Tuesday, July 31, 2007


One of the first things I learned from the new Bible studies my husband had discovered through a fellow teacher back when I was a new Christian, was that the word translated "yield" in the KJV of Ro 6:13 is translated "present" in the New American Standard. "...present yourselves to God..." The actual Greek word is paristemi and it means, according to Strong's Hebrew & Greek Dictionaries, to stand beside, that is, (transitively -- where it requires a direct object, like "yourselves") to exhibit, proffer (which means to offer something to someone else to take)... Hence the NASV translation, "present".

Basically it says stop giving your body over to the control of the flesh or the sin nature, but give it over to the control of righteousness. Okay. But how do you do that?

I already knew, as I said, about the difference between the indwelling of the Spirit (every Believer is indwelt by the Spirit at the moment of salvation, a state that can never be lost, regardless of experiential failure) and the filling of the Spirit (a temporary state where the Spirit controls the soul of the believer, and by extension the body, which can be lost via grieving or quenching the Spirit).

Ephesians 5:18 tells us to "be filled with the Spirit," and the verb tense indicates that this is a repeated experience. We have to keep on being filled, which implies that the filling can and is repeatedly lost. How? By grieving and/or quenching the Spirit (Eph 4;30; I Th 5;19), that is, by sinning, or by abandoning God's plan and power system to operate in our own.

The flesh, I was shown, does more than sin. It can also produce good works. And through a decision, usually unawares, to function in our own power to do something that is not what God would have us do, even though it's generally regarded as a "good" thing, we lose the filling of the Spirit. God's a gentleman, and when we insist upon taking the wheel, He freely lets us do so. That is quenching the Spirit. And once the sin nature has control of our souls, it won't be long before we commit a personal sin.

Ironically, it's the sin that allows us to most easily get back into fellowship. Because God has made a perfect provision for us to recover from sin through 1Jn 1:9 ("If we name and cite our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins (the ones we know of) and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (the ones we don't know of)." Once we're "cleansed," the Spirit can move into that cleansed vessel and control it again. Pastor Thieme called that "rebound."

Why rebound? That's for tomorrow.