Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Virtue In The Mix

"His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence," - 2 Peter 1:3 ESV

The word translated 'excellence' is Arete (Strong's G703)

"by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge," - 2 Peter 1:4-5 ESV

The word translated 'virtue' here is that same word Arete (G703) and it is better translation of the word although God's virtues are also excellent. Arete is linked to Arren (G730) which would be best translated manliness. Virtue is what it means to be God like manliness is what it means to be a man.

All our faith needs is to have God being God added to it. All any sick person in the Gospels needed was Jesus being Jesus in front of them. Their faith was supplemented by God in the flesh being who he was and then knowledge entered the mix and every individual was healed.

"and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins." - 2 Peter 1:6-9 ESV

If we do not know that God is the God of all grace we are going to have huge blind-spots.

Self-control in the Greek is Egkrateia (G1466) and it means the control that is exercised by virtue. If our faith has no grace then who is really in control? Do we have virtue? We have something but it isn't virtue and what we have is extremely inconsistent.

Godliness here is not God-likeness it is more like awe of God's qualities. Eusebeia (G2150) speaks of the devotion a person who outwardly dedicates their life to a divine cause or the awe their devotion generates in others.

Lastly two types of love are mentioned Philadelphia (G5360) and Agape (G26). Kindness must have God's love added to it.

Sorry all you love loving hippy types out there... kindness by itself won't cut it. Kindness alone gets rolled over by the freight train of tyranny and doesn't even see the train coming. Human kindness devoid of virtue gets used by evil as a tool like the grifter uses human decency as a tool in his con.

Without virtue we would be blinded by our own weakness and smallness. Our identity would be based on what we do and how we see ourselves. God's virtue mixed into our faith is the first step to having our eyes opened.

"Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall." - 2 Peter 1:10 ESV

God never fails to be God. Men fail to be manly everyday but God's perfections are ever perfect. His love isn't going to fail.

Maybe we need to repeat that again and again... 'God's love isn't going to fail.'

We repeat it again looking past ourselves believing like only a believer has the privileged to believe... 'God's love isn't going to fail.'

Today I move into my day linking my calling to God's virtue. God has chosen to love me and God has chosen to love each person I'll meet today. I choose to supplement my faith with His virtue.

His love never fails.


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