Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 1:2-11)
Adding Some Much Needed Virtue
Moral goodness is the DNA of the Christian’s life. What separates the child of God from the world is the compass that drives their life. All men need a purpose and a guide that will help them decide what path to follow. For most of the world the fleshly pleasures and prideful gratifications is all they need to steer their hearts in the empty pursuits of their failed dreams. The problem with sin is that it is fun and exciting but for a moment followed by the emptiness and disparity of guilt. An endless cycle of headlong quest for sensual satisfaction ends with hopelessness because without a moral code man is nothing. Adding virtue to faith is the compass needed to help man find his worth and purpose in life.
Virtue is the courage to live a life of moral excellence. Two words are important in virtue: moral and excellence. The idea of virtue is found in a military term suggesting courage. A soldier going to war needs the fortitude to mold his character to fight for the cause and strength to face the enemy without reservation. Moral excellence is the spirit of the Christian who will form his life based upon the standards of God’s will. It will take courage to live by these values because the world has no standards but what the flesh desires. Morality is living by a set of rules governed by the Lord – not the world. Accepted moral standards are defined in the world by those things that are generally acknowledged as right or proper in the view of the world. Abortion is regarded by the world as an individual choice but God calls it murder. The difference is which moral code is followed. Peter’s admonition is to add to faith the grace of virtue implying strictly to follow the morality of the Lord. There is only one rule of right and wrong: God’s word.
Adding virtue to faith is more than an intellectual exercise of the mind. The spirit of moral excellence is heard in the speech of the Christian. Seasoned with the grace of God, those who have been delivered from the pollution’s of the world are known by their righteous words. This is more clearly seen in the apparel or dress of the man and woman who have devoted their lives to righteousness. Adding virtue to faith is found in the clothing that covers the body as God desires rather than the immodest clothing of the world. Christian’s who seek to show moral excellence in their life dress in a modest fashion. Virtue is invaluable to keep the mind pure escaping the pollutions that are so readily available on the internet and television shows. Faith must be bolstered by the excellence of the moral compass that is guided only by the will of the Father.
The conclusion to the graces listed by Peter is to help the child of God not stumble and to secure a place in eternal life. Moral excellence is the tool that will bring about greater joy and satisfaction in life because the trappings of sin will be defeated. A heart guided by the virtue of righteousness will see clearly the dangers of temptation. Hope is secured in the spirit of the Christian to know that salvation is assured and an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ awaits the courageous soul who adds virtue to faith. Remember the importance of adding this grace to faith. It will not help to add it one time. This is a lifelong commitment to continually follow the path of virtue increasing each day in faith with a spirit of moral excellence.