Add Moral Excellence

Add Moral ExcellenceText: 2 Peter 1:5-11

Faith must be the foundation of all that we do. Yet there are various qualities we are to add to our faith. In this lesson, the trait we will focus on is moral excellence.

Define Moral Excellence

  • KJV uses the term virtue
  • Greek word areté – moral goodness, seen by others, “what gives man his worth” (Zodhiates)
  • Moral behavior that is public, consistent, and excels that of others

What Moral Excellence Looks Like WITHOUT Faith

  • This may seem like an odd question – as Christians, we naturally associate these qualities with faith; however, worldly people can possess a form of these characteristics without faith
  • One may be a morally upstanding person – good citizen, spouse, parent, neighbor, employee, etc.
  • What qualifies as “good” will depend on the world’s definition – often will be similar to what is “good” by faith, but not always
  • Examples – good spouse in an adulterous marriage; good citizen to a God-hating tyrant; good neighbor who hosts drinking parties; etc.

What Moral Excellence Looks Like WITH Faith

  • Add to your faith – faith is the foundation; the source of faith is the word of God (Romans 10:17); moral excellence must be based on this standard
  • In essence, moral excellence/virtue is faith in action (James 2:18) – letting our light shine before others (Matthew 5:14-16); living in such a way that others have nothing bad to say about us (1 Peter 2:12); continuing to improve/excel in our character (1 Thessalonians 4:1)

How to Add Moral Excellence to Our Faith

  • The word of God is the source of faith (Romans 10:17) – we must go to the word
  • Remember that the word of God was revealed to train us in godliness/righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • Be doers of the word and not merely hearers (James 1:22-25)
  • Recognize that God demands consistency in us (James 3:10-12)
  • Take what is taught in God’s word and continue to grow in it (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10)


  • We must have faith if we want to please God and be saved – but faith alone is not enough (James 2:24); a stagnant faith is not pleasing to God (2 Peter 1:8; Colossians 1:10)
  • We must grow in our faith – develop a character of moral excellence; continually become more and more what God wants us to be

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