Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.2 Peter 1:5
The essence of virtue can be found in Philippians.
Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
The first lesson of virtue begins with truth. The Bible tells us that once we surrender our lives to Him, we are to put away lying. We are not allowed to tell tall tales about those around us anymore. We must be truthful creatures in Christ.
Every time we lie is a new death. Our salvation is lost. The only way to live is to live through Christ Jesus. And just like our Savior, we must set our minds on the things above. Our old selves must remain dead so that our glorious new characters can flourish.
The body of Christ is like a body of physicians. Evangelist treats those unfamiliar with the gospel message. Our pastors maintain God’s churches and are responsible for healing those within them. The prophets of the Holy Bible, and Ellen White, are individuals God uses to give us nourishment directly from heaven. God uses this body of people to minister to you and I. He uses them to keep us in the truth.
He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
Do not trust everything you hear. The devil desires to deceive everyone. By studying the words of God yourself, you can confirm whether these professed men and women are telling the biblical truth or not.
Jesus wants us to tell the truth. We cannot be afraid to share the truth even when it’s difficult. Also, we mustn’t love a lie. Lying is an abomination to our Lord. God has prepared your reward for being honest. You will dwell with Christ in His temple forever. A place where joy reigns, where sadness and suffering have no home.
Deal honestly and righteously in this present evil world. Some will be honest when they see that honesty will not endanger their worldly interests; but all who act from this principle will have their names blotted out of the book of life.
Social disorder is caused by a lack of truth and justice. It becomes a foolish thing to trust when those around us are practicing deceit and refrains from the truth, and naturally, they go on to commit more evil acts. How can a society maintain order if her people bend their tounges like bows for lies? How can anyone trust God when it is normal for deceitful men to practice lying and tire themselves committing iniquity? We represent God’s character on earth.
It falls on us to be the exception. The Lord has given us a task list of things we must do. First, we must learn to do well. We must seek true justice in the eyes of God. We are called to rebuke those who oppress. Our charge is to defend the fatherless and plead for the widow. Thank God we aren’t alone in our quest. Another important thing God is asking us to do is to not fall into hypocrisy.
“You shall not circulate a false report. Do not put your hand with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness. You shall not follow a crowd to do evil; nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after many to pervert justice. You shall not show partiality to a poor man in his dispute. “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it. “You shall not pervert the judgment of your poor in his dispute. Keep yourself far from a false matter; do not kill the innocent and righteous. For I will not justify the wicked. And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the discerning and perverts the words of the righteous. “Also you shall not oppress a stranger, for you know the heart of a stranger, because you were strangers in the land of Egypt.
Although we are called to be above the sins of this present world, we can be forgiven if we have fallen. If we wash our hearts of wickedness God will forgive us. Repentance leads to forgiveness.