Ephesians 4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Diligence will bring our calling into view.

Class Outline:

Sunday December 20,2020

EPH 4:1-6

I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love, 3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.


Called of Christ Jesus. Called as saints.


ROM 1:1-7

Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles, for His name's sake, 6 among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; 7 to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


“Happy they to whom the darkness of this world reveals the boundless distances of the starry heaven, and who find that the blows which have shattered their earthly happiness have merely broken the shell which confined their true life and have given them entrance into a world infinite and eternal.” [Dods, First Corinthians p. 79]


The God of hope fills your faith with joy and peace, so that, by the power of the Holy Spirit, you may abound in hope.


ROM 15:13

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


Peter’s remedy to false doctrines purported by false teachers is to fill our hearts with the true knowledge. He reveals that we will not know if we do not apply diligence to our faith to which virtue will be added.


When divine virtue is a product of our life then knowledge of God will be added to our life.


Remember, it is a divine life, the life of Christ that has been given to us. It is by being that person we are, that the Father desires, that will show us the knowledge of Christ and thus the knowledge of the Father; “He who has seen Me has seen the Father.”


It is only by saying no to the flesh and the world and yes to godliness, complete devotion to the will of the Father, that we will come to know God. That is the great reward. Those who attempt to study the Bible, or actually do, but do not choose to be fully devoted to the Father’s will, will not know Him. They may know more “about” Him than others, but they will not know Him.


Apply diligence, make every effort, to add virtue to your faith and then you will know God.


Virtue (Greek: arête) is power and excellence combining to produce wonderful deeds.


2PE 1:3 who called us by His own glory and excellence (arête)


It makes sense that since a significant part of God’s Person is the performance of wonderful deeds that we will only come to know Him when we produce them ourselves. But remember, only though God’s power and what He has supplied can we do them.


2PE 1:2-4

Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence [arête - power and excellence combined to produce wonderful deeds]. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.


God called or elected us by His own glory and virtue. His glory - who He is. His virtue - His wonderful deeds. God’s virtue is to send His Son into the world to die on a cross for the sins of mankind - the most wonderful of deeds. If we do not produce these deeds by, day in and day out, being the type of people God has called us to be in thinking, perspective, and conduct, then we could not really know Him.



But the additions to our lives do not stop at virtue. Diligence in faith to supply virtue, and then knowledge, and then self-control, and then perseverance, and then godliness, and then brotherly love, and then love/charity.


2PE 1:5-11

Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence [spoudazo - making every effort], in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge; 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness; 7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; 11 for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.


Virtue flows from diligence in the faith, and knowledge flows from both of them. He who loves the will of God will know God.


A careful and excellent walk with God will open our eyes to the knowledge of God. Again, he who loves to do God’s will is the one who will know God. By doing what God has called each of us to do, following His will, only then will we understand more of God’s dealings, which will bring our lives more into harmony with His will.


Add to knowledge temperance or self-control. There is a knowledge that puffs up.


The spiritual will have many trials - add patience.


He waits on the deliverance of the Lord, having a sound hope that God is working in ways he cannot see but that he can assuredly trust. He is a pilgrim and sojourner in this world and Christ has raised him above the plain of that mundane chaos that the world seems to love so much. He is not in bondage to man nor the world, and even the greatest affliction will not move him from his trust in his Father to deliver him.


HEB 11:24-27

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God, than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin; 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen.


“endure ill-treatment with” (one Greek word) the people of God rather than enjoy “the passing” pleasures of sin. The reproach of Christ is the suffering that naturally comes upon us when we deny the flesh its passion for the pleasures of the world that are outside the will of God. The treasures of Egypt are the pleasures of sin.


The reward - seeing Him who is unseen (HEB 11:27).


HEB 11:1

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.