Class Notes: 2/28/2016
John 8:32 Gal 5:1;The Doctrine of Freedom part 6
In our study of the doctrine of freedom. John 8:32: Gal 5:1; We noted that positive volition to any aspect of God's Word of truth creates freedom because God imputes grace through the divine decree to bless positive volition wherever it is found. Lam 3:21-23; James 4:6;
We noted that Positive volition to Divine Establishment provides for temporal human freedom, positive volition toward the Gospel creates spiritual freedom and positive volition to Bible Doctrine creates experiential spiritual freedom and spiritual advance.
Since truth is the sine que non of freedom and since morality and virtue are the visible expressions of truth we have taken a side trip into a study of the doctrines of morality and virtue.
Last time we concluded our study of the doctrine of morality and noted that morality and immorality only affect man. Morality and immorality are performed in the devil's world in time on the earth "under the sun." That is why morality is expected of both believer and unbeliever.
It is interesting to note that in our country today there is a political war being waged between the immoral and the moral. The immoral oppose divine establishment, the moral for the most part support divine establishment.
It is very obvious at the moment that the anti-establishment group is running the nation and as a result freedom is under assault.
This brings us to our study of the doctrine of virtue. Virtue is the monopoly of God so it is restricted to believers who "walk by means of the spirit" inside God's power system. Gal 5:16;
This means that virtue cannot be duplicated or reproduced by anyone who is functioning in satan's cosmic system. God demands morality from both believer and unbeliever but virtue is exclusively for the spirit filled believer.
In the original Greek of the New Testament the Greek word "aręte" is used for the concept of virtue.
2Pet 1:5; (see Net note 24) tells us that virtue is the application of "faith" aka doctrine. Faith aka "doctrine" is the invisible Word of God that created the visible. Heb 11:1,3; doctrine that transcends time Mark 13:31; so virtue is the visible or empirical demonstration of God's eternal Word that exists forever.
2Pet 1:5; The Greek word "arete" is translated "moral excellence" in the NASB and "excellence" in the NET, "goodness" in the NIV and "virtue" in the KJV.
The Greek word "aręte" has two meanings. The first meaning describes the integrity of God with emphasis on the divine attributes of righteousness, justice, and love. What righteousness demands, justice executes through the love of God that is expressed by the grace of God through the divine decree.
The righteousness of God refers to His absolute and infinite perfection and the purity of His standards. The purity of His standards applies to the infallibility of His Word that is based on God's perfect righteousness. God's righteousness is the source for all truth and His truth is inviolable, immutable, inerrant, and eternal.
In other words, God's righteousness is the principle of God's integrity and justice is the function of God's integrity. Justice administers the deployment of God's righteousness to His entire creation under His grace policy.
Righteousness demands righteousness while justice demands justice. They coordinate with each other so what righteousness demands, justice executes. This is the essence of God's Holiness.
Righteousness is the depository of absolute truth and to be fair and equitable justice must comply with, enforce, and protect absolute truth. What righteousness condemns, justice must judge; what righteousness approves, justice must bless.
For example, righteousness condemns sin, so justice must judge sin. All sin was judged on the cross. Righteousness approves of the Jesus' substitutionary atonement on the cross, justice therefore conveys salvation to everyone who uses their free volition to believe in Jesus Christ.
Each of the attributes that comprise divine integrity has direction. For example, righteousness is integrity's point of responsibility toward all the sins of mankind. Justice is integrity's point of contact toward: (1) the unbeliever at salvation, (2) the spiritual believer in divine blessing, and (3) the carnal believer in divine discipline.
Because every believer possesses God's imputed righteousness, (2Cor 5:21) God's love is integrity's point of reference toward the unique spiritual life of the Church Age.
God directs His personal love toward the believer's imputed righteousness after salvation regardless whether the believer is conducting their life under the leadership of God Holy Spirit or satan via the OSN.
The second meaning of "aręte" refers to the believer who is growing in grace. It is the duty of every believer to acquire the standards and doctrines revealed from God's perfect integrity and contained in God's Word into their soul.
Phil 4:8; “Therefore royal family, everything that is true, everything that is honorable, everything that is righteous, everything that is pure, everything that is capacity for love, everything that is commendable, if there is any virtue and anything worthy of praise, concentrate on these things.” (also see NET )This is the principle of virtue first.
When believers acquire these standards they develop personal integrity as an internal resource for right thought, right decision, and right action. The expression of personal integrity is the execution of these standards toward life and circumstances as virtue.
Other people observe this integrity as honor but it can be classified as the demonstration of the believer's virtue. Christian virtue is the believer's loyalty to truth when confronted by the external pressures of life and circumstances.
From these principles we see that true virtue finds it source in divine integrity. Since it originates with God humans cannot acquire it apart from their function in God's power system. The process of acquiring and deploying this divine power is the Christian life.
The Word of God defines true virtue. Every community of people develops a system of human virtue that becomes the culture of the nation. But to paraphrase Pontius Pilate, "What is virtue (truth)?"
If a nation's culture is not based on biblical absolutes it is corrupt and will eventually fail because it is unable to maintain order from the source of human and satanic viewpoint.
True virtue is found in the souls of advanced believers who are the anchor of a client nation. When a nation's core of spiritual aristocrats, called the "pivot," grows and continues to enlarge, then all its citizens prosper from the blessing by association that comes from God through the divine decree
The reason for the decline in our country today is that the pivot is shrinking because of chronic negative volition towards every category of God's Word.
Virtue is the sum total of the characteristics that are manufactured by residence and function in God's power system. Gal 5:22-23;
Virtue is the distinctive characteristic of the royal family, the inevitable result of executing God's mandate for Church Age believers to keep on walking by means of the Spirit.
Basic virtues developed in the divine dynasphere include enforced and genuine humility, love, worship, morality, courage, and confidence. Humility is the foundation of all virtue. Matt 11:29-30; 1Pet 5:6;
Virtue is the quality of intrinsic good; it is not proving one's worth. The believer who is trying to prove something cannot improve spiritually.
Proving or trying to prove one's worth is arrogance but improving one's worth spiritually is prudence. Arrogance is the antithesis of and the enemy of virtue.
© Copyright 2018, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.