GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

SUNDAY 10-9-2022

GBIBLE.ORG

PDF:EPHESIANS-0290-012NOTES 

EPHESIANS - 0290-010

DIVINE DECREES, PART 9.

GREEK DRAMA AS IT RELATES TO EVERY BELIEVER;

2PE 1:5; 1PE 4:7-8; 1CO 4:9; MAT 5:16.

 

 

 

Title = The Doctrine of Divine Decrees; (part 9); Greek drama as it relates to every believer; 2PE 1:5; 1PE 4:7-8; 1CO 4:9; MAT 5:16.

 

 

We are now ready for;

 

2Pe 1:5 and Greek drama as it relates to the Divine Decrees.

 

We begin with the phrase, 2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason

 

Q: What very reason?

 

That reason is given in 2PE 1:3 in our modified version which looks like this;

 

 

2PE 1:3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to the “zoe life” and godliness [eusebeia - living the spiritual life], through [epignosis or metabolized doctrine] of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence or virtue.

 

Peter goes on to teach us how to become a winner believer according to the Doctrine of the Divine Decrees as he lays out for us “how” to live the spiritual life.

 

“applying all diligence” in the Greek should be translated “having made every effort.”

 

So far, we have;

 

2PE 1:5 For this very reason having made every effort

 

Next; the Greek should say;

 

“in your faith” or “with your doctrine”

 

2PE 1:5 For this very reason having made every effort with your doctrine.  

 

Next, we have a word from the original language that changes the entire meaning of the passage for the believer who desires to experience the Divine Decrees and that is;

 

The word is “supply” which is the Greek word epichorégeó and it means to supply with virtue.

 

Virtue must be 1st,

 

Virtue is the key to the Christian life and virtue can only be developed inside of the PPOG.

 

"Christianity" appears to be a disaster today- WHY?

Because there is one thing missing from Christianity---virtue!

 

Moral excellence is the Greek word arete which means manliness, excellence, but most of all VIRTUE.

 

It is very important that we understand virtue.

 

At the time the Bible was written the word virtue was very popular.

 

One Roman poet (Lucilis) said that:

 

Virtue is for a man to know what is good and what is evil, what is useless, shameful, dishonorable. To be the enemy of bad men and bad customs and to be a friend and protector of those who are good.

 

The Roman's defined virtue in five ways; as follows:

 

  1.   Devotion and loyalty to your family.

 

Loyalty was the key to being virtuous.

 

There are some believers who have no loyalties in life.

 

None whatsoever!

 

They are loyal to themselves which is arrogance.

 

They are preoccupied with themselves which is subjectivity.

 

They have no loyalties in life.

 

And so, virtue always meant that you had developed loyalties in life.

 

Many believers lose their loyalty toward others when others do not live up to their expectations.

 

For those of you who do, remember;

 

PSA 130:3 If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand?

 

Why be shocked when a person fails or lets you down?

 

1KI 8:46.....for there is no man who does not sin.

 

ROM 3:23 for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 

ROM 3:10  as it is written, "There is NONE righteous, not even one; 

 

ECC 7:20 Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who {continually – not in the original} does good and who NEVER SINS.

 

So, what do you do when people fail or let you down?

 

You operate in the virtue of PRO 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.

 

You operate in the virtue revealed 1PE 4:7-8.

 

1PE 4:7   The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer.

 

1PE 4:8 Above all, keep fervent in your love for one another, because love covers a multitude of sins.

 

And if that doesn't work then just remember what TLJC said in;

JOH 8:7 "He who is without sin among you, let him {be the} first to throw a stone at her."

 

So, to the Roman's virtue always meant you had developed loyalties in life.

 

Loyalties to the family.

 

Loyalties to friends, etc.

 

The Roman's also knew that no one could be virtuous unless they accepted authority, beginning with the authority of their parents.

 

And so,

 

Virtue was a willing acceptance of parental authority which gave unity and strength to the Roman family and eventually it resulted in the Roman's conquering the world.

And how many times did I tell you that "authority is your friend"

 

The second meaning of virtue to the Romans of SPQR is that;

 

  1. Virtue also meant reverence and devotion to the authorities over the Romans at that time.

 

This included respect and loyalty toward God which was revealed by the exact performance of all that was required.

 

It also meant respect for the laws of establishment and the Roman government.

 

  1. The third meaning of virtue meant justice or faith.

 

To the Roman's faith meant to be true to one's word.

Paying one's dept.

 

Keeping one's oath.

 

Performing all obligations.

 

So, virtue was considered the performance of all obligations.

 

In the Roman business world, a man's word was his bond, and they didn't need signed contracts.

 

If a man gave his word, that was it.

 

A hand-shake was as good as a man’s life – and some did die!

 

Faith rooted in the conscience of the Roman's was even stronger than written law.

Virtue held together the society of Rome for nearly 1,000 years.

 

So, By virtue they meant what we would call faithfulness or the ability to fulfill one's obligations and keeping one's word.

 

  1. Virtue through absolute self-control - You had to have self-control and a well-organized life or you were not considered to be virtuous.

 

  1. Consistency or perseverance including perseverance under the most trying circumstances.

 

It meant NOT quitting no matter what the pressure.

 

In fact; The Roman's had a saying which said in effect:

“Nothing is too difficult for the power of the faithful.”

 

Some other popular Roman sayings concerning virtue are as follows;

 

You may break, but you will never break me.

 

Fortune can take away riches but can never deprive of my courage.

 

Now this is the basis for understanding the word we have in our passage.

 

This is the basis for understanding what Peter meant by "virtue."

 

If Peter was going to communicate a point of doctrine in the Roman empire, he had to know what the Roman empire meant by arete or virtue.

 

And so "virtue" really meant a lot to the believers in the Roman empire.

Now, in the Christian life;

 

Virtue is the number 1 priority in God's system.

 

There must be virtue before there can be production.

 

Virtue is the lead actor in what is coming up as Greek drama with the word epichorégeó.

 

Only Eph 5:18 and Bible doctrine can produce the virtue that is needed for your very own personal drama.

 

We are now ready for a verse that is about to interpret the entire passage that Peter wrote that reveals the Doctrine of the Divine Decrees.

 

So far, we have as our corrected translation:

 

2PE 1:5 For this very reason, having made every effort with your doctrine. 

 

The next word is supply which is the word epichorégeó which is translated supply but it has a lot more to it then the English word supply.

 

We that because in the next three verses 5-7, we have our subject.

 

A subject that takes us back to the 5th century B.C., in Athens.

 

500 years before our Lord would be coming back at the time the Romans were ruling the world, this word epichorégeó was used for a specific purpose.

 

What was the purpose?

 

Athens was in Greece and was far, filled with men of great genius like Socrates, Plato, Aristotle.

 

They were all considered to be great genius’ but they were filled with a lot of good and evil as most of their beliefs were contrary to our Lord’s at the time as found in the Torah. (Explain)

 

Remember that although our Lord had not come in the First Advent as of yet, His word was around in the O.T.

 

This was a wonderful period of time when Greek thought was at its peak.

 

And There was one area that they developed in a fantastic way and that is an area we call "drama."

 

And we are about to begin a study of Greek drama in verses 5-7 and how it applies to your life in a fantastic way.

All drama stems from the 5th century B.C.

 

And there wouldn't be such a thing as a play, an opera, as a theater or for that matter, as television programs, if it were not for Greek drama in Athens.

 

So far, we have as our corrected translation;

 

2PE 1:5  Now for this very reason also, making every effort, in your doctrine supply or epichorégeó

 

Here is where the word epichorégeó comes up, which introduces Greek drama and a chorus line about to come up and how it relates magnificently to our subject of virtue and the Divine Decrees.

 

You see the chorus line that we all have which is about to come up is mentioned in verses 5-7 described in your Bible in the correct chronological order.

 

They are:

 

  1. Moral excellence (virtue)
  2. Knowledge
  3. Self‑control
  4. Perseverance
  5. Godliness
  6. Brotherly kindness
  7. Love.

 

Notice there are seven members of your very own Chorus line.

 

And the point is that what will your play or drama be like?

 

The Lord has given all of us our very own chorus line and we are to determine what our play or our drama may be.

The verb is translated "supply" is the aor-act-imp of the verb epichoregeo.

 

Aorist tense

Active Voice

Imperative mood

 

This word actually introduces us to the Greek drama of the days in which Peter lived.

 

Epichoregeo was a word which was used for the man who provided the finances to train the Greek actors of the day.

 

The group of actors was called the chorego (chorus).

 

The chorego was made up of a small group of very excellent dancers and singers referring to what we call the chorus.

By the way, do you know who are in the seats observing your performance?

 

Paul tells us who in 1CO 4:9 because in the dispensation of the Church Age, angels observe members of the Royal Family of God in their failure or success in executing and fulfilling the PPOG.

 

In 1Co 4:9, the apostle Paul states that we are a spectacle to the world, referring to both angels and humans observing us.

 

Look at 1CO 4:9 For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

 

Our life is a theatre for others to observe our play or our performance.

 

MAT 5:16 "Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

 

What will the audience see with your chorus line performing?

 

Will it be a tragedy?

 

Will it be a drama?

 

Will it be a comedy?

 

You will determine what your play will be!

 

And that includes both the elect and fallen angels who are in your audience.

 

The training of the chorus was the most important part of the drama; JOH 8:31-32.

 

The chorus in Greek drama was the key to understanding everything.

 

They would sing the lines of the play.

 

They would set the mood.

 

They were like the narrators of the story.

 

Now, The chorus or the choregeo were trained to perfection.

 

It cost a tremendous amount of money and it took a year to train them.

 

They had to learn the lines.

They had to learn the dances and everything else that is involved.

 

Now, They had to have an epichoregeo a supplier they had to have someone come along with a pocket full of money to pay for the yearly expense.

 

Peter is going to list a chorus or a choregeo in verses 5-7.

 

Actually, he is going to list 7.

 

Now, it took a lot of time to train the Greek chorus and they had to be experts in song and dance long before they became part of the chorus.

 

And so  “Epichoregeo” came to mean supply and furnish.

 

The main principle is that God is the supplier who supplies you to be the epichorgeo (supplier) for you very own play.

 

It means to furnish everything that is necessary or to supply everything necessary or needed.

 

It was very expensive for the epichorégeó to supply and furnish all the money needed for the Greek chorus but no more expensive in concept than what it takes to be a winner in the Christian life.

 

There are very few epichorégeós’ in the Christian life because there are very few believers willing to pay the price.

 

You see this is not a drama class but it is necessary to understand what Peter is going to say.

 

Peter is going to use Greek drama to explain something to us even as the apostle Paul also used Greek drama in the teaching of his passages; GAL 2:12-13.

 

Paul liked to use the name of the actor.

 

The actor was called in the Greek hupokrites which is where we get our word hypocrite from.

 

And hupokrites was used by Paul in Gal 2:12-13.

 

GAL 2:12 For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision.

 

GAL 2:13 And the rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy (hupokrites), with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy (hupokrites).

In fact,

 

Paul called Peter a hupokrites because when Peter was in Jerusalem, he was the best actor of all, which is a legalist," but when he was with Paul he was "a grace person."

 

The Greek word hupokrites was used for the actor who wore a large wax mask.

 

Sam can you get a sad face and a happy face 😊  of hypocrites

 

Along with wearing masks, the hupokrites also wore boots on stilts, or kothornos, which represent arrogance.

 

Sam, can you get a picture of stilts in Greek drama days

So, Paul called him a hupokrites

 

In fact, Paul used another Greek word which was fantastic.

 

Pareiseichomai which means a minor actor entering the stage to play a minor part.

 

And Paul used it in Rom 5:20, when he said the Mosaic law is a pareiseichomai or a minor actor playing a minor part.

 

ROM 5:20 And the Law came in (pareiseichomai) that the transgression might increase; but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

 

Now, The Greek verb epichoregeo means to supply the money necessary to train and to costume the chorus.

 

It is also used for logistical grace wherein God provides everything for us in 2Co 9:10, Gal 3:5.

 

The patron, or in Greek is also called the epichoregia and it is used in Eph 4:16, translated "supply."

 

EPH 4:11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some   as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,

 

EPH 4:12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

 

EPH 4:13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

 

 

EPH 4:14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;

 

EPH 4:15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ,

 

EPH 4:16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, (epichorégeó) according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

 

This passage says that in every generation of the Church-age, God supplies the spiritual gift of pastor-teacher so that positive volition need not be frustrated.

 

God uses prepared men, and He provides prepared men for every congregation that has positive volition.

2PE 1:5  Now for this very reason also, making every effort, in your doctrine supply.

 

The point is that;

 

It is your doctrine and therefore you are the main actor in your very own drama of life.

 

Let me show another passage again that backs this principle up as well;

 

Remember we read;

 

1CO 4:9  For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

 

 

The word spectacle is the nominative neuter singular of theatron which is where we get the word theater from and it means a theater, a place for public shows, a play, a place for the performance of dramatic representations.

 

The point is we have our very own drama.

 

You are the one that produces the action, and you have the ability to have your very own epichorogeo, Bible doctrine, which will furnish and supply everything you need to produce your very own drama.

 

Your life will either be a drama that glorifies God, 1Co 6:19-20, or a drama or lifestyle that lives for the god of this world, Satan, 2Co 4:4.

 

Will your play or performance be 1CO 6:19-20, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

1CO 6:20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

 

Or will your chorus line perform like 2CO 4:4 in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving, that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

 

2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, making every effort, furnish or supply by means of your very own doctrine, moral excellence,

 

Moral excellence is the Greek word arete which means manliness, excellence, virtue.

 

There must be virtue before there can be production.

 

 

This is the principle of quality mentioned in 1CO 3:13 each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work.

 

Since we're right around the corner, this is the same type of virtue and quality mentioned in 1PE 3:1 In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any {of them} are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives,

 

1PE 3:2 as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior.

 

1PE 3:3 And let not your adornment be {merely} external   braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses;

 

1PE 3:4 but {let it be} the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

 

You cannot have a gentle and quiet submissive spirit unless you have the quality of virtue.

 

Now, in your drama, virtue is to be the lead actor.

 

Only Eph 5:18 and Bible doctrine can produce the virtue that is needed for your very own personal drama.

 

Virtue is the visible manifestation of the invisible, i.e., metabolized doctrine and the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Arrogance is the visible manifestation of Satan's invisible cosmic system.

 

Virtue is the monopoly of God.  Therefore, it can only be manufactured inside the PPOG.

Basic virtues developed in the PPOG include enforced and genuine humility, love, worship, morality, courage, and confidence.  Humility is the foundation for all virtue.

 

Virtue is the quality of intrinsic good.

 

Now, there is a proper direction for virtue.

 

All virtue must have an object toward which it is directed.

 

Virtue is manifested by enforced humility directed toward authority; genuine humility directed toward God and man.

 

Enforced humility means to obey the law whether you agree with it or not.

 

Genuine humility is willingly agreeing with the rules that are given.

 

Virtue is manifested by worship toward God; morality toward man.

 

Virtue is confidence toward God, courage toward man and circumstances.

 

It is personal love toward God; impersonal love toward man.

 

Virtue toward self is humility.

 

For the believer, virtue and integrity is composed of epignosis doctrine in the soul, not abstaining from sin.

 

Now, In Greek drama there was another principle that all Greek drama's followed and that was to produce unity in the drama.

  1. There had to be unity of action.
  2. Unity of time.
  3. Unity of place.

 

Those were the three important concepts of Greek drama.

 

The action all took place in one time just like your life takes place in one particular time – from the day of your birth to the day of your death.

 

And The action had to have consistency and unity just like your life must have consistency and unity if you are to bring glory to God.

 

As the apostle says in PHI 2:2 Be thinking the same things, maintaining the same virtue-love, united in soul, concentrating on the same objective.

 

And so, by using epichoregeo, Peter is giving us a phenomenal concept of the Christian way of life.

 

In the spiritual life, the epichorogeo, the supplier or provider of the chorus, is metabolized doctrine.

 

The lead actor in your life must be moral excellence (virtue).

 

Virtue must be first.

 

In Greek drama action, time, and place were very vital.

 

And for you as a believer, action, time and place is also very vital.

 

Your life must have virtue as its action.

 

You must be in the right place, PPOG.

At the right time, or under the right timing or the timing of God.

 

The point is that virtue is the key to the Christian life.

 

Not morality, not legalism, not social arrogance or social action.

 

Virtue entails humility - and we live in the day of arrogance.

 

We live in the day of subjectivity.

 

There is very little humility today among believers.

 

And Because there is no humility there is no RMA.

 

There is no teachability.

 

The average Christian today doesn't want to be taught.

 

They want something that compliments them---they want to be told how good they are because of what they're doing.

 

They want to be used by God.

 

They want to be in the drama but they do not want to go through the training or the practice.

 

The average Christian male today is arrogant and rejects authority.

 

He's too busy trying to impress others and to get what he lusts for.

 

The average Christian woman today is the most vicious, unruly, arrogant, jealous person in the world.

She's legalistic to the core.

 

She is a gossip.

 

She is a malinger.

 

She gets together with other emotional legalistic women to stimulate each other.

 

And to complement each other and to have their phony-no “higher than the ceiling prayer meetings”.

 

There's nothing wrong with a prayer meeting (we have one hear every Wednesday evening for those of you who would like to come.

 

There's nothing wrong with fellowships.

 

There's nothing wrong with serving.

But when you are minus virtue, everything is wrong.

 

Without virtue there is no Christian way of life.

 

So again, there are three unities in Greek drama.

 

  1. Action.
  2. Time.
  3. Place.

 

The action of the tragedy must have unity and flow consistently.

 

It's like the apostle Paul said in GAL 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

 

 

Your life is to be one that is free and liberated and flowing with unity of action, timing, and being in the right place.

 

Or as our Lord said in MAT 11:28-30;

 

MAT 28:28 "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

MAT 11:29 "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.

 

MAT 11:30 "For My yoke is easy, and My load is light."

 

So, in Greek drama, there had to be unity.

 

There had to be a theme, a goal, an objective to reach.

As the apostle Paul said in

 

PHI 3:12  Not that I have already obtained it [resurrection life], or have already reached the objective, but I continue pressing on that I may attain the objective on account of which I was overtaken by Christ Jesus.

 

PHI 3:13  Brethren [members of the Royal Family of God], I evaluate myself as not yet having attained the objective [ultra-supergrace or the ultimate objective in time, living in resurrection life]; but one thing I concentrate upon: constantly forgetting the things that lie behind and pursuing vigorously to what lies ahead,

 

PHI 3:14  I keep on pressing on toward the objective for the purpose of the reward belonging to the upward call of God [Father], by means of Christ Jesus.

 

 

Without an objective or unity of action, the drama fails to hold attention, fails to stimulate emotion, and fails to establish the mood of the drama.

 

In other words, there is no continuous flow of their play.

 

We get the continuity of our action in the Christian way of life from our implementation of our very own portfolio of invisible assets and the ten problem solving devices.

 

The drama also required unity of time.

 

The drama of the fifth century B.C. compressed all the action into one day.

 

Every scene had to occur in that one day.

 

The drama must occur in one locale; every scene must take place in that setting.

 

Therefore, Greek drama takes a single episode in the life of a hero and treats it as if it happened in one day.

 

By analogy, one day at a time is the order for the Christian way of life, Rom 14:5 6.

 

ROM 14:5 One man regards one day above another, another regards every day   alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind.

 

ROM 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.

 

We live one day as a time as unto the Lord.

 

In one day, we express all of our priorities; we do this day by day by day.

 

So There is an analogy between the unities of Greek drama and the function of the PPOG of God for the Church Age.

 

Every Church Age believer must live one day at a time.

 

In that one day, there must be the unity of action, time, and place.

 

The effectiveness of the action in that one day is determined by whether the believer is a winner or a loser, in fellowship and learning doctrine and living in the PPOG or out of fellowship in the cosmic system.

 

 

 

Unity of action demands that the believer understand his portfolio of invisible assets and utilize the omnipotence of God to advance through the three stages of spiritual adulthood.

 

The chorus of the Greek drama was the key in providing unity of action, time, and place.

 

The chorus described the greatness of the hero, just as doctrine explains the greatness of the mature believer as an invisible hero.

 

So, virtue is the lead actor in your life or drama.

 

And you are not living the Christian way of life until you have virtue first.

 

We will continue on Wednesday evening.

 

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