Things we need after we get Saved (2 Peter 1:5-10)
Lesson #1 : Virtue and Knowledge
In the introduction to this series we saw 7 things that we need after we get saved. We also saw that these things are accomplished by diligence. There is also great benefits to having these things in our lives as the passage revealed.
Now in this lesson we are going to start looking at the 7 things individually and see why they are important. The order that they are found in the scripture is also important. In this first lesson we will group together Virtue and Knowledge and study them at the same time.
This is a characteristic that is missing from society today not just from of our young people but also from our adults. We are going to give two definitions of this word from the American Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster 1828 edition. With each of these definitions we are going to give an example of this in the bible and how we might apply it to our lives.
1) Virtue – moral goodness, conformity of life and conversation to the moral law.
- A good illustration for this one would be the virtuous woman from Proverbs 31:10-31. Both men and women alike could learn some things from the character of this woman.
- She is not lazy, she works without complaint, she is modest, she can control her tongue, her spouse is admired and known in the gate, she is trustworthy, and she is honored by her spouse and children and even God.
- Now how many of us whether man or a woman could say that we have all those characteristics.
2) Virtue – Strength; that substance or quality of a physical body, by which they act that produces an effect on other bodies.
- A good illustration for this one would be the when virtue is said to depart out of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ Mark 5:21-34.
- I realize that when the woman touch Jesus’ garment that she was healed, but note that he says virtue departed from him. We are not going to heal anyone today but the moral goodness from the above definition that we are supposed to have should be affecting those around us in a positive way.
- How many of us could say that the things we say and do (or what comes out of us, speech, actions, image etc.) affects someone for the good?
Now that we have defined what virtue is we will move to the next item and then discuss virtue again towards the end of this lesson. To many knowledge seems like the most important thing that one could need. But we must be very careful when we start out on our quest for knowledge because if you study the word of God you will see that the very first time man sinned it was connected with the quest of knowledge.
In Genesis 3:5 when Satan was tempting Eve he told her that in the day ye eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil that they would be as gods knowing good and evil. Knowledge is a very powerful tool but it can corrupt just as easily as it can help. We can learn knowledge and do evil with it or we can learn knowledge and do right with it. Many of the most evil men in history were very well learned and intelligent. Many kids grow up believing in God and trusting in his word only to be talked out of it by teachers and professors who are showing them falsehoods but cover it with what looks like education and knowledge. Note what the word of God says in Colossians 2:8 and 1 Timothy 6:20.
Below are some examples both good and bad where knowledge either helped someone or hurt someone. You would do well to study these scriptures and their context.
2 Chronicles 1:10 (Here Solomon desires knowledge and wisdom to rule God’s people)
Proverbs 1:4 (Here we see that one of the reasons Proverbs was written was to give the young person knowledge and discretion)
Isaiah 5:13 (Here the lack of knowledge led people into captivity)
Isaiah 47:10 (Here knowledge perverts God’s people)
Romans 1:28 (Here God gives people over to a reprobate mind because they did not retain him in their knowledge)
2 Peter 2:20 (Here we are said to depart from the pollutions of this world by the knowledge of Jesus Christ)
If knowledge can be as dangerous for us as it is helpful then how should we go about getting it and using it. The first thing is to note where the beginning of knowledge is and it is in the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Fearing the Lord is where real knowledge begins and if we maintain a good fear of the Lord we are going to do right and not be corrupted with it. The second thing is to use the knowledge that you have for the Lord and to do right. God says that Israel wisdom to do evil but no knowledge to do good (Jeremiah 4:22). This is where we do not want to end up.
If you have been wondering why the word of God put virtue ahead of knowledge in the order of things we need, it is because of the danger or knowledge without the fear of the Lord. If we have virtue then we will know how to use knowledge. If we do not have any virtue then we will use our knowledge for evil or it may corrupt us. Virtue shows us what is right and wrong and if we have good morals and know what is right and wrong then we will be able to have knowledge and also use it for the glory of God and what is right. Therefore we are to build on our faith Virtue and then Knowledge and the order is important.
Things we need after we get Saved (2 Peter 1:5-10)
Lesson #1 : Virtue and Knowledge (Handout)
1) Give two definitions for Virtue with Examples of each one showing what it is.
2) Why must we be Careful with knowledge? Give a scripture for your answer.
3) Give scripture for knowledge having a good connection.
4) Give scripture for knowledge having a bad connection.
5) Why is virtue so important and placed in the list of things we need before knowledge?