High Priorities (4)

It would do us good to study the etymology of many words, often truly unknown to us.

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1 Peter 1:14-16 – As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:  But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;  Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

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In Mark 5, we read the story of the woman with the issue of blood who was healed when she touched the hem of Jesus’s garment.  The Scriptures tell us that when she touched Him, He perceived that “virtue” had flowed from His body.  In that case the Greek word for “virtue” is “dunamis.”  We often speak of “dunamis” power being “force, miraculous power, mighty work” of Holy Ghost.  It is the same power of which Jesus spoke when He said you would receive power when Holy Ghost was come upon you. 

However, the “virtue” of which I write today is a different word.  It is found in 2 Peter 1:3-15, and is mentioned twice in that passage in verses 3 and 5.  In that passage, the word “virtue” comes from the Greek word “aretē.”  That word means “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  And while it should be fully expected  that it does indeed require “dunamis” to produce “aretē,” they are two completely different terms defining two distinctly different things.  In the case of 2 Peter, we are speaking of “manliness, valor, excellence, praise.”  While there should be no doubt of how highly Father prioritizes Holy Ghost baptism and the subsequent boldness, the priorities about which we are presently writing are those that we should be producing from our own spirit as the result of the presence of Holy Ghost, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is certainly one of those priorities.  I would urge you to take the time to look closely at the 2 Peter 1:3-15 passage, and allow the order of unfolding priorities the Lord has set before us.

In this hour of church history, the question I ask here must be set to the church.  By and large, something is missing in the 21st century church, and “virtue,” or “aretē,” is one of those missing elements.  When I write of “manliness,” I am not referring to the masculine sense of the human male, but of the upright, strong, bold aspect of the church as we examine ourselves as members of the body of Christ, Who is male in His authority.  Where is the “virtue” of the body of Christ in manifestation today?  Sadly, in most cases, it is missing.  Proverbs 28:1 says, “The wicked flee when to man pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”  It is that boldness of the male lion to defend its pride (family) and its territory of which I write today.  COVID 19, government, social unrest, and politicians have all but silenced the roar of the church.  All these distractions and false lions roar while the church seems silent.  It’s time for the true lions to roar.  Roar, Church, roar!

Manna for Today – 1 Peter 1:3-25; 2 Peter 1:3-15; Mark 5:30; Philippians 4:8; Acts 1:8