by Roby Ellis
[Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:8]
A. As we grow in grace and knowledge, one of the things that Peter says we must add to our faith is “virtue” (KJV, NKJV, ESV).
B. The Greek word here is arete, a term which signifies the excellence that Greeks sought in every aspect of life.
C. As Christians we should strive for “moral excellence” (NASB).
I. When it comes to morality, we need to raise the bar!
A. Israel often allowed their neighbors to set the bar for morality (Numbers 25:1-3; 1 Samuel 8:5) in spite of God’s warnings against doing so (Deuteronomy 7:1-8).
B. We need to excel in areas of morality and rise above the world’s standards (Romans 12:2; John 17:16).
II. Achieving moral excellence requires discipline.
A. This is true in any area in which we strive for excellence (1 Corinthians 9:24-27; 2 Timothy 2:3-6).
B. We need discipline because there will be resistance to our efforts (Jeremiah 38:4; Amos 7:12-13; Acts 4:18; 1 Peter 5:8).
C. We need discipline because people will think us strange (1 Peter 4:1-4; 3:14-16).
A. May we never be guilty as God’s people of allowing the world to exhibit greater morality, dedication, or compassion!
B. Instead of comparing ourselves to each other (2 Corinthians 10:12), let us learn to use Jesus as our model and strive constantly to add moral excellence to our character.