Virtue, Moral Excellence, Integrity of Character
[New Testament Greek word "arete"]
Referring to God - his power, his
excellencies or perfection; the manifestation of his divine power.
1 Peter 2:9 - He chose us and made us his own special people, so that
we could proclaim his excellencies (his
wonderful qualities or acts, his goodness - the things which give us
reason to praise him). [Among these things is the fact that he called
out of spiritual darkness and into his wonderful light.]
2 Peter 1:3 - He called us by his own glory and goodness:
[It is because of these, that he called us to salvation. (It wasn't
because of goodness in us.) The purpose of all this is so that we will
be able to "partake" of his moral character - v. 4.]
Referring to People - a virtuous
course of thought, feeling or action; moral excellence or integrity; virtue.
Philippians 4:8 - Focus your thoughts on things that are virtuous/excellent
and praiseworthy - anything that is true, noble, right,
pure, lovely, commendable.
2 Peter 1:5-7 - Add to your faith goodness of character,
add to your goodness knowledge, (etc.).
In reference to God...
It is the reason we can be saved (and the basis for our lifestyle, once
we are saved)
It is something we can boast about!
In reference to people...
It must be a part of our character.
It must influence what
we think about.
If we want to be his people, we must reflect his moral character.
God has virtue/moral excellence/integrity of character... so must we.
Dennis Hinks © 2001, 2004