Ephesians; 1:4 – Elected to be blameless. The church presented blameless – Col 1:22.
Tuesday March 12, 2019
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge [epignosis = full knowledge] of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Col 1:10 so that [because you are filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding] you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;
Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might [better: “the might of His glory”], for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously [giving thanks to the Father]
When we are content with parts of the Christian life and not the whole of it, then we tend to look like many of the counterfeits. Every believer has an easier time with parts of Christianity and a much tougher and challenging time with others. It is imperative that we don’t ignore the virtues that challenge us, but that we ask, seek, and knock continually in our pursuit of victory. Study, prayer, and diligence in effective practice while maintaining faith in the Holy Spirit within will win the day.
Walking in the manner of election becomes wearisome as we fight the constant temptation of the flesh to selfishness.
Gal 6:9 tells us not to lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.
Phi 2:13 tells that God is always at work in us, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
This is why perseverance and forbearance are so important. But remember, they must also be accomplished with joy and not grudgingly. Beside the Christian who usually lives the parts of the Christian life he likes or finds easiest, there is also the Christian who is part-time no matter how easy or hard it is. Both types are part-timers but in different ways. One is always working part-time and the other shows up for full-time work part of the time.
If we develop the habit of being Christians who do God’s work some of the time; when we find it easier, when we get really, really motivated for a time, when we’re in incredible pain from our sinful lives, when temptation to do otherwise isn’t too strong, then we will never know what is was like to be Christlike in this life.
We need motivation.
Some denominations and various pulpits like to hang your salvation in the balance, or at least, all of your rewards in heaven that will fall away from you if you don’t get with it.
The motivation given to the believer in the NT is his salvation and his Savior, Father, and Helper (God the Holy Spirit).
You were saved when you believed in Christ. You cannot lose your salvation. If you still don’t love Christ more than anything, you should ask yourself and God some serious questions in prayer. 1Co 3 speaks of loss of rewards, but nothing is said in that passage about losing eternal rewards. That conclusion might be Paul’s reference, but it is conjectured. There are passages which imply a loss of some portion of your inheritance, but what is lost and when (time or eternity, for the inheritance exists in both) is not revealed. So, I can’t hang your inheritance over the cliff and say, “Come on little lamb, get with the Shepherd or I’m dropping this to the depths forever.” Plus, this motivation from fear is never given in the NT. The motivation given to the believer in the NT is his salvation, his Savior, his Father, and his Mentor.
We must combine perseverance and forbearance with joy constantly through truth, knowledge, and the power and might of God’s glory.
Though we are sinners who will fail, we must maintain this attitude of consistency because of what we have been delivered from, what we have been delivered to and because of who our Lord and Savior is.
A Christian, when he learns of his calling, of his election so that he should be holy and blameless, will set his mind to it. He will normally be excited to be understanding and setting off on this journey of divine virtue and may even imagine the person he is going to become down the road. But then, after a few months or weeks, and I would actually tend more to believe, after a few days, he becomes weary with the work. Why does he become weary? He has to constantly fight off the flesh’s tendency to selfishness. He also comes to see that nobody recognizes his work. He also comes to see that maturity does not come very rapidly. He recognizes that completing the journey for which he was saved is going to take a long time indeed. He imagines that in a short time his life is going to turn into awesomeness, but what he finds instead is the same problems and an added awareness of even more problems. The more often you live spiritually, the more opposition you face from within and without, and the more problems you face. Life doesn’t turn into a rose garden rapidly, in fact, it will start to look worse in some ways, however, if you persevere, that won’t last.
The faithful believer will find within himself more struggle before he finds pure joy.
Israel had to fight to take hold of the Promised Land and it took them seven years to complete it, and still, not all the enemy was beaten. 40 years prior, their parents heard from a minority (17%) that they should go for it and the same guaranteed victory. But, they also heard from an overwhelming majority that they shouldn’t go in for it would only mean certain death.
This is why perseverance and forbearance are so important.
Pure joy will come only with perseverance and forbearance. It will live within us when we abide (remain and don’t leave) in Christ’s love and keep His commands.
Paul puts a spotlight on these sister virtues in Col 1 when writing to them of walking in a manner worthy of the Lord.
Joh 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Joh 15:6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Joh 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
Joh 15:8 "By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
Joh 15:9 "Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
Joh 15:10 "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.
Joh 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
Joh 15:12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
Joh 15:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience
Paul adds a few more virtues to perseverance and forbearance in Eph 4.
Eph 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called,
Eph 4:2 with all humility and gentleness [meekness], with patience, showing forbearance to one another in love,
Eph 4:3 being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Humility, gentleness (meekness – accepting all of God’s dealings as good), patience (makrothumia - forbearance), forbearance (anecho – to hold up, to endure) in love, making every effort (spoudazo) to keep the unity.
Election to holiness and blamelessness carries with it a life full of all divine virtues, as they are revealed in God’s holy scripture. To live in them is to reckon a complete death of the flesh. The flesh has been crucified with Christ but its legacy, its echo, its passions and desires still live in us. We cannot live the spiritual life part-time. We must set our minds to be who we are in Christ. Eph 4 – walk in a manner worthy of your calling. Col 1 – walk in a manner worthy of the Lord.
We are to give ourselves to others at all times, not the outside only, but all that is within. Perseverance and forbearance.
Luk 11:37 Now when He had spoken, a Pharisee asked Him to have lunch with him; and He went in, and reclined at the table.
Luk 11:38 And when the Pharisee saw it, he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal.
Luk 11:39 But the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness.
Luk 11:40 "You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
Luk 11:41 "But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.