Ephesians 4:2-3 – With all humility and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; giving diligence to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The Greek word translated “humility” or “lowliness of mind” is derived from two Greek words ‘tapeinos’ meaning “low degree” and ‘phren’ meaning “understanding”. The Greek word ‘phren’ refers to the faculty of perceiving and judging. God’s people are not to have high thoughts of self-exaltation, thinking that they are better than another; we are called to bless and to show mercy in this present age.
Diligence is a word that is often used in the Bible. It is a word associated with discipline and focus. Unfortunately, many may be diligent and focused with respect to academics, business, and athletics; but as soon as the same kind of disciplines are applied to walking with the Lord and doing those things that our Heavenly Father has called us to do, it is labeled “religious.” Well, that ploy should be easily discerned. Being diligent about the things of God is evidence that you are being led by the Holy Spirit and seeking those things which are above instead of that which is earthly (Matthew 6:33; Colossians 3:1; 1 Corinthians 15:10; 2 Peter 1:3-11).
The notion of being zealous and passionate about the gifts and callings of God is embodied in the word diligence, which may be found in excess of 124 times with more than half of the occurrences existing in the New Testament. Greek words that we translate diligences are words like ‘spoudazo,’ ‘spoude,’ and ‘ekzeteo,’These words are found in the context of Hebrews 11:6, where we are told how the Lord rewards those who diligently seek Him; also in 2 Peter 1:5,10, where we are exhorted to make our calling and election sure by giving all diligences to the development of the virtues the Holy Spirit supplies to us. We can expand the call to diligence even more when we include words like ‘zeto’, which is a call to passionately run after or “seek”‘ as in (Matthew 6:33, 7:7; 1 Corinthians 14:12). At the heart of these words is a hunger and a thirst for all those things the Father has freely supplied through Christ Jesus, but will only be fully realized when we seek after them with all that is within us.
As the elect of God, we are to “put on” (enduo), Christ Jesus. We are to be clothed with His virtue and glory: mercy, kindness, humility of mind, meekness longsuffering – all of which also testifies to the rulership of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Colossians 3:12; Romans 13:14, 12:19-21; Galatians 3:27, 5:22-23; 2 Peter 1:3-8; 2 Corinthians 6:6). Central to the message that Jesus would have us learn and follow Him in, we find these wonderful virtues and fruits of the Spirit – lowliness and meekness (Matthew 11:28-29; Philippians 2:1-15).To have these things of the Spirit expressed in our lives demands an active participation of our will with the Holy Spirit’s will for our lives. He has come to lead us and guide us, to teach us and empower us – but we must follow. If we yield ourselves to Him, then He will provide us with an unlimited flow of all that belongs to God (John 7:38-39; Galatians 5:16,25; Romans 8:14,16).
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen