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Virtuous Faith

kjv@2Peter:1:5 @ And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

Now that we have considered the preliminary details of daily application AllDiligenceAdd AboundFruitKnowledge LackBlindPurged, lets get to the practical areas Christ intends to spiritually transform us in/with.

This is the first of seven identifiable compounds listed by Peter: Virtuous Faith.

Contextual Anchors

1. Virtue

Quoted resource: strongs 'G703'

G703 @ ἀρέτη aretē ar-et'-ay From the same as G730; properly manliness (valor) that is excellence (intrinsic or attributed): - praise virtue.

2. Faith

Quoted resource: strongs 'G4102'

G4102 @ πίστις pistis pis'-tis From G3982; persuasion that is credence; moral conviction (of religious truth or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher) especially reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstractly constancy in such profession; by extension the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself: - assurance belief believe faith fidelity.

(see: Word study PistisFaith or slidy:PistisFaith )

Practical Aspects

  1. SimonPeter - In this category we want to think in terms of identity and transformation and spiritual productivity like that observed in Peter; what God is able to make of us rather than what we are able to make of ourselves. It is the "like precious" stance that not only is something tremendously different out there to believe in, but also that there is a tremendous valor gifted to back it up and push it forward into our daily lives. It is an uncommon fortitude and boldness that has the courage both to stand solidly against the tide of corruption and to sustain the foothold in face of all opposition even to advance that position forward towards God's excellency. One can certainly understand the necessity for such a VirtuousFaith in a founding ServantApostleOf Jesus Christ like say Peter, can we see the necessity for the same "like precious" faith in yours and my daily struggles?
  2. ServantApostleOf - While we are still in this SimonPeter frame of mind (uncommon God produced identity/transformation/productivity) let us consider as well to what or to whom our present VirtuousFaith is servant to/representative of. It cannot be said given the evidence of the many worldly things that are so frequently besetting us that we are fully serving or representing Christ. We are not promised an easy carefree life in Christ Jesus, in fact we are promised tribulation and persecution. These trials however are not to be predominately because of our own carnal making, stumbling through our daily walk half in and half out of His obedience and influence. Sadly, too often our present trials instead are due to our compromise of VirtuousFaith to the service and apostleship to Christ for that awkwardly surrendered to the fear and dominance of the corrupted forms of this world.
  3. FaithObtainedThroughRighteousnessGodSavior - In the English the definition of virtue is courage or valor towards a moral excellency. It is a fairly dry and uninspired definition if left to that, missing both the depth and seeming impossibility of enduring the multi directional assault made upon it. In the "like precious" case it is not just that it is strong against all odds and opposition, it is strong because God HIMSELF goes out of HIS way to make it so be. It is not us fighting God's battles for HIM, it is God fighting HIS own battle sharing the results of HIS victory with us. It is righteous that HE is doing thus so, righteous that has been long working so, righteous that HE is allowing us in smaller ways to experience and be witness to HIS victory so.
  4. GracePeaceMultipliedKnowledgeGodJesus - It seems odd to think in terms of extreme faith merged with valor and tremendous courage in the midst of an epic spiritual battle and at the same time to be at grace and peace; does it not? How can it be if not for the knowledge of who Christ is, what He has done, what it means to the outcome of all things? It might best be asked whether we are at grace and peace with God and Savior's continuous and wide ranging righteousness first and foremost, for from that "like precious" faith is said to be "obtained". Perhaps thereto is the matching form of true Virtue obtained as well. What then can we do to increase this knowledge of the righteousness of Jesus that multiplies such grace and peace?
  5. DivinePowerGivenAllThingsLifeGodliness - Already we have stated that God fights God's battle, it is for us to experience and be converted over into HIS victory in both our daily lives first and then ultimately into that eternal future. HIS victory is already given in substantial form. It is a form however that requires in us transformation; something that we are most uncomfortable with. Either we meander spiritually aimless oblivious to it's direction or else we knowingly shy from it clutching it rather into our own hands and resource. Why it is that we do not have more of this transformation is the subject of this foundational series as a whole. Be it said that the outward lack of such transformation and adjoining productivity in our present daily situations is typically evidence of a severe underestimation on our part of the character and resource of God through one Jesus Christ. The lack of such faith is followed by the lack of enthusiasm and boldness carrying it forward into our daily lives.
  6. CalledToGloryVirtue - There may not be a polite way to say this, so I will just say it: at present we are neither glorious nor virtuous; even at our best. I would go further to say that any virtue or glory we think that we do currently possess is an image that we alone have manufactured. Let me take it a step further still: it hasn't yet even entered into the mind of man the things that God has in store for those that love HIM. Consider well then the image that we have of ourselves, of others, of the Lord Himself, and the reliance we have upon those images in conducting our daily affairs. They are vulnerable, they are misrepresented, they are faulty, they are vain. A husband and wife barely know each other as to what they truly are let alone what they are in God's eyes. Images are largely error prone and manufactured. Can we say that we are ready to give those images up? Can we say that we've become courageous enough to start those images over from scratch? from God's uncorrupted vantage point? What then is God's vantage point?
  7. ExceedingPromisesPartakersDivineNature - This faith/faithful/boldness being depicted as VirtuousFaith, this transforming/abiding/fruitfulness being outlined as "like precious" faith, these are all part of what can best be described as "partaking" of a nature only found in Christ; it is His nature and no one others'. One cannot steal away a piece of His nature for themselves, one cannot emulate a characteristic of His nature, one cannot attain similarity to His level, one can only behold and be overwhelmingly effected by His nature. The presence and effect of this nature of His is thus promised and is exceeding. It is His nature present and effectual that influences us in these "like precious" ways, one being this VirtuousFaith. To add virtue to faith is to add His nature and influence.
  8. EscapeCorruptionWorldLust - So we ask ourselves, what advantage does the man with Christ have over the man without Christ? It should be said that he has Christ's nature and influence placed over him and that it is intended that said nature and influence of Christ be to his deliverance and escape from all that the man without Christ has yet to accept. The question must then follow, is the man with Christ allowing himself to be influenced and affected as such? If not then why not? I fear the the answer in part begins with the matter considered presently of VirtuousFaith.

It should become increasingly obvious in this study that each of these compound elements being presented by the Apostle are much more than mere concepts, they are firm actions. Take faith as an example, faith for many is nothing more than a concept, perhaps a confession, perhaps a intellectual consent or internal comfort. Virtue however is not. It literally is not virtue unless it takes a firm action. In combination with virtue/valor faith itself becomes an action; difficult yes, opposed yes, but an action nonetheless thus necessitating virtue.

Let us take immediate action then to seek out and receive our Lord's influence upon us in this day by excercising prayer study and meditation in the present consideration:


Remember that we are looking not just for answers but for the Lord to abundantly influence us in this area ( AboundFruitKnowledge ), to be able to apply it across the board ( AllDiligenceAdd ) and to not be shortsighted ( LackBlindPurged ) with either the resource nor the use of the direction HE is leading us.

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