Good in Action

”… through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” 2 Peter 1:3

Faith changes culture when God changes us and we act in new ways. Now we start to see how that happens. The first work, or outcome we must add to our faith, is goodness or virtue. Virtue is good in action.

2 Peter 1:5 says “make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue.”

Virtue is a bit of an old fashioned word that comes from a Greek word (aretē). Sometimes it is translated as “excellence,” which has the sense of measuring up to an ideal. One author sums up its meaning as “moral excellence.”Peter H. Davids, Pillar NT Commentary

Virtue, or moral excellence means living up to one’s full potential.

Excellence is good in action. It doesn’t just observe what is good or bad, but actively seeks it out, and works to make it better. The Apostle Paul uses excellence this way one time, in Philippians 4:8.

Peter has already defined what he means by excellence when he uses the same word just two verses earlier. There he writes “His (God’s) divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence” (2 Peter 1:3).

2 Peter 1:3 contains other things that we will look at on their own. But it tells us something important about moral excellence. God’s excellence is an expression of his divine power in those he has called to himself.

Moral excellence is godly character in action.

We are told to add moral excellence to our faith. In other words, its not enough to receive God’s gift of faith, we must put it into action. That action shapes our character to be like Christ’s.

When God’s divine power and character are working in us, we are changed and the world around us is changed. (Read more at

But how does that change the world?