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The Journey to Spiritual Transformation: Begin With the "Want-To"

Virtue: What even is it?

We're talking in this session about the foundation of Saint Peter's steps of transformation. In 2 Peter 1:5 Peter says to

"...add to your faith virtue..."

The Foundation of Faith(s)

So you can see he is presuming that faith is already there, already present in your life. This foundation of faith is, I think, faith in two aspects. First, it is the faith that saved you.

"By grace you are saved by faith..."

Ephesians 2:8 says. Obviously Christian growth can't start until one becomes a Christian in the first place.

The second aspect of faith would be belief in the Word of God to direct all the decisions of our lives. We not only come into God's Kingdom by faith, we live every step by believing God. 2 Corinthians 5:7 says

"For we walk by faith, not by sight."

And one more verse:

"As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him..." (Colossians 2:6.)

So first there's the faith that brought us into the Kingdom and now we have a foundation of believing every word from God as we continue to follow Him.

Step One: Virtue

Then Peter tells us to add on virtue. Now there's a nice Biblical sounding word isn't it? I don't know about you but the picture on the top left is sort of what I picture when you say the word "virtue."

Words are loaded for us all, which is why I recommend always going to a Bible dictionary with the original Greek so that we can see what the author had in mind when he wrote it. What popped into your

head may be pretty much the same thing that popped into mine, but often the word means something entirely different, like in this case with the word "virtue." So if your life looks more like the one on the right above, do not despair. If you're a child of God, He has imparted virtue to you-right in the middle of your crazy life!

The original Greek word is areté, and it means moral goodness or excellence, or uprightness. Pastor-author John MacArthur describes it as moral energy. It’s the desire, it’s the potential, it’s the capacity that God plants in your heart to do and be what He wants you to do and be. Remember the “desire” chamber of the heart diagram?

This is where it all starts, and remember you don’t drum this up yourself-it’s a desire that you supernaturally get when the Holy Spirit unites your spirit with Jesus’. You just have to recognize it.

The Most Basic Virtue/Desire

Let’s use an example to demonstrate climbing Saint Peter’s steps. We’ll start with the most basic desire that God plants in us: we desire to please Him. The moral energy to please God--there’s your virtue. When you recognize this desire, hold on to it for all you're worth, and in the next blog post we’ll climb the next step with virtue in hand. See you there!

Click here to see previous posts about the heart.


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