Monday, February 4, 2013

Moral Excellence / Virtue

Good Morning!  Today I want to share with you part of my sermon from yesterday.  God is speaking to me more and more about this...

"5In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises.
Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and
moral excellence with knowledge, 6and knowledge with self-control, and
self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness,
7and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love
for everyone. 8The more you grow like this, the more productive and
useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But those
who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that
they have been cleansed from their old sins. 10So, dear brothers
and sisters, work hard to prove that you really are among those God
has called  and chosen. Do these things, and you will never fall away.
11Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom
 of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."
2 Peter 1:5-11 (NLT)

In this passage, Peter is calling for excellence in moral character.  It's not difficult.  As a Chrisitan, we must have a different character than that of the world.

To be a morally excellent man/woman:  We must serve the purpose for which we were created!  The question is for what purpose were we created.  One purpose for which we are created is to glorify and bring pleasure to God.  

"Everyone who is called by My name, whom I have created for
My glory; I have formed him, yes, I have made him."
Isaiah 43:7 NKJV

Another purpose for which we have been created is loving, helping & serving others

"13...God called you to be free, but do not use your freedom as an
excuse to do what peases your sinful self.  Serve each other with love."
Galatians 5:13 NCV

A third purpose for our creation is to bring others to Christ.

"Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading
through us:  we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God."
2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJV

To be a morally excellent man/woman:  We must choose the virtuous course in life.  The world sets before us its ways.  God sets before us His ways.  He gave us a free will to pick and choose the path we want.

"9This is my prayer for you: that your love will grow more and more; that
you will have knowledge and understanding with your love; 10that you
will see the difference between good and bad and will choose the good;
that you will be pure and without wrong for the coming of Christ; 11that
you will be filled with the good things produced in your life by Christ to
bring glory and praise to God."
Philippians 1:9-11 (NCV)

To choose the virtuous course in life we must refuse ALL choices which strip us of dignity.  We must stay away from actions that would ruin our testimony, harm others, enslave us or destroy our integrity.

To be a morally excellent man/woman:  We must possess Godly courage.  It takes courage to say, "Others may, but I will NOT!"  It takes courage to go against the flow.  It takes courage to avoid peer pressure.

"18So they called Peter and John in again and told them not to speak
or to teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19But Peter and John answered
them, 'You decide what God would want. Should we obey you or God?
20We cannot keep quiet. We must speak about what we have seen
and heard.'"
Acts 4:18-20 (NCV)

Moral excellence is not something we put on.  It is the product of the Holy Spirit in the yielded life.  It is the result of a changed heart.

So, my question to you...and myself...are you doing all you I doing all I can to live a morally excellent life?  What should we change in order to live that virtuous life?

Walking the walk & talking the talk,


Deane said...

I really enjoyed this post. If we truly love God it is much easier to go in His way and not the way of the world. When we go in God's way we will feel the peace of God within us.

Blessings to you and love you.

Jenifer Metzger said...

Great thoughts!