Add To Your Faith Goodness

Daily God Walk for Wednesday, September 2, 2009

 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him… Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises… For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness… If you possess these qualities… they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive.                    – 2 Peter 1:3-8

 It is interesting that Peter uses a different word for goodness here than Paul uses for goodness in Galatians. Paul uses the Greek word, “agathosune,” which means “virtue, beneficence” or simply goodness. Peter uses the word, “arête.” This word means “Any excellence of a person, or of a thing, an eminent endowment, property or quality. Used of the human mind and in an ethical sense, it denotes a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action; virtue, moral goodness” (Thayer’s).

In the devotion for yesterday we looked at man’s inability to be good, or virtuous, on his own, yet Peter is telling believers to add virtue, or goodness to their faith. How does one do that? We’ll be exploring that question throughout this month, but let’s begin with Paul’s instruction in Philippians.

In Philippians 4:8 Paul writes, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” The word translated “excellent” in this passage is the same word as “goodness” in our text passage. The KJV translates this word “virtue.”

Peter is telling us to add the virtue of excellence to our faith, and Paul, in Philippians is telling us how to do that. We add excellence, or virtue, by guarding what we think. He instructs us to think on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.

We all know that is what we are supposed to do, but how do we do that? We appeal to the Holy Spirit. We first submit to the Lordship of Christ then we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we open ourselves to become bearers of his fruit. We do that with our focus on the virtuous thoughts Paul mentions.

 Principle: We bear Spiritual fruit when we think on the right things.

 Affirmation: I submit to the Spirit, think on right things, and bear good fruit.

 Prayer: Lord, help me to think the thoughts that produce the virtue of excellence. In Jesus name, amen.

 Bible Reading: Psalm 72 – Isaiah 61-62– Colossians 2 – Proverbs 2

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Paul ”Hope Preacher” Smith

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