DIVINE DECREES, PART 10.

GREEK DRAMA AS IT RELATES TO EVERY BELIEVER;

GRACE BIBLE CHURCH

PASTOR ROBERT R. MCLAUGHLIN

WEDNESDAY 10-12-2022

GBIBLE.ORG

 PDF: EPHESIANS-0290-013NOTES

EPHESIANS - 0290-013

DIVINE DECREES, PART 10.

GREEK DRAMA AS IT RELATES TO EVERY BELIEVER;

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

 

We are still noting;

 

The Doctrine of the Divine Decrees.

 

Now, I would like to begin by reading 2PE 1:5-7 since we noted it on Sunday, but never read it.

 

2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;

 

2PE 1:6 and in your knowledge, self control, and in your self control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness;

 

2PE 1:7 and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.

 

2Pe 1:5-7, and Greek drama relates to the Divine Decrees.

 

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 supply (epichorégeó)

 

We that because in the next three verses 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?

 

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 and how it relates magnificently to our subject of the Divine Decrees.

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 order.

 

These are your seven main performers in your life called the following:

 

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

 

There are seven members of your very own Chorus line and the point is:

 

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.

 

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 line.

 

In the seats observing your performance are both the elect and fallen angels as well as loser believers as Paul tells us who in 1CO 4:9.

 

 

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 (theatron) to the world, both to angels and to men.

 

The word spectacle is 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 of this verse is that;

 

We are all in the theatre but we choose whether or not we will be in the stands or on the playing field.

 

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?

 

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.

 

The chorus or the choregeo were trained to perfection because 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.

 

They had to have an epichoregeo, a supplier who had a pocket full of money to pay for the yearly expense.

 

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.

 

The point is that;

 

Ultimately it is your doctrine that is the main actor in your very own drama of life.

 

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.

 

So far then;

 

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.

 

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, no teachability because 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.

 

This is why the apostle Paul warned his students in 1TI 5, which we noted when we studied the book verse by verse.

 

1TI 5:1 Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers,

 

1TI 5:2 the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.

 

1TI 5:3 Honor widows who are widows indeed;

 

1TI 5:4 but if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family, and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.

 

1TI 5:5 Now she who is a widow indeed, and who has been left alone has fixed her hope on God, and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day.

 

1TI 5:6 But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives.

 

1TI 5:7 Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach.

 

1TI 5:8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.

 

1TI 5:9 Let a widow be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man,

 

 

1TI 5:10 having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work.

 

This is not the average Christian woman today who is the most vicious, unruly, arrogant, jealous person in the world.

 

1TI 5:11 But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,

 

1TI 5:12 thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge.

 

1TI 5:13 And at the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention.

They 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 3:12-14; (turn there and read along.

 

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 [RFOG], I evaluate myself as not yet having attained the objective [supergrace or 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.

 

All of us have seen some real terrible performances, some real dog-show performance.

 

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.

 

You see, there are some divine principles, you must remember when it comes to your lead actor in your life or drama.

 

  1. In God's plan, Bible doctrine is first.

 

  1. In God's authority, divine commands are first.

 

  1. In God's policy, grace is first.

 

  1. In God's objective, motivation is first.

 

  1. In God's system, virtue is first.

 

  1. In God's purpose, occupation with Christ is first.

 

Therefore, there is no drama without an actor.

 

And There is no service without virtue and that means no humility and teachability.

 

It is teaching, teaching, teaching, that builds virtue.

 

Virtue is higher than morality.

 

Virtue is the actor, and if you are going to fulfill the Christian life you need virtue.

 

"Virtue" is the lead actor in your life.

And remember,

 

The lead actor (virtue) is the communicator of the drama.

 

And you have been ordained by God to be the lead actor in your life or your very own personal sense of destiny.

 

That is "your life."

 

You are the actor and what must you have as the actor, virtue first.

 

And The first virtue that you reveal is your virtue that shows when you assemble in church. ECC 5:1-2.

 

 

ECC 5:1 Guard your steps as you go to the house of God, and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.

 

ECC 5:2 Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.

 

You have to be teachable.

 

You have to listen.

 

You have to be filled with the Spirit.

 

And that's just the beginning because teachability is just the means.

 

And "Real virtue" leads to personal love for God.

You know why?

 

Because real virtue means you're teachable.

 

It means you're objective and not subjective and therefore you can be taught to love God.

 

The only way you can love someone you have never seen is to know all about them and that is Bible doctrine metabolized; 1PE 1:8.

 

1PE 1:3   Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

 

1PE 1:4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

 

1PE 1:5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

1PE 1:6 In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials,

 

1PE 1:7 that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

 

And here it is, how can you love someone you have never seen?

 

1PE 1:8 and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

And what must we learn first?

 

We must learn those things that give us a love for God.

 

And a person who is ignorant of Bible doctrine does not love God.

 

Why? - the answer = love requires thought.

 

Love is a system of thinking.

 

Love requires thought.

 

The thoughts that you have, the frame of reference, determines the love you will have for those in your life.

 

And to love the Lord, you need thoughts.

 

Love requires thought.

And thought cannot function without content.

 

And The content of thought in the case of loving the Lord is metabolized doctrine.

 

And people can talk about loving God and get emotional about loving God but they're just "ham actors", they're losers.

 

Virtue begins with your relationship with God - and without a relationship with God there is really no virtue.

 

Remember that epichoregeo translated supply was a word which was used for the individual who provided the finances to train the Greek actors of the day.

 

 

Therefore, It is a word that describes something or someone who provides and supplies what is need for another.

 

Your epichoregeo in the spiritual realm is metabolized doctrine.

 

Metabolize doctrine is extremely important in the spiritual life and therefore in the presentation of your very own drama.

 

Therefore, we continue with the next word mentioned in 2PE 1:5 which is the word some principles concerning the principle of epignosis, which is the next concept of metabolized doctrine.

 

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

 

Next is the phrase in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge;

 

Moral excellence refers to virtue, which is the lead actor in your life.

 

So far we have this as our corrected translation;

2PE 1:5 Now for this very reason also, making every effort, in your doctrine supply or epichorégeó moral excellence or virtue and in your virtue supply knowledge (gnosis);

 

  1. The will of God for mankind is two fold.

For the unbeliever:  Salvation.

For the believer:  Metabolized doctrine.

 

1TI 2:3-4  This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the [epignosis] knowledge of the truth.

 

  1. The pastor teacher through teaching gnosis is the source of metabolized doctrine, Tit 1:1.

 

TIT 1:1 Paul, a bond servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, for the faith of those chosen of God and the [epignosis] knowledge of the truth which is according to living the spiritual life,

 

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 epignosis knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

 

Gnosis is what we all present to everyone, and it is a command whereas epignosis or metabolized doctrine is not a command.

 

God cannot command us to metabolize doctrine.

 

It must come from our free will which turns gnosis into epignosis as a part of the grace policy of God.

 

  1. The cosmic believer fails to metabolize doctrine, 2Ti 3:1-7.

 

They are always learning academic subjects and doctrine, but it is all gnosis and only academic.

 

"They are never able to come to epignosis doctrine."

 

2TI 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come.

 

2TI 3:2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,

 

2TI 3:3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self control, brutal, haters of good,

 

2TI 3:4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God;

 

2TI 3:5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these.

 

2TI 3:6 For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses,

 

2TI 3:7 always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

  1. Only metabolized doctrine can be useful for problem solving, Eph 1:17.

 

EPH 1:17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the epignosis knowledge of Him.

 

The "spirit of wisdom" refers to the application of metabolized doctrine under the enabling power of the Spirit.

 

This is God the Holy Spirit taking epignosis doctrine and giving you the ability to handle your problems.

 

Whether in adversity or prosperity, you must solve your problems from the base of epignosis doctrine.

 

  1. Philemon 1:6 says that all genuine fellowship with believers is based on metabolized doctrine and virtue.

 

PHM 1:6 and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake.

 

  1. Therefore, only metabolized doctrine can fulfill the mandate of virtue first in the PPOG, Phi 1:9.

 

PHI 1:9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge (epignosis is called “real knowledge) and all discernment,

 

  1. Consequently, only metabolized doctrine can fulfill the PPOG, Col 1:9-11.

 

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 [epignosis] knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

 

Col 1:10  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 [epignosis] knowledge of God;

 

Col 1:11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyously

 

  1. Only metabolized doctrine can provide blessing under the PPOG; 2Pe 1:2.

 

2PE 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the epignosis knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord;

 

  1. You can have a zeal to know God but if you do not have epignosis OR metabolized doctrine it is useless, Rom 10:2.

 

ROM 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with epignosis knowledge.

 

  1. True wealth and prosperity comes from epignosis doctrine, Col 2:2.

 

COL 2:2 that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge (epignosis) of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

 

  1. The new man can only be renewed and energized through metabolized doctrine, Col 3:10.

 

COL 3:10 and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a [epignosis] true knowledge according to the image of the one who created him.

 

Now, in Greek drama there was a principle that all Greek drama's followed 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.

 

And the action had to have consistency and unity just like your life, if it is to bring glory to God, must have consistency and unity.

 

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

 

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

 

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.

 

Without a spiritual objective and unity of action, your life fails to hold attention, fails to stimulate emotion, and fails to establish the mood of your very own drama, a life that brings glory to God.

 

So we need unity and continuity.

 

We get the unity and 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.

 

And 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.

 

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

 

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