Attitude according to the Urban Dictionary is “a word parents made up so that they can yell at their kids for no damn reason.
Parent: How was your day Billy?
Billy: It was fine.
Parent: Is that attitude I hear?”1
Saying a woman has attitude generally means she is a bit aggressive, maybe sassy.
Saying a guy has attitude generally means he is negative and hostile.
We have no word in the Koine Greek for our English word attitude. Nonetheless attitude is easily identifiable as we look at the actions of individuals throughout God’s Word.
"Attitude: the form of the thoughts of the heart; tendency; impulse; to have a frame of mind. A position determined or taken to serve a purpose; stance or bearing as indicating feeling, mood, action; a posture of the mind, a manner of acting, feeling or thinking that shows one’s disposition, beliefs, opinions, etc."2
“In psychology, an attitude refers to a set of emotions, beliefs, and behaviors toward a particular object, person, thing, or event. Attitudes are often the result of experience or upbringing, and they can have a powerful influence over behavior. While attitudes are enduring, they can also change.”3
Sumballo, or thought patterns, have a part in developing an attitude.
Logizomai, or reasoning, has a part in developing an attitude.
What you stay your mind on has a part in developing an attitude.
Your learning, manthano, helps to form and develop an attitude.
Your kardia, the heart, has its part in developing an attitude.
Your attitude is the result of what you have allowed to be developed within your nous.
Attitude is the filter or the screen through which all phronema are perceived. Attitude determines how every situation, every circumstance is perceived and thus received or rejected. Attitude is the lens through which you view and interpret the world. Was that event good or evil? Are you meek to receive or hardened against certain thought patterns?
Attitude is your predetermined mental position, within the nous, toward an outside influence. In other words, your attitude is on the front lines for new manthano, and all new phronema, and new thumos you are experiencing.
Your attitude determines what you hear.
Your attitude determines what you receive.
Your attitude directs your believing.
When your heart fails to provide a clear answer, the right direction is hard to find. When you have two opposing sumballo’s on the same subject, you have indecision and uncertainty. These situations are due to multiple centers of reference for TRUTH. When you have more than one center of reference for TRUTH, you have confusion and disarray.
This truth is first seen with Adam. Either God lied or He told Adam the TRUTH when God declared: “…the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”4
Adam chose a second center of reference for TRUTH and he immediately died spiritually and because of that death he ultimately died physically. Remember the figure of speech polyptoton in Genesis 2:17, “in dying you shall die” the two-fold death of Adam.
More than one center of reference for TRUTH causes confusion and every evil work. We’ll see more of this in a later teaching. For now, understand attitude only has gray areas when the nous is confused due to multiple centers of reference for TRUTH.
For today, let God’s Word reveal the importance of attitude.
Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph. And Nathanael said unto him, can there any good thing come out of Nazareth? Philip saith unto him, Come and see [eido].
Nathanael is simply repeating a proverb of his day. The proverb, nothing good can come out of Galilee. The proverb of Nathanael’s day was based upon the logic that no prophet ever came from Galilee in the Old Testament. However, experience is not the standard for TRUTH.
The name Nazareth never appears in the Old Testament, although the vow of a Nazarene is in the Old Testament. So, laying Nazareth alongside of the Messiah didn’t add up in the Jewish mind.
Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, of a truth this is the Prophet. Others said, this is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the scripture said that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
Look at the response of the religious leaders to Nicodemus when he questioned their judgment of Jesus without hearing him first.
They answered and said unto him, Art thou also of Galilee? Search, and look: for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet.
A proverb masquerading as TRUTH and being used to supersede the Law of God.
Oxford Dictionary states a proverb is, “A short, well-known pithy saying, stating a general truth or piece of advice.”5
Obviously, Oxford Dictionary is using the word “truth” very loosely.
Benjamin Franklin was known for his proverbs. An example of one is, “Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”6 Not always true, factual for some but not TRUTH.
We don’t know exactly what was in Nathanael’s mind to produce such a negative attitude toward Nazareth, but we can see his attitude toward his friend was positive enough to override his attitude of Nazareth.
Philip’s response to Nathanael was, “Come and see.” “See” is the Greek word eido and here it is in the imperative mood. Normally, the imperative mood indicates a command, but the imperative mood can also be translated as a request. Context is the deciding factor.
Here it must be a request, for Philip has no authority to issue a command to his friend. Philip is simply saying, “Give it a try. Keep an open mind.”
Nathanael’s attitude toward his friend is much better than his attitude toward Nazareth. His attitude toward Philip changed his life. His attitude toward Nazareth would have kept him in darkness. The wrong attitude can always change. Nonetheless, we can see attitude makes a difference! Attitude matters, it is important!
Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile! Nathanael saith unto him, Whence knowest thou me? Jesus answered and said unto him, before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee. Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Jesus Christ spoke by revelation and the revelation confronted the sumballo already in Nathanael’s mind. Nathanael began a new sumballo that overwhelmed his previous negative sumballo concerning Nazareth.
We need to remember that the written Word of God, the Bible, is also revelation.Far too often that has been forgotten.
2 Peter 1:20-21
Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private [idios = one’s own] interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
Holy men of God spoke as they were moved, received revelation, through God’s gift of holy spirit. These men received revelation from God, like Jesus when he spoke to Nathanael, however these men spoke and wrote what God revealed to them.
What these men wrote wasn’t from notes they had taken along the way, it wasn’t their opinions of what they thought would be best to help other people, it wasn’t what they learned in Dale Carnegie’s original class on how to influence people, it was God’s heart and direction about what mankind needed to know in order to have salvation and God’s righteousness.
Your attitude will also have a bearing on your confession.
Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel.
Nathanael opens with Rabbi. Rabbi means, “my great one, my honorable sir.” Israel used this term for their teachers. Then Nathanael declares Jesus to be the Son of God and the King of Israel. These statements are a very long way from “can any good thing come out of Nazareth.” This is the power of God’s Word when it is received with meekness and believing. Notice with the change of attitude also came the change in his confession.
Let’s examine a series of events in the book of Acts.
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them,
Let’s add some context to this verse.
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [3:00 PM]. And a certain man lame from his mother's womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. And all the people saw him walking and praising God:
Peter and John are walking into the Temple at three in the afternoon. They see a lame man sitting at the Beautiful gate asking for alms. They receive revelation from God pertaining to this lame man. We are told his family takes him to this gate every day. Although we don’t know when his family started bringing him to the Temple, but from the response to his healing many people have seen him at the gate for many years. We also know he is over 40 years old and this condition has been with him since his birth. After the miracle of his healing all the people in the Temple area are drawn to his leaping and walking and praising God. At this point Peter begins to teach the people about what has happened and why it happened.
The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name [Jesus Christ of Nazareth] through faith [believing] in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know yea, the faith [believing] which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.
While Peter is teaching the religious leaders show up. We don’t know how much of his teaching these religious leaders have heard. But they’ve heard enough to have Peter and John arrested and placed in prison overnight.
This is no small thing for these are the same leaders that orchestrated the murder of Jesus and now they have arrested Peter and John. This is not a simple inquiry by the leaders to find answers to the question of how this man was healed, Peter and John are on trial and could easily be put to death by stoning.
Examine the attitude of these leaders as they work through their response to this obvious miracle of deliverance.
And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide. Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.
About 5,000 believed on Jesus Christ due to Peter’s teaching and the miracle they witnessed. After spending a night in jail Peter and John are brought before the ruling council of Israel, the Sanhedrin.
And it came to pass on the morrow, that their rulers, and elders, and scribes, And Annas the high priest, and Caiaphas, and John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the kindred of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, by what power, or by what name, have ye done this?
This is the perfect question, by what power and by what name have you done this miracle? If you are a religious leader in Jerusalem you should want this power, this ability so that you could also minister to others in need. Therefore, this is the perfect question. But it is asked for the wrong reasons.
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone, which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
To the perfect question, Peter supplies the perfect answer. It is exactly what the religious leaders requested. But their response is reminiscent of the seed that fell by the wayside in the parable of the sower and the seed. Their attitude towards Jesus and these men cut off any opportunity for manthano. Their attitude toward Jesus and thus these men was set before Peter ever uttered a word.
Their attitude toward Jesus was set long before their illegal trial that brought about his murder. But the attitude of Peter and John is also set, and they are not backing down.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, [perhaps another attitude founded in the proverb concerning Galilee] they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. And beholding the man, which was healed standing with them, they could say nothing against it.
The world has no sane response when confronted with the greatness of the power of God and the Light of His Word. Why would you even look for something to say against this miracle? He was lame! Now, he’s walking and leaping and praising God! For a religious leader this is a cause for rejoicing not evaluating the education of Peter and John nor for looking for a means to deny the miracle.
Peter and John’s attitude rejected their intimidation and the attitudes of the religious leaders rejected the blessing of God because of the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. It’s reminiscent of earlier confrontations between Jesus and these same religious leaders when they sought to find fault with deliverance God had provided through the ministry of Jesus.
Your attitude directs your believing.
But when they had commanded them to go aside out of the council, they conferred [sumballo] among themselves,
Sumballo, to bring together things that are alike, forming a stronger union. They conferred together, away from the Apostles, and the people, and the man who was healed. This is a negative sumballo that fights against the Word of God. This is an attitude that never allows them to hear God’s Word like the about 5,000 the day before this council meeting.
Saying, what shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.
Their individual attitudes, acting as a filter, prevented the words of God from penetrating each and every nous among the leadership. When the people heard the same message the day before about 5,000 believed. It’s an interesting comparison of the same situation.
The word “notable” is the Greek word gnostos and it means “known.”7 All that saw the man, including the leaders, knew it was a miracle and they could not deny it! Look at the power of an attitude. They knew it was a miracle by sought a way to deny it!
But Peter and John answered and said unto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.
Attitude, as a filter, directs believing with the strength of those things already in the kardia of the nous. Notice also, their confession, “speak to no man in this name,” fell in line with their attitude.
The threats of the Sanhedrin didn’t strike fear into the heart of the apostles, rather they spoke the Word of God more boldly and the city saw many signs, miracles and wonders.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed everyone.
The Word was HOT!
People were believing!
Deliverance and healing everywhere!
But the religious leaders couldn’t handle it. The nous had received no new information and thereby their attitudes had experienced no change.
Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation, And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.
Once again, the high priest and the Sadducees thought they had the situation well in hand. But they didn’t anticipate the power of God and God’s love for all who believe. Yes, they had the apostles locked in the common prison, but they never considered an angel from God.
But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said, Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.
An angel, sent by God, releases the apostles from prison and tells them to “Go, stand, and speak in the Temple to the people all the words of this life!”
As the psychologist said earlier in this teaching about attitudes, “they can have a powerful influence over behavior.” The attitude of the apostles was to proclaim the power of God in the resurrection and name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.
In the morning the high priest calls the council together to once again stand the apostles before the council to intimidate, to threaten, to brow beat these men into not revealing what a tremendous mistake this same council made when they murdered Jesus The Christ.
But the Captain of the guard informs the council that the prison was locked, and the guards were at the door, but the apostles were not inside, they had disappeared. Then while the Captain is giving this new information to the council another man arrives to say the apostles are in the Temple teaching the people. As expected, the high priest is livid, ordering the Captain to go get these men.
The Captain and his men are afraid. These guards are big, muscle bound men, but they are afraid of how the people will react to the apostles being arrested once again. So, the Captain and his men, very gingerly, bring the apostles to the council and you can just see the veins popping out on the neck of the high priest as he screams at the apostles.
Saying, did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man's blood upon us.
The behavior resulting from the attitude of the world is one of intimidation and violence. The behavior resulting from the attitude learned in God’s Word is one of love and deliverance. One standard for TRUTH begins to clear away any confusion; bring the aspects of the nous in line with one another and insuring the best possible attitudes.
Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, we ought to obey God rather than men.
An odd lesson to teach religious leaders but the need was obvious.
Attitude is a function of the nous. All the aspects of the nous influence our attitudes. Then attitude not only has an influence over behavior, it also influences our confession.
The lone remaining question is what attitude do you want your nous to produce?
Your attitude can either help you or hinder you.
Your attitude can filter out the kosmos or the words of God.
Your attitude is an integral aspect of the renewed mind.
Your attitude can change.
4. Genesis 2:17
7. Thayer’s Expanded Definitions https://www.studylight.org/lexicons/greek/4461.html
© Auxano Ministry 2020
All verses quoted in this teaching are from the King James Version unless otherwised.