The Inner Strength To Do Right
“Add to your faith virtue”
This message is in mp3 and RealAudio on our website http://www.biblebc.com/Audio/audio_sermons.htm
I. Introduction (Philp 4:8)
with faith/confidence in Jesus Christ,
but it doesn’t end there
B. Everyone who comes to Christ, comes as a wicked, condemned, lost sinner, with the desperate need to find forgiveness, and the ability to live free from the enslaving power of sin
C. The next step after salvation, is the need to build up some strength against sin – takes hard work (diligence) – not going to be easy!
D. Christianity is not a life lived secluded behind walls, but a life lived free from constant defeat, by building walls between you and some definite enemies
E. A Christian’s faith is directed towards God
F. A Christian’s virtue is directed towards sin and temptation
G. We are commanded to meditate on virtuous things (Philp 4:8)
H. Let’s find out what those kind of things are
II. What is Virtue?
A. It is an old word – not used much today – too old fashioned I guess!
B. It is very rare word (Pr 31:10). Not many people have virtue
1. “Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.” David Starr Jordan
2. Virtue simply is doing things God’s way (Ps 18:30) because it is the perfect way to do things.
3. Virtue is a strength - a supernatural ability to say “no” to temptations and “yes” to right and good things - the ability to walk away from temptation (Philp 4:13) –it takes a lot of inner strength to do that because temptation usually is attractive and fun and enjoyable (see James 1:14,15)
4. Illustration of a Balloon:
a. Without virtue, a Christian becomes just like the world around it – is fashioned by the pressures around him – like a flat balloon
b. With virtue, a Christian takes on a new shape that is formed by a pressure on the INSIDE – the filling of the Holy Spirit of God
5. The other word for virtue is FORTITUDE
a. With men, it is being MANLY, and strong, and not a push-over but full of back-bone and resilience, and grit and stamina
b. With women it is being FENMINE, and strong in their femininity and conviction and discretion
D. The opposite of Virtue is Vice
1. Virtues are what is RIGHT with a man
2. Vices are what is WRONG with him
3. Same is true with women
4. Vices are crimes, sins, wickedness
5. The ability to NOT be dominated by worldliness (vices) is a virtue – a strength – a power that is more powerful than a nuclear bomb
E. We all draw lines at how far we will go in our day to day decisions, and what we will do and won’t do – it is vital that we draw lines where the Bible says to, and NOT where our friends say to, or even where our heart tells us to
F. It is the first thing a Christian is to add to their life as soon as they get saved!
G. Too many believers get some faith, and then STOP right there! It is like learning ABC, and not going on and learning the rest of the alphabet, and learning how to read, and write, etc
H. Let me say this - Virtue is not an imposed morality – it is something that a Christian holds to personally, and by their OWN choice because of what God has told them in the Bible!
III. Examples of Virtue
A. Job 31:1; Psalm 101:3 – controlling your eyes
B. Ruth 3:11 – Resisted the temptation to just marry anyone – she waited
C. Jesus – a life full of virtue (inner strength)
D. Pr 12:4 – builds up her husband instead of making him ashamed
E. David was a MAN’S MAN (1Sam 13:14)
F. Abigail was a STRONG woman (1Sam 25:21-35)
IV. A Great Example of Virtue and Vice – David and Uriah (2Sam 11)
A. Background (11:1-5)
1. David’s Boredom – had nothing to do –went out LOOKING for something that was exciting (and Satan provided something “exciting”)
2. David’s Bedroom – sees a woman bathing on her rooftop, and David STAYS watching her. Sends flowers and a card inviting her over for dinner and a movie – it quickly moves into the bedroom, and both David and Bathsheba broke their marriage vows that evening
3. David’s Belief – that no one would know – it was a ONCE OFF event
4. David’s Burden – little problem shows up (11:5) – no contraceptives, no RU-486 abortion pill, no abortion clinics – there is a baby coming, and people will ask questions!
B. David’s Plan (11:6-13)
1. Counted on Uriah just being like every other man
2. But Uriah was NOT like most other men
a. Most would have jumped at the chance to escape a fight and duty
b. Most men would have LOVED to be at ease and at home and in comfort while other men risked their lives
3. Uriah had character
a. Had convictions – wouldn’t ignore his responsibilities to his fellow soldiers – wouldn’t take advantage of his freedom from the fight
b. He openly said what DAVID should have said (11:11)
C. David’s Ruin (11:14-17, 26-27)
1. Decides to murder Uriah to hide his sin
2. Uses his general, Joab to carry out his deed
3. Decides he can carry on like nothing ever happened – his little sin would never mean anything, and he could just get on with his life!
4. But God judges David
a. With Absolom turning against him
b. By killing his newborn son
c. And causing David to lose his kingdom for a while
D. Uriah’s Praise by God – one of God’s great men in the Bible!
E. These two men:
1. One had character (Uriah) – was a REAL man that will for all eternity be honoured in heaven as a real man of honour and character
2. And one was without character/virtue (David) – he was a coward, and a wimp, and a weasel, and a sissy, and a loser!
F. Which one was MORE of a man? Which one had GREATER strength? Which one withstood pressure, and lived by principle and conviction? And which one lived by opportunity and by stealth?
V. What is a Christian Without Virtue?
A. In Bondage – to the haunts of the past and of guilt from sins
B. In Fear – of what will happen if when they get caught
C. In Danger – of ruin and defeat – there already is enough enemies, and troubles against a Christian to be bringing MORE upon your own head
D. The key to protection from Satan, and blessing from God is living a life of inner strength and virtue instead of muscles and beauty and caving into the pressures of sin, the world, and the devil!
VI. How to Improve Your Virtue
A. Loathe (hate) the vices, the sins in you – the quickness by which you give into temptation and pressure from friends and the world
1. Choose the good, and hate the evil in your life and in this world (Ps 97:10; Pr 8:13) – on a day-by-day basis
2. Do things Christ’s way, by faith, trusting that He will work everything out for your good
3. Live by virtue, by the strength of the Holy Spirit in your life
B. Get Lively – get a life project that takes up your time – your family, your job, a ministry in the church, a big house project, a college course, a degree!
C. Learn the lives of the people in the Bible – they are real people, with real problems, whom God has recorded to show us REAL solutions
1. If you won’t take the time to study your Bible, then you are wasting your time as a Christian
You will not move on
and grow strong,
unless against temptation you learn how to endure long
D. Constantly add virtue to your way of thinking, loving, living
1. It is not a one time GOODNESS act that you do
2. But a constant development of your ability to live right and godly – walking the straight (hard) and narrow way of a Christian!
E. Love God’s laws – thank God for rules, and limits on your life – keeps you OUT of the deadly traps (snares) of the devil
F. Look always for a way of escape when facing any temptation (1Cor 10:13)
1. There always is one – God makes sure of it
2. Pray and ask for a way through, and to make it apparent
3. Then, DON’T DEBATE – just act against the temptation as Joseph did when Potiphar’s wife tempted him – RUN!
A. Everyone who comes to Christ, comes as a wicked, condemned, lost sinner, with the desperate need to find forgiveness, and the ability to live free from the enslaving power of sin – that’s what it means to be saved!
B. The FIRST thing a Christian is to add to their life as soon as they get saved is virtue - build up some walls between you and sin
C. Too many believers get some faith, and then STOP right there!
D. David Starr Jordan profoundly said, “Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.”
E. Do you have that ability – to do what is right and good when all the world around you is sinning against the Lord?
F. Virtue is the ability to walk away from temptation –it takes a lot of inner strength to do that because temptation usually is attractive, fun and enjoyable
G. King David is a good example of lack of virtue – wasn’t man enough to turn away, and wasn’t man enough to accept responsibility for his sin
H. We all need to add a lot of virtue to our lives before we watch another TV show, turn on the radio, or sit down with our schoolmates and friends
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland