In Peter’s second letter, he says we should add to our faith, virtue – or moral goodness. The faith that he speaks of is the belief that we have “everything we need” and that we have “escaped the corruption of the world caused by evil desires.” And Peter exhorts us to “make every effort,” which implies that some may not. We should devote energy, focus, and passion to add to that faith. And the first thing we are to add is virtue.
Who is virtuous? We can have wonderful examples through the people around us. We may know a virtuous man or woman, but who do they look to for an example? Ultimately, our model for virtue is Jesus Christ. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He is the Lord.
When God introduced himself to Moses, he did so in the wilderness at a burning bush. From the bush, God talked to Moses and said, “Take your shoes off, the place in which you stand is holy.” What made that place holy? The presence of God. Yes, but there’s something more to it. It’s not the power of God by itself that is holy; it’s the power and the character of God that is holy.
When God introduced himself to Moses, he whispered intimate issues to him. He said, “I have surely seen the suffering of my people in Egypt. I have heard their cries.” God sees. God hears. God cares. God has a heart, just like Moses.
God created us in his image. We feel pain because God feels pain. In Gen. 6:6, God said he was grieved that he made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.
In Ezek. 6:9 it says God was grieved because of our adulterous hearts. In Isa 65 it says All day long I stretch out my hands to a stubborn and rebellious people who provoke me to my face. God feels rejection.
Our hearts are made by him according to his image. The reason we feel rejection and pain in our hearts is because he made us to feel what he feels. Holiness, a virtuous person, is actually recognized in intimate relationship. God invites us into intimate relationship with him, so we can know him and his heart. Knowing that we can break his heart and cause him pain, even today, is the greatest deterrent to future sin.