Today’s topic is about the necessity of adding goodness to the acquired knowledge of God of Israel and His Son Christ Jesus. Head knowledge of our Lord God Almighty and His Son Christ Jesus, our Saviour and Messiah is very important, but much more important is to add a substance that will cause a benefit, not only to the person holding that knowledge, but as well to the community of Christ.
A virtue is a moral righteousness. It is goodness that is added to whatever we know of God of Israel and Christ Jesus. Virtues make the gospel relevant to humanity. According to 2nd Peter 1:5, the Bible says “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith, virtue and to virtue knowledge.’’ Therefore, to knowledge add goodness, in order to gain much benefit from the acquired knowledge. On verse 8; the Bible says, “The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The different virtues we are supposed to add to knowledge will serve different purposes. It is like different spices in food, provide different kind of tastes. Different virtues are for different purposes. “Adding virtues to goodness to our head knowledge of Christ Jesus, is in real terms, adding values to what we know of Christ and will differentiate us as believers from those who doubt that Jesus is the Son of God. According to verse (9), “Those who fail to develop in this way, are short sighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. We, therefore, have a duty to prove to the world that we are really among those God has called and chosen.’’ Then we shall never fall away if we do what is required of us, as believers. If we fail to add virtue, we shall experience several pit falls in our Christian life, which may result in many people doubting our claimed position as Christians.
To our knowledge we should add “Faith” 1st Thessalonians 1:3. The definition of faith is in Hebrews 11:1. “The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” This is a combination of assurance and anticipation. It is the confidence we have in our Lord to provide whatever we ask, our God who fulfills His promises, and we believe he does, even before these promises materialise. Faith is to receive a blessing before it materialises. Faith is the test of our believing in God, sincerely. It is not to have the mentality of Judas Iscariot (John 20:24-31). Faith is also believing in what Christ Jesus said in Mathew 7:7. Which says, “Ask and it shall be given unto you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you.” And in John 16:24, the Bible says “You have not done this before, ask using my name and you will have abundant joy” It is faith to believe in this scripture. You can imagine how much benefit that can be gained by only having faith in what is written in the book of life. Read John 20 verse 29 which reads ‘‘Blessed are those who have not seen but believed.’’ Another goodness to add to virtue is “Hope” (Romans 5:2). The Bible says, ‘‘By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God’’. By having complete hope in Christ Jesus, we feel secure in his presence as the pressure of sin is neutralised. The power of God is made available to us, and so we face temptations and other challenges of life with much more courage. With hope, we will learn to entirely depend upon the power of Jesus, which he will make available to us, who lives in us (Revelations 3:20-21) by the Holy Spirit. Hope, therefore, is the confidence, trust with the expectation of fulfillment. If a new program or project is to be started, hope to complete the intended action successfully by being in the forefront.
In Zambia, an effort is being made to construct a Tabernacle of God. All believers must have hope of completing this massive project. When it will be finally done, we shall all rejoice in the hope we have in Christ Jesus.
Another virtue to add to our knowledge is “Charity” (1st Corinthians 13:8) The Bible says “Charity never faileth, but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be, tongues they shall cease, whether be knowledge, it shall vanish away. This virtue is about love. To show love to those who are in need. To show loving kindness to people around us is the same as loving our Lord God Almighty, because we are all God’s people. Parents all over the world will show appreciation to any person who helps our children to live or lead a normal and noble life, and our father Lord God Almighty of Israel, is more than a parent to us, He is our maker. To those who help others in any way possible, have the support of the Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is filled with joy when we show mercy to one another as humanity.
In the book of Mathews 5:7, the Bible says “Blessed are the merciful for they will be shown mercy.” This is one of the lessons taught by Christ Jesus. Those who show mercy will certainly be shown mercy in times of need. And the maker will make it happen. Our attitude towards the poor should not be a carbon copy of the world’s selfishness, pride and lust for money, but should reflect the desire to help others as much as it can possibly be done in the name of our Lord Christ Jesus. This will certainly please our God Almighty.
To those in the practice of philanthropy, should be encouraged to continue with their love for mankind. For this adds to goodness of our knowledge of Christ Jesus. We should learn to carry one another’s burden (Galatians 6:2). And the Lord shall be at our service enabling us to provide more help to as many as the spirit shall direct.
Another of the virtue to add to our knowledge is chastity (chaste) (Romans 12:1-2). In this book, we are advised to give our bodies to God as living sacrifice because of what he has for us. We should let our bodies be a living and holy sacrifice. Chastity is being innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse. There are those who have vowed to remain in celibacy for as long as they remain in God’s service. Our prayer for them is that they remain in that state according to their vow. Humanity, either single or married find ourselves abrogating the law of chastity.
Lust for women which is the commonest cause of this problem, than the opposite, as well as love of money maybe reason in escalating the problem. For most of us men. Self-control becomes insufficient in guarding ourselves from the vice, causing individuals of high standing in society, falling off from a higher status quo to a mere nonentity.
In the book of Titus 2:5, it is said that those who live wisely and a pure life, will not bring shame upon the body of Christ. In this chapter, it only mentions women, but also we men are just as bad when it comes to abrogating the law of chastity. Usually, it is men who put pressure on women to submit in this manner. We should check our mindset and make effort to obey the command of God on a renewed mind. Let us pray over it in order to survive the trap. Our attitude, which is our mindset, must be positively fixed. With the Holy Spirit on our side, we can really conquer Satan. Living a godly life can be just as difficult or as easy as life can be. Life is how we make it. An individual makes a personal decision either to follow Jesus or the devil.
Apart from the already discussed virtues, to be added to knowledge of Christ Jesus, it is also important to consider adding the following elements: Commitment (2 Chronicles 15:14-15). This must be added as we serve our God in our daily life, very little can be achieved with little desire to work. We should apply ourselves fully and diligently at every effort we make to serve God Almighty. Sacrifice (Daniel 8:11). This is to give up what we own for the benefit of others. To suffer loss of property or life for the sake of others. Certain activities will require giving in, in terms of resources and time. To sacrifice for God’s Kingdom can be quite satisfying to the anointed. This they do without complaining. We should remember that Christ’s disciples sacrificed their lives for the sake of the Lord’s Kingdom, the gospel. Endurance (Mathew 10-22). This is the capacity to suffer to the end. To sustain challenges, despite a multitude of problems.
It is important to add virtues to the knowledge of Christ Jesus if we are to be productive and be like a tree planted near a river and never dries. We should, therefore, bear much fruit, and let many find Christ Jesus who is salvation, and find eternal life by the grace of our Lord, Father God Almighty. This is to have a multiplier effect by our desire to achieve. And this will please our Lord God Almighty Jehovah Jireh. This is our prayer in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!.