1. (2 Peter 1:1-11) God has provided some special blessings for the benefit of His people. a. (vs.3-4) He has provided what we need so we can be "partakers of the divine nature," including "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" and "exceeding great and precious promises." b. (vs.5-11) He has provided "the Christian graces" to prevent His people from falling. 2. The 7 characteristics listed in vs.5-7 are to be added with "all diligence." 3. "Faith" is the foundation upon which the graces are to be developed. 4. In this lesson we are concentrating on the first of the Christian graces: "virtue." Discussion: I. LET US DEFINE "VIRTUE"
A. In general, "virtue" is "moral goodness" [being morally good]. B. God's people are to be morally good, but "virtue" (2 Peter 1:5) goes further in that it involves "vigor, courage, and the determination to do what is right." C. In this sense, "virtue" was illustrated by: 1. David (1 Samuel 17:40-49) 2. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:13-18) 3. Daniel (Daniel 6:10). D. These illustrations of "virtue" help us appreciate the instructions given in Ephesians 6:10-13. II. GENERAL PRINCIPLES RELATING TO "VIRTUE"
A. Our actions show whether we possess "virtue" (Ruth 3:11). B. Virtuous people are a blessing to others (Proverbs 12:4). C. To grow in "virtue" we must think on the right things (Philippians 4:8). III. "VIRTUE" IS ADDRESSED IN PROVERBS 31
A. (vs.1-9) Lemuel's mother taught him to pursue "virtue." 1. She taught him to practice "virtue" by: a. forsaking sinful activities b. pursuing righteous activities. 2. Both would require courage and the determination to do what is right. B. (vs.10-31) Lemuel's mother taught him to pursue "a woman of virtue." 1. (vs.10) The value of a virtuous woman is "far above rubies." 2. What makes her so valuable? a. She has a special relationship with her husband (vs.11-12, 23). b. She is industrious and works willingly (vs.13-14, 16, 18-19, 24). c. She is diligent in looking after the welfare of her family (vs.15, 21, 27). d. She is strong, honorable, wise, and kind (vs.17, 22, 25-26). e. She assists the needy (vs.20). 3. Because she is so valuable, she deserves to be praised (vs.28-31). Conclusion:
1. We are to give "all diligence" in developing "the Christian graces." 2. Faith is the foundation upon which we develop them. 3. To our faith we are to add "virtue" [courage, the determination to do what is right]. 4. With "virtue" we will have the commitment necessary for adding the other graces.