Summary: This is the second of eight messages about the spritual growth of believers.
January 4, 1998 Rev. Tom Dooley
Eight Habits Of Highly Effective Christians
Habit Number Two: The Habit of Cultivating Virtue
Someone has compared the Book of 2 Peter to a Spiritual
pep talk. In a way that is a good comparison. Peter is
writing to believers who are facing some very difficult
circumstances. He wants to encourage them to get up,
stand up and move out for the cause of Jesus Christ.
We need to be encouraged in the same manner.
As we studied this morning, Peter sets for the challenge in
verse 5. He calls us to... "ADD TO YOUR FAITH.." That
call is a call to be a Highly Effective Servant of our Savior,
Basically every Christian falls into one of three categories.
1) Babes In Christ
There are to ways to be a babe in Christ. One way is to
have been recently born into the family of God. That is the
way it is supposed be.
Others are babes in Christ because they are stunted in
their developement and growth as a believer.
Some Christians are....
2) Backsliders From Christ
A backslider, we don’t like that word, but a backslider is
one who is saved, but they are not living close to the Lord.
You don’t stand still in your relationship to the Lord. You
are going forward or backward.
I read this week that when Billy Sunday ( he was a professional
baseball player who became an evangelist) was converted, a saintly
man told him ... he said, "Billy, if you never want to backslide, you do
three things every day. You read the Bible and let God speak to you
through His Word fifteen minutes every day. You talk to Him in
prayer fifteen minutes every day. And you spend fifteen minutes
every day telling somebody about Jesus Christ." He said, "Billy, you’ll
never have backslider written after your name."
Billy Sunday said, "You know, I’ve been sliding into a lot of bases. I’ve
been sliding into a lot of bases a long time. I don’t plan to slide out
And some beleivers are...
3) Builders For Christ
They are diligently going about the business of adding to
I want to encourage you to be a builder.
Here in our text Peter tells us how we are to be adding to
our faith and what we are to add to our faith. Here we find
what I am calling... EIGHT HABITS OF HIGHLY
This morning we focused on the first of these habits. We
learned that if we are going to become Highly Effective
Servants of Jesus then we must develope the habit of...
PRACTICING SPIRITUAL DILIGENCE.
Tonight we are going to learn that to become a Highly
effective Christian, we must make it a habit to cultivate a
passion for virtue in our lives.
Look with me again at verse 5. Peter says that we are to
add to our faith....
Again, the foundation is faith, faith in Jesus that results in
our salvation. Then with diligence we begin this process of
adding to our faith. And we are to add to our faith... Virtue.
Now if we are going to do that, we must clearly understand
what Peter is talking about when he speaks of virtue.
In defining virtue let me emphasize two things.
1. VIRTUE IS AN ATTITUDE WE NEED TO HAVE
The attitude we approach things with certainly makes a
difference in what we achieve doesn’t it?
In reference to attitude, someone made this observation. "If a man
has limburger cheese on his upper lip, he thinks the whole world
smells." (1001 Humorous Illustrations, p.38)
Virtue is an attitude we need to have.
The term "virtue" as used in this verse refers to the
courageous pursuit of moral excellence. The outward
expression of "virtue" begins with an inner attitude or
mindset that says, I want to do what is right.
So Peter basically is saying we need to add to our faith a
desire, or the attitude... to do what is right.
Let me show you a biblical illustration of this attitude.
Turn with me to Luke 19:1-10.
Here we have the story of Zacchaeus. Let’s walk thru this
First in verses 1-3 we have...
1) The Description of Zacchaeus
He... lived in Jericho, made his living as a chief publican,
he was rich and short of stature.
Then note... ( v.3 )
2) The Desire of Zacchaeus
He wanted to see Jesus.. who he was. He apparently had
heard about this man named Jesus, and he wanted to size
Him up for himself.
He had a problem... the crowd got in the way. But he didn’t
Look at verse 4 and see...