Big Apple Chapel is a New Testament based church in New York City, modeled after the pattern of the early church, with a strong emphasis on following Christ as a community of His disciples.

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    New York, NY
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BAC Sermons

Character and Virtue

2009-11-01 2 Pet 1:5


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thought » act » habit » character » destiny

Jer 9:23 23The Lord says: Don't brag about your wisdom or strength or wealth CEV 24 But let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD, exercising loyal love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight.

2Pt 1:3 His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to/because of glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world through lust/desire. 5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6  to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8  For if these things are yours and abound…fruitful & reward
Moral excellence comes about as a result of habit. We become just by just acts, temperate by temperate acts, brave by brave acts. - Aristotle.

Rm 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2  through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3  And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4  and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Character results from doing what we would not naturally nor instinctively do, for a higher objective than our survival/pleasure.

Gal 5:22 fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 meekness, self-control/temperance Phil 2:13

Wisdom 8:7 She teaches temperance, prudence, justice, fortitude, which are such things as men can have nothing more profitable in life.


I. Faith mind Prudence/Wisdom:

knowing what to do; the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason; choosing right objectives & right means of obtaining them  Syn: humility foresight discernment judgment discrete Ant: foolish prideful indecision

Ps 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: a good prudence/insight have all they that do his commandments
Pr 1:2 for attaining wisdom, discipline; understanding; 3 for acquiring a disciplined and prudent life, doing what is right just and upright

» How do you know what’s right or best? How does one choose between two goods? Are there skills to gaining wisdom/prudence?


II. Faith ex emo+Fortitude/Courage:

doing what you should; mental and emotional strength in courageously  facing difficulty, adversity, danger or temptation  Syn: peaceful brave valiant      Ant: fearful timid anxious cowardly worry helpless
Fortitude is the guard and support of the other virtues. --Locke.  Courage is a determined resolve to do the will of God by His power.

Josh 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you
Ps 27:14 Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, He shall strengthen your heart  Ac 28:15 Paul saw them, thanked God took courage

» How do you get yourself to do something when you’re scared to do it? Where and why are we most tempted to wimp out?


III. Hope in emo- Temperance/Self-control:

not doing what you shouldn’t; power under control; habitual moderation in the indulgence of the appetites or passions; Syn: patience endurance perseverance diligence Ant: impulsive indulgent unrestrained

Heb 10:36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: Heb 6:11
Acts 24:25 Paul reasoned about righteousness, self-control, and the judgment to come (cf fear of the Lord Pr 16:6)
1Jn 3:3 everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself 1Pt 2:11 as pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against your soul

» How do you get yourself to do what you should and not do what you shouldn’t? How do you kill desire and reprogram your robot?


IV. Love will Justice:

giving others their due, other-centeredness, conformity to truth; assign merited rewards/punishments
Syn: goodness faithfulness  honesty integrity Ant: selfishness greed deceitfulness unjust apathy

Isa 1:17 Learn to do good; Seek justice; Rebuke the oppressor Mt 23:23 neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith
Heb 6:10 God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered…

» How do you balance self-interest and other-centeredness? Justice and love? Can one be too just? Does mercy compromise integrity?


Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:

  1. Assuming character traits aren’t automatic, how does one develop them or add them to one’s faith? Prerequisites?
  2. What’s the motivation for developing these virtues? What are the benefits/disadvantages of each trait?
  3. Where do you see Christ displaying each of them? How have you displayed or seen each of these traits displayed in the past year?