Adding to Our Faith: Virtue

awesome-power-of-faith2_t 2 Peter 1:5-11: Expounds upon the importance of adding to your faith certain attributes that we should develop in order to become overcoming Christians.  The Bible says, the purpose of adding these attributes is so that we will not be useless, unfruitful, blind, short-sighted, and fall back into former sins.  We need these virtues added to our faith in order to make our calling and election sure, never stumbling.

This article describes virtue in some detail so that we may know that we have it operating in our own lives.  We are to add these certain qualities in 2 Peter 1:5-11 diligently; which means = steady, constant in effort or exertion to accomplish what has been undertaken.  Not stopping but keep on persevering.  We are instructed to do this attentively, industriously, not idly or negligently.

So it says, “ADD to your faith virtue.  In this place in the Bible in the Greek, it does not mean bravery, strength or courage.  Its meaning relates to “goodness”.

Virtue then is:  a general moral goodness.  For example, honesty, integrity, pity,  justice, fairness, kindness, generosity, chastity.

Chastity means abstinence from unlawful sexual activity.  Freedom from obscenity in language or conversation.  Decency, modesty, lack of excess or lack of ornateness (in adornment, getting a balance between nice looking and self consciousness).

Virtue is right action or thinking, and doing what is right because you know you should.  Perhaps we have made a commitment to do something for someone, and later we wished we hadn’t made that commitment.  You wish you could back out of it, but you don’t, because you have virtue and want to do what is right because you know you should, more than you want to yield to your own personal desires.  Keeping your word, because you gave it, so you follow through.  Choosing right over wrong.  Any good quality in a person is a virtue.  The Bible says in Proverbs 31, “She has many virtues” which means she has many good qualities.

Virtues stem from an attitude of the heart and work its way out into an outward action.  We can in no way attain to virtue in ourselves.  With all our efforts, New Years resolutions, white knuckling or gritting our teeth we still fall flat.

We must see what virtue truly is.  Look within ourselves then cry out, “Oh God!!!  Help me!  This poor wretched sinner who can do nothing good apart from Thy grace, oh come, empower me to do Thy will!  Enable me to be virtuous and to show forth Thy mighty workings in my life.  That I might be seen to YOUR praise, and honor and glory!  That people might see my good works and glorify YOU who art my life and my portion!”

But remember He has promised in His Word, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” Phil 2:13.

All our goodness, all our good deeds and all our righteousness comes solely from God’s grace and power working in and through us.  He begins the work and we cooperate with that grace and power to carry out His will!  He then gets the glory and we can take no credit in ourselves.  For the Bible says, “our own righteousness is as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6), but we have been given the “righteousness of Christ”! (Phil 1:11).  When His grace and power comes into us and we cooperate with this grace, we are transformed into new creatures empowered by the living God inside of our beings, “Christ in you the hope of glory” with new natures to become more and more conformed into the image of His Dear Son!  So we need to seek  to be virtuous in all areas of our life, examining ourselves so that we are not found wanting (or lacking) and then praying over the areas that we miss the mark in, diligently!

We have already been given the power if we we have Christ,  it  says in John 1:12, ” God has already given us the power to become the sons of God” and now it is up to us!   So we must PRESS towards the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus in these areas, 1 Peter 1:15 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” and Scripture also says, “and God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal kingdom of our lord and savior Christ Jesus.” II Peter 1:11