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

2 Peter 1:1-10

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,

Jesus Christ.

Basically every Christian falls into one of three categories.

Some are...

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

of any."

And some beleivers are...

3) Builders For Christ

They are diligently going about the business of adding to

their faith.

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...


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.



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

story together.

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

give up.

Look at verse 4 and see...

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