Dr. Carl H. Stevens tells a story of virtue:

“Ned Bedford, one of John Rockefeller’s closest business advisers, told the story of how Mr. Rockefeller dealt with a man whose wrong decision cost his oil company a huge sum of m o n e y. Mr. Bedford made an appointment to discuss how to deal with the man. Expecting Mr. Rockefeller to be angry, even though the loss was not his fault, Mr. Bedford was prepared for a difficult meeting. When he went into the office , he noticed a notepad in Mr. Rockefeller’s hands. On that pad was a list of twenty-five virtues that characterized the man who had cost Standard Oil two million dollars. “ You know this man has saved me money five or six times—saved me far more than two million,” Mr. Rockefeller said. “I am going to give him a raise.”” From, “Christ Is My Identity.” Dr. Carl H. Stevens

When 2 Peter 1:5-8 speaks of adding to the faith, virtue etc. it carries the same sense,

” …rendering a service that is expected of one in virtue of one’s position.” Ellicott

And beside this, giving all diligence,

  1. in the exercise of your faith supply virtue;
  2.  …in virtue knowledge;
  3. … in knowledge temperance
  4. …in temperance patience
  5. …in patience godliness;
  6.  …in godliness brotherly kindness
  7.  …in brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:5-8

2 Peter 1:9 tells us what results if these expected attributes lack:

“But he that lacks these things (virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, etc.) is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

What lacks? First, virtue in men:

  •  …the moral courage — an energy by which the heart is master of itself, and is able to choose the good, and to cast aside the evil, as a thing conquered and unworthy of oneself. This indeed is grace…” Darby
  • the divine essence of God’s supreme love …(virtue).

  • love that surrenders control, so that God’s objective Word controls the soul …through the Holy Spirit. (Virtue). Carl H. Stevens

Next is practical discernment, (Knowledge.) Mr. Rockefeller put aside his radical reactions and gave an honest assessment.

“your discerning between divine good and Satanic evil must lead to … the control of your own lawless propensities, (self control) or (Spirit control)

… endure difficulties patiently …not the stolid defiance of the savage, or the self-reliant and self-satisfied endurance of the Stoic, but a humble and loving trust in God;” (patience)  Ellicott  “the heroic, brave patience with which a Christian not only bears but contends.” Vincent

Godliness follows. “…and thus begins discipleship, of which the communion with Christ waxes more intimate day by day. (godliness). Expositors

Then love to our Christian family, and love to those outside the family.

In closing, some quotes:

“Concentration, the power to focus the scattered forces of the mind on one point of observation, and the faculty of cutting out all disturbing and distracting factors, will ever be the measure of man’s success.””the faith-line must not be a dead wire. It must quiver with the current of living will.” Hastings

“There is danger too of zeal becoming a wild fanaticism. Hence, virtue must have in it a supply of knowledge.”

” the man truly temperate has the faculties of his mind, as well as his constitutional propensities, under the completest command.”

“There has never been a patient man on earth, save the Man who did all things well. (Christ)  J. Iverach

Godliness is faith alive; and not only alive, but active; not only looking and thinking, but feeling, speaking, doing, and thus infusing into all outward and visible performance a moral element that makes virtue holiness.” Hastings

In love of the brethren there are no distinctions.—This love is without partiality.”

” Lest “the love of the brotherhood” should degenerate into a selfish and sectarian thing, the Apostle directs that it is to flow beyond the walls of the sacred enclosure,”

It’s the power of virtue, the power of love. love ya

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