The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Having A Virtue Sandwich

"Faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love.... If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Pet.1:5-8).

South Jersey is famous for several foods, one of which is the "submarine sandwich" (sub to the locals). In some circles it is called a "hoagie." The classic sub is a combination of Italian meats, Provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, oil and hot peppers. What makes it even more special is the fresh Atlantic City roll that all of this stuff is packed into. Today's list of positive qualities is like that sub, in that there are six (6) fillings encompassed by a special bread. Faith and love comprise the roll, while goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness and brotherly kindness make up the fillings.... I hope I have made you hungry for more.... These qualities have been referred to as either virtues or graces, but either will do in stating their purpose. Notwithstanding, all of these qualities comprise a list of things whose possession by an individual will serve to please the Lord. To explore all of them adequately require book-like treatment, so reading and meditating on them will have to do for the present. Perhaps a look at the last two virtues brotherly kindness (sometimes called brotherly love) and love show that they seem to overlap. Both of them deal with love. Though most of us are not Greek scholars, I'm sure we've heard about the different words used in that language for love... Brotherly kindness (love) comes from the Greek word philadelphia, and assumes a family flavor for church relationships. The last word on the list, love, comes from the Greek word agape, which is a God-like love. Have you heard a sermon or two about these words? Peter's list of virtues is hardly intended to be exhaustive, as other graces could certainly be added to this list. This appears to be certain to me; Peter's list builds on the foundation of initial confession and obedience. These graces, when inhaled into the Christian character, result in fruitful knowledge. Knowledge is no "stand alone" virtue... Like faith or love, knowledge is to God's glory only when it bears fruit. These graces that Peter lays before his readers are the fruit that follow and produce the knowledge of Christ. Without the fruit, knowledge is either nonexistent or useless....

Have a great day.... Do good and give God the credit... Love mark Phil.4:11

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