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TOPIC: Christian Virtues (RCCG Sunday School Student Manual 14 July 2024)

MEMORY VERSE: “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:” – 2 Peter 1:3 (KJV)

BIBLE PASSAGE: 2 Peter 1:3-7 (KJV) (RCCG Sunday School Student Manual 14 July 2024)

3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness;

7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.

INTRODUCTION:

There are two root words in Greek translated virtue. The first is dunamis as in Luke 6:19; 8:46 meaning miraculous power. The second is arête meaning ‘moral excellence’ or ‘goodness.’ In the context of the later, “virtue” is a right inner disposition. A disposition is a tendency to act in certain ways. It is not an impulse but a settled habit of mind. Virtues are general character traits that provide inner sanctions on our particular motives, intentions, and outward conduct.

LESSON OUTLINES:

  1. ATTAINING VIRTUE

  2. THE DESIRE TO EXCEL

1. ATTAINING VIRTUE

Our God is excellent in all ways (Psalms 76:4). He expects His children to be like Him (1 Peter 1:15-16). Hence, the main aim of a Christian should be to walk to please God. Virtue is attainable only if we follow the divine guidelines (Philippians 4:8).

2 Peter 1:5-7 tells us how to attain virtue. It is like a ladder; the attaining of one leads to the next, and so on. The sequence begins with faith and ends with love. Without faith, nobody can have virtue. Faith supplies moral excellence as taught in the Bible (Hebrews 11:6). After we have attained some knowledge, we add self-control, or self-discipline (1 Corinthians 9:27). This is the opposite of the excess of the world. Perseverance means to view the unfolding of time with God’s eyes (Hebrews 12:2).

Godliness means that we have a very practical awareness of God in every aspect of our life (1 Timothy 6:6; 2 Peter 1:3). Kindness is described here as “Philadelphia,” the kind of love that we have for brothers and sisters. The most magnificent virtue of all: is Christian love. This love is “agape” and results in self-sacrificing action for another (1 Corinthians 13; 1 John. 3:16).

 

CLASS ACTIVITY 1: The Class should discuss some factors that can prevent believers from growing in virtues.

2. THE DESIRE TO EXCEL

The desire to excel comes with the recognition of excellence and a consciousness of falling short of it. The goal is to be like Jesus Christ because He is the glory of God revealed (Hebrews 1:3). This desire to excel also involves a willingness to give up lesser things to achieve a greater goal (Matthew 19:16-26) and preparedness to work hard towards perfection (Matthew 17:15-21). There must also be a readiness to be taught, not only by those who are in a higher position but anyone regardless of position or age (1 Corinthians 1:19-29).

 

CLASS ACTIVITY 2: Why do we have a higher percentage of the world population below the excellent level?

CONCLUSION: Now we see that if we indeed have these virtues as an integral part of our being, and if they continue to increase as we apply them, then we lead a useful, fruitful life for Christ.

QUESTIONS:

  1. What is the will of God for His children?

  2. How will you recognise the desire to excel in you?

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