Ephesians 4:4-6, One hope of your calling: Diligence will bring our calling into view.
length: 62:46 - taught on Dec, 22 2020
Tuesday December 22, 2020
God called or elected us, before the foundation of the world, 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. The called know who they are because they exercised faith in Christ as their Savior.
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.
His virtue is to produce our own by diligence in our faith. Then comes knowledge of God. If we do not produce these deeds, day in and day out, by being the type of people God has called us to be in thinking, perspective, and conduct, then we could not really know Him.
God is a Person and knowing Him is thinking and acting like Him in the capacity He has graciously given to us.
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.
Enduring through hardship is another means of seeing more of God’s person. Faith is the conviction of things not seen.
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.
We are given many examples of the people of God enduring times of suffering, the greatest of which is our Lord’s final days when only He understood what would happen to Him, and He had no idea what it would be like to be separated from the Father and judged for sin.
About three days before the cross:
“Now My soul has become troubled; and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.”
After the loss of New York, the patriots of the American Revolution would face a gloomy, discouraging, and exceptionally harsh winter in 1776-77. Morale was lifted by another pamphlet (after Common Sense) published by Thomas Paine called The American Crisis.
“These are the times that try men’s souls: The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country; but he that stands it NOW deserves the love and thanks of man and woman … the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” [Thomas Paine, The American Crisis]
From diligence comes virtue. From virtue comes knowledge. To knowledge add temperance so as to avoid the trap of pride - then add godliness.
Add godliness - the well devoted life, as Christ was to the Father.
Godliness means to be well devoted to God. Its ultimate manifestation, as with all divine attributes, was in the Person of Christ who never once did anything outside of the will of the Father. We are to be like Him, and starting with diligence of duty to that which we were called, over time we will become like Him. If you have not been like Him yet, and are still alive, you may be if an unbreakable diligence rise up within you and you begin to live in complete obedience.
Remember that God has supplied all things for life and godliness. God has given us what we need, and that in abundance, for complete obedience to Him.
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
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
To this add brotherly love and finally God’s love, agape. Peter means for us to have them all immediately.
He does not convey the idea that agape love will only be found in us at a more distant time. All of it is thrown together like the ingredients of a recipe.
All are to be ours and each of them, all of them, must be increasing or continually abounding.
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.
If the qualities are abounding in you, you are useful and fruitful in the knowledge of our Lord - a life of work and production based on the knowledge of Christ.