Friday, June 14, 2013

Growing in Christ Part 8

Since we’ve already established that faith is the first requirement – the prerequisite to building up our spiritual man and growing in Christ – what then can we build upon the faith we already possess that we might be those valiant warriors and true ambassadors of the cross as so many who came before us seem to have been?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed it, but men don’t have the boldness of their forefathers anymore. They don’t have the strength of character, and the courage of their convictions to stand for truth, or defend it for that matter.

It is largely the reason the enemy has been able to run roughshod over the house of God in recent years, and it is to our shame and dishonor.

What became of the men who would not flinch in the face of the enemy, or back down when others disagreed with them? Since when did being a spineless, mealy mouthed, soothsayer and ‘yes’ man of the godless become the accepted norm within the house of God?

Men of conviction and boldness are so rare in the church nowadays, that the system doesn’t know what to do with them when they spring up from time to time. Because much of the church today doesn’t want to be associated with anyone who might be controversial, chances are better than good that rather than come alongside and defend the truth as they ought, they distance and disavow themselves of the individual in question, finding reasons why they’re really not a brother, because, well, they’re not tolerant enough for the world’s palate.

2 Peter 1:5-7, “But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.”

So Peter assumes, and rightly so that since we’ve escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust, we already possess faith. As such, he encourages us to give all diligence in adding to our faith virtue.

Since virtue is the first thing Peter mentions, it is the first thing we will discuss as one of a handful of necessary building blocks for our growing in Christ, and maturing our spiritual man.

So what is virtue? Well, virtue is defined as behavior showing high moral standards, and although it is that, it is also much more than that where the children of God are concerned.

I realize full well there are teachings floating about the ether telling believers they need not aspire to, nor seek to live a high moral standard, but the word of God tells us otherwise.

Once more, as is often the case, we come to the crossroads of choosing whose report to believe, and which voice to lend our ear to.

Do we believe the words of men, or do we believe the Word of God?
Yes, the words of men will always be easier on the flesh, they will always require less self-renunciation, but just because something is easier it doesn’t make it better, or the right course of action for that matter.

As followers of Christ and as His representatives here on earth, we must add virtue to our faith and pursue it, even when it’s to our own detriment.

There are times when having less than a high moral standard benefits you. That’s just the reality of the times we live in. You cut a few corners, tell a few half-truths, and voila, things are much smoother than they would otherwise have been.

When we add virtue to our faith, even when we know something would work out in our favor far better if we chose to blur the lines, because we are who we are, and are mandated to be as He was, we hold to our standard, we retain our virtue, even if by doing so we lose out on some material thing.

As the saying goes, it’s easy on paper, but much harder to be consistently virtuous in everyday life. Situations arise, and temptations are ever present wherein if only we lowered the standard a smidge, we would exponentially benefit in the natural.

You know the virtue of an individual not when being virtuous is easy and pain free, but when being virtuous costs them something at best, and at worst everything.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

1 comment:

Suzy said...

HI Michael,
1st Corinthians 6:12 came to mind as I was reading your post:

12 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

and also verse 19 & 20:
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

By the way, Happy Anniversary!