SUNDAY, 11TH DECEMBER 2016
MEMORY VERSE: “According as His divine hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue” – 2Peter 1:3
BIBLE PASSAGE: 2Peter 1:3-7
3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;
7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
INTRODUCTION: There are two root words in Greek translated virtue. The first is “dunamis” as in Luke 6:19; 8:46 meaning ‘miraculous power’. The second is “arête” meaning ‘moral excellence’ or ‘goodness’. A virtue is a right inner disposition, and a disposition is a tendency to act in certain ways. It is not a sudden impulse but a settled habit of mind. Virtues are general character traits that provide inner sanctions on our particular motives, intentions and outward conduct.
- How to achieve virtue (Excellence)
- The desire to excel
HOW TO ACHIEVE VIRTUE
Our God is excellent in all ways (Psalm 76:4; Matthew 5:48). He expects His children to be like Him (Genesis 17:1; 1Peter 1:15-16). Hence, the main aim of a Christian should be to walk to please God. Virtue is attainable only if we follow the divine guidelines (Philippians 4:8).
2Peter 1:5-7 tells us how to achieve virtue. It is like a ladder; the attaining of one leads to the next, and so on. The sequence begins with faith and ends with love. Without faith, nobody can have virtue. Faith supplies moral excellence as taught in the Bible (Hebrews 11:6). After we have attained some knowledge, we add self-control, self-discipline. This is the opposite of the excess of the world. Perseverance means to view the unfolding of time with God’s eyes (2Peter 3:8-9; Hebrews 12:2; Matthew 6:33). Godliness means that we have a very practical awareness of God in every aspect of our life (1Timothy 6:6; 2Peter 1:3). Kindness is described here as “Philadelphia”, the kind of love that we have for brothers and sisters. The most magnificent virtue of all: Christian love. This love is “agape” and results in self-sacrificing action for another (1Corinthians 13; John 3:16; 1John 3:16).
THE DESIRE TO EXCEL
The desire to excel comes with the recognition of excellence, and a consciousness of falling short of it. The goal is to be like Jesus Christ because He is the glory of God revealed (Hebrews 1:3; John 17:3; Romans 3:23). This desire to excel also involves: willingness to give up lesser things to achieve a greater goal (Matthew 19:16-26) and willingness to work hard towards perfection (Luke 10:17-20; Matthew 17:15-21). There must also be willingness to be taught, not only by those who are in a higher position, but anyone regardless of position or age (1Corinthians 1:19-29).
Now we see that if we indeed have these virtues as an integral part of our being, and if they continue to increase as we apply them, then we lead a useful, fruitful life for Christ.
- What is the will of God for His children?
- How would you recognize the desire to excel in you?
Blessed week with The HOLY SPIRIT
- MONDAY: Romans 6:19– Moral excellence should cut across every area of one’s life.
- TUESDAY: 2Corinthians 7:1– Personal effort cannot be ignored in moral excellence.
- WEDNESDAY: Psalm 76:4– Our God is the most excellent.
- THURSDAY: Hebrew 12:2– Fix your eyes on Jesus.
- FRIDAY: 2Peter 1:3– You have all it takes to be godly.
- SATURDAY: Philippians 4:8- Think about things of virtue.
- SUNDAY: Ephesians 4:24- God expects sanctification after salvation.