Strive for moral excellence; don’t be arrogant, be holy like your Heavenly Father.

Moral Excellence

2 Peter 1:5

Last week we gave an overview of what we need to add to our faith.  Today we will get very specific and see how to add goodness to our faith.

We need to do some spiritual Lasik surgery so you will have 20/20 spiritual vision.

Lasik vision correction. … “Life without glasses would be a whole new life.”

When we add goodness to our faith we will have a whole new life.

Do you want to grow in your faith?

Do want to receive a rich welcome into Heaven?

2 Peter 1:10 … For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11  and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Peter says if you do these things you will never fall.

Peter is saying a person can fall and not receive a rich welcome into Heaven.

What things do you need to do so you don’t fall from grace?

You must add to your faith.  Faith without actions is dead.

James 2:17  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

If you only have faith – then you have no faith at all.

James 2:18  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.

Faith has deeds, and faith grows.

2 Peter 1:5  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; … 8  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9  But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.

When you are not blind or nearsighted in Jesus, you will have a whole new wonderful life.

We can participate in God and His godliness and thus escape the corruption of the world (2 Peter 1:4).

If we add to our faith we will not be nearsighted or blind.

Before we can add to our FAITH we need to know what faith is.

Faith is the trusting relationship in God.

Faith is grounded in your knowledge of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Sure of – Hope  / Certain of – Unseen

We trust what God said is true.  / We have evidence of what is not seen.

Paul give at least 12 specific examples of what faith is throughout the chapter.

Let me read one example:

Hebrews 11:8  By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going.

I need a volunteer – thanks Tim – I am going to send you where you don’t

Faith example – video – blind fold someone and spin them around and then tell them to sit down in their set.  Give them directions – that is living by faith

Tim trusted me to guide him back to his seat.  He may have been a little nervous because I am not perfect.

God is perfect, He loves us deeply – We can trust Him to guide our steps.

That is Faith – sure of what we hope for, Heaven; certain of what we do not see, steps to get there.

When we have that kind of faith.  When we trust God with every step of our life.

Then we must add to that faith so that we will be effective and productive for Jesus.

Add to your faith moral excellence.

The NIV translates the word Goodness, the KJV translates it Virtue; both are good words.

What is goodness and virtue?

Goodness is linked to the character of God. We are called by God’s goodness.

2 Peter 1:3  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

What is God’s goodness, God’s virtue?  His holiness – His moral excellence

1 Peter 2:9  But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises (virtues) of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

As a Christian we are to declare, to publish, to show God’s holiness and moral excellence.

We are to live by God’s standards – live by what is right based on the Word of God.

Not just staying away from “bad” but living right, being Holy in thought and action.

I read this quote this week, “Moral excellence means the pursuit of the moral will of God in every area of life. This includes values, attitudes, priorities, goals or purposes, devotion, and Christ-like character in the home, at the office, at church, as well as in one’s hobbies, and entertainment. Moral virtue is something that should characterize the Christian everywhere and in everything.”

As a Christian we are a new creation the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17).

1 Corinthians 6:9  Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? …11  And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

We have been forgiven by the goodness of God and therefore must live in God’s goodness.

2 Corinthians 5:20  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

We are to become the righteousness of God.

Are you living a righteous life?  Are you righteous in thought and character?

If you do not add goodness, moral excellence to your faith you will have spiritual astigmatism.

Your spiritual vision will be blurry.

Astigmatism of the eye causes light to focus on two or more points in your eye.

You need to correct your spiritual astigmatism by adding moral excellence to your faith.

Your moral character can not be divided; your thoughts can’t be on both good and evil.

“You can’t serve 2 masters.”  Your spiritual vision is blurry if you try.

Matthew 6:24  No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

How can we add Goodness to our Faith?

Philippians 4:8  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.

Make a conscience effort to think on things that are good.

Garbage in Garbage out – God in God out

Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Renew your mind by the Word of God.

That is why it is so important to fill your mind with God’s word – daily Bible reading, weekly worship and Bible Study (Sunday School, Wednesday evening, Worship services).

It is also important to be around God’s people – learn how mature Christians think and act.

You will become what you allow to influence you.  Monkey see, Monkey do.

Who do you hang out with?  What do you listen to?  What do you watch?

Do a little test – Start complaining and see if people don’t start complaining with you.

Be positive and see the blessings in life and see if people start having a better attitude.

Paul goes on to say,

Philippians 4:9  Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

We must be an example for others to follow.

How do you add goodness to your faith?  Put goodness into practice.

What does Moral Excellence look like?

Moral actions – Joseph

Genesis 39:6  So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7  and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!” 8  But he refused. “With me in charge,” he told her, “my master does not concern himself with anything in the house; everything he owns he has entrusted to my care. 9  No one is greater in this house than I am. My master has withheld nothing from me except you, because you are his wife. How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” 10  And though she spoke to Joseph day after day, he refused to go to bed with her or even be with her. 11  One day he went into the house to attend to his duties, and none of the household servants was inside. 12  She caught him by his cloak and said, “Come to bed with me!” But he left his cloak in her hand and ran out of the house. 13  When she saw that he had left his cloak in her hand and had run out of the house, 14  she called her household servants. “Look,” she said to them, “this Hebrew has been brought to us to make sport of us! He came in here to sleep with me, but I screamed. 15  When he heard me scream for help, he left his cloak beside me and ran out of the house.”

  1. 9 Not want to sin against God
  2. 10 Refused to be with her – stayed away from temptation – for himself and maybe for her
  3. 12 He ran

Joseph was accused of wrong doing while he was being righteous and he went to prison

It is better to suffer and be right with God than not to suffer and sin against God.

What does Moral Excellence look like?

Moral thoughts – Stephen

Acts 7:54  When they heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. 55  But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56  “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57  At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, 58  dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59  While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60  Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

Who would have blamed Stephen for cursing the religious leaders for stoning him?   We would have understood his extreme circumstance.  But Stephen demonstrated goodness in thought.  He prayed for his executioners as Jesus did.

Do you pray for those (in a positive way) who persecute you?  Do you forgive those who have hurt you?

We must add His goodness to our faith. We must grow in moral excellence, moral thoughts and actions.  Why?  So we declare the goodness of our Great God.

 

If you demonstrate moral excellence then you will declare that your God is a God of moral excellence.

Will you add Goodness to your Faith?

Will you commit to grow in your moral thoughts and actions for the glory of God?

If you do not have a relationship with Jesus, step out on the faith you have and completely surrender your life to Jesus.

Come believing, repenting, confessing, and willing to be immersed into Jesus.

Seek You First