“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge.”
We now come to the first of seven building blocks of Christian character – virtue. We met the word “virtue” in verse three. “Virtue” occurs five times in the New Testament.
1 Pe 2:9, “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”
Php 4:8, “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”
“Virtue” carries the idea of excellence. There are two kinds of excellence: 1) operative excellence. This excellence makes us effective in character. 2) The second kind of excellence is courage. Faith vaults our life into courage. True faith does not retreat in a refuge but enters the dynamic of life. We may exercise virtue by courage. No Christian can advance his spiritual life without courage.
Prov. 28:1, “The wicked flee when no one pursues,
But the righteous are bold as a lion.”
Cowardly Christians are weak and make little impact for Christ.
“Virtue” is something that procures pre–estimation for a person or thing. When a Christian acquires “virtue” in his life, he assumes an intrinsic prominence in the minds of others. Others view this person as a person of renown or praise who carries the glory of Christ with him.
God wants excellence in Christian character.
Excellence is superiority and efficiency in character. Are you an expert in spiritual character? Have you developed renown in virtue?
We are not too handy when it comes to excellence. There is little nobility in our Christian lives. What spiritual courage or valor is there in your life? Is there some spiritual enthusiasm? How much strength is there to your Christianity? How much can you press with your character?
What can you do? Can you do anything? Have you exercised your faith to such a degree that you can do things that you could not do otherwise? In other words, are you dynamic rather than static in your Christian life? Are you dynamic, or are you a sham in character?