thinking is pristine.  However, when compared to Christ, my thinkin’ is always stinkin’!  This terminal fault in our DNA leads us to all manner of misconceptions we find present in the flavor of the day philosophy.  Ultimately it leads us to our death!

“And just as it is destined for people to die once, and after this comes judgment,” (Hebrews 9:27, NASB 2020)

Since I do not believe Christ with my reprobate mind my life demonstrates disobedience–the physical manifestation of the wrath of God inflicted against all unrighteousness and all ungodliness (Romans 1:18).  An unrighteous person lives as if there is no will of God revealed.  An ungodly person lives as if there is no God.  But since that day when the Grace of Christ made provision for me to believe I now live in Christ.

How then shall we live?  Perhaps we may glean some insight from Hebrews 4:12-13. The context, Sabbath Rest!

“For the word of God is living and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, even penetrating as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him to whom we must answer.” (Hebrews 4:12–13, NASB 2020)

When the majority of one’s neighbors are dedicated to values different from one’s own, and may even regard one’s ambitions and priorities as foolish, one must either surrender one’s values or find some way to offset the force of the majority’s opinion. Many minority cultures in the Greco-Roman world accomplished this by focusing their adherents on the opinion and approval of God.  Each of these groups believed that their values were in fact in line with what God valued, and that their priorities reflected God’s priorities.  Commitment to the values of a particular group, then, could be enhanced by affirming that those who fulfilled those values pleased God, while the majority of humanity, unaware of what God truly valued in God’s creatures, lived out their whole lives displeasing God and pursuing what God hated or regarded as empty.  If representatives of that majority culture would, from time to time, reproach the group members for their commitment to different values, the group members or their leaders could sustain commitment by saying, in effect, “The opinion of the uninitiated matters nothing. Remember the One whom you must please, whose approval matters for eternity.”  deSilva, D. A. (2000). Perseverance in gratitude: a socio-rhetorical commentary on the Epistle “to the Hebrews” (p. 171). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
 

But if any of the violent men who are unmentioned, and who have at different times risen up against the people in their several states, and have enslaved not only other nations, but their own countries too, have still died without meeting with punishment, it is not to be wondered at, for in the first place man does not judge as God judges, because we investigate what is visible to ourselves, but he descends into the secret recesses of the soul without making any noise, and there contemplates the mind in the clear light, as if in the sun; for stripping off from it all the ornaments in which it is enveloped, and seeing its devices and intentions naked, he immediately distinguishes between the bad and the good. (Philo, On Providence)



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