Turning the World Right Side Up
If you follow the 15s regularly or read any of my books, you know I love to study the meanings of Hebrew and Greek words in Scripture. Seeing different definitions, nuances, and uses of a word expands my understanding of what is being said. Also, in some instances, there are multiple Greek words for one English word. For example, there are at least three different Greek words for “time.” One word (chronos)(1) means time in a general sense, as in chronology; another word (kairos)(2) means a strategic or opportune time, and still another (horaios)(3) means the right time. When we do not know which of these words is used, we cannot fully understand what is being said.
Ephesians 6:18 exemplifies this. The verse tells us to “pray at all times.” The word used, however, is kairos, strategic or opportune times. We aren’t being told to pray “all the time,” though many interpret the verse in this way. The passage begins by describing the spiritual warfare in which we are engaged, then speaks of our armor and weapons. Finally, verse 18 then tells that, like all good soldiers, we must “be on the alert” for one another, watching for satan’s strategically timed attacks against our fellow soldiers. When we discern them, we must pray at that strategic time! The verse speaks of well-timed intercession against satan’s well-timed attacks.
This is also the meaning of Hebrews 4:16, which tells us to boldly approach the throne of grace to obtain mercy in times of need. Time is kairos, meaning “well-timed” help. The Amplified Bible says, “Well-timed help, coming just when we need it.” With this explanation, the importance of knowing which word is used for “time” can easily be seen.
Another subject in which this differentiation of words is important has to do with our spiritual maturity. There are at least four Greek words for a daughter or son, each depicting a different level of maturity. Nepios(4) means “no speech” and refers to an infant or baby; a paidion(5) is a toddler or young child; and a teknon(6) is a teenager or young adult. Finally, a huios(7) is a fully matured “son.” (Spiritually speaking, huios is not gender-based; just as a male can be part of Christ’s “bride,” females can be a fully matured “son.”)
In Christ’s day, when a child matured and had been adequately trained, they were “placed” into “sonship.” For this important transition, a public ceremony called a huiothesia(8) was held. This word literally means “placed as a son.” It was different than a bar mitzvah ceremony and normally occurred at 30 years of age. The father of the child would invite members of the community to this event, for it was a public announcement that the child was now a fully mature son with full authority to represent the family name, business, etc. During the ceremony, the father would announce, “This is my beloved son (huios), in whom I am well pleased.” This is why Father God spoke these words at Christ’s baptism (Mark 1:11); He was declaring that Christ was fully authorized to speak for Him and conduct His business. It was Christ’s huiothesia.
Huiothesia is usually translated “adoption as sons” in the New Testament. Technically, however, the word isn’t saying we are being adopted into God’s family. It is saying that as His children, already in the family, we are being positioned or placed into “sonship.” God’s plan is to mature us from spiritual babies to mature sons and daughters, qualified to fully represent Him.
This understanding is important in Romans 8. The chapter tells us that as God’s children, we have all the rights, blessings, and privileges of being in His family. “The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children (teknon) of God, and if children (teknon), heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him” (Romans 8:16-17; NASB).
However, the passage makes an important distinction between children and sons, saying that “sons” (huios) of God are led by His Spirit. “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (huios) of God” (Romans 8:14; NASB). Many of God’s kids are not yet led by Holy Spirit. Though they have access to His blessings, they are not mature enough to know His voice and ways. Children have rights and benefits; sons possess authority. The passage goes on to say that creation is groaning and travailing, waiting for the revealing of the “sons” of God - NOT His children (verse 19). The children of God cannot bring healing to the earth; only mature sons and daughters, those led by Holy Spirit, can do so.
Obviously, a time of complete healing and restoration will one day come to the earth, just as a full manifestation of our sonship will one day occur. But as Christ’s Ekklesia, we are to manifest a level of this sonship now, representing His spiritual authority and releasing His healing to a groaning earth.
I am confident that God has matured a company of believers throughout the earth into their “sonship” stage. Like David’s mighty men, whom we spoke of in yesterday’s post, they have grown in wisdom and knowledge. No longer spiritual babies or children, these believers have matured to a point where they can be trusted with Christ’s authority. As mature sons and daughters, they will bring salvation, healing, and restoration to impoverished nations, teaching them to prosper. They’ll transform governments, education, economies, medicine, farming, and more. They will be healers of decimated cities and nations (Isaiah 58:12), deliverers of the oppressed and downtrodden (Luke 4:18-19). This is all part of the discipling of nations we were commissioned to in Matthew 28:18-20.
Although we are moving into an era of tremendous warfare on the earth, with evil increasing and manifesting in many ways, God has a people prepared to accomplish His will. We must not fear but stand boldly in his name, releasing His kingdom authority and salvation. We are His healers and deliverers. We must move in humility, but also in power. We must operate in love, but also in authority. We are ambassadors of the King of kings, and this can be our finest hour.
Pray with me:
Father, we are a people called for such a time as this. You have prepared the Ekklesia to accomplish Your purposes in the earth. Though at times, in our human-ness we feel inadequate as we see the evil abounding in the earth, may we always be reminded that Your grace abounds even more. Keep us reminded that we are equipped for this battle, not from our own strengths and gifts, but because of the Greater One in us and Christ’s authority upon us.
We join our hearts as a great prayer army, agreeing in intercession for the church. We ask for a high level of revelation to be released in Your people that will awaken us to our calling and equipping. Make this revelation as powerful for us as it was for Peter, who only weeks after denying Christ, stepped into the fullness of his apostleship and authority. Bring revelation of Holy Spirit’s transforming power, of the incredible reality that He resides within us. Through His holy presence in us, we truly are more than conquerors, and can do all things through Christ.
Pour out Your Spirit. Awaken Your spiritual army. Cause us, Your sons and daughters, to realize our authority and position in Christ. Infuse us with new levels of humility, love, faith, boldness, and discernment. Do these things with such strength that we, like the early Ekklesia, turn our world “right side up.”
We decree that sons and daughters of the Most High God are stepping into the fullness of their destiny.
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James Strong, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), ref. no. 5550.
Ibid. Ref. no. 2540.
Ibid. Ref. no. 5611.
Ibid. Ref. no. 3516.
Ibid. Ref. no. 3813.
Ibid. Ref. no. 5043.
Ibid. Ref. no. 5207.
Ibid. Ref. no. 5206.