5 “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.“ (2 Peter 1:5–7 ESV).
The Holy Spirit commands believers, through the Apostle Peter, to supplement, or add, to their saving faith. This supplementation is not contributing to their justification but rather it is a necessary component of each believer’s sanctification. Sanctification is the believer’s growth in holiness.
Pastor Burk Parsons writes, “Sanctification is a most simple biblical doctrine, yet it is perhaps the most difficult doctrine to understand. In one sense, sanctification is as simple as understanding the biblical language of being set apart, consecrated, or holy. And in another sense, it is as comprehensive as the application of sacred Scripture to all of life and worship. The Westminster Assembly provided us with one of the more helpful and succinct explanations of sanctification (WSC 35), still questions remain as to the precise nature of God’s work and our work in the Spirit-wrought work of sanctification. By grace alone through faith alone because of Christ alone we are positionally sanctified, yet in some mysterious way, God has chosen to sovereignly work in us, through us, and with us to sanctify us progressively by His free grace through repentance, faith, and obedience that we might die more and more unto sin and live unto righteousness.”
How do believers in Christ die more and more unto sin and live more and more unto righteousness? This is what today’s text explains to each of us who are in union with Christ as our Savior and Lord. For the next several days, we are going to examine each of these attributes of which we are to add to our spiritual life and worship of God. Today, we examine the attribute of virtue.
Virtue (ἀρετή; areten) refers to having excellence of character. It is demonstrating outstanding goodness. It is the believer’s quality of moral excellence.
Dr. John MacArthur writes that, “First in Peter’s list of virtues is a word that, in classical Greek, meant the God-given ability to perform heroic deeds. It also came to mean that quality of life that made someone stand out as excellent. It never meant cloistered excellence, or excellence of attitude, but excellence that is demonstrated in life. Peter is here writing of moral energy, the power that performs deeds of excellence.”
Are you an individual who seeks to perform deeds of excellence which bring glory to God alone. Ask God today to show you to become a person of virtue and moral excellence.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!