Be Excellent as Christ Is Excellent

Be Wonderful as Christ Is Wonderful

Be Grounded in Gods Personal Glory and Excellence

As Daniel Harrington and James Keenan contend, From an moral viewpoint, the top is the quintessential level of departure, since robust moral methods all the time begin with the top. The aim all the time defines the agenda being pursued. The agenda, from begin to end, is formed by the top.1 Machiavellis basic masterpiece The Prince clearly illustrates how the top aim determines an moral system. If the aim is energy, then traits which can be conventionally seen in destructive phrases flip into virtues: no matter is important to achieve and preserve energy just isn’t solely expedient however the truth is virtuous.

Against this, the place to begin for Christians, in addition to the top aim, is Gods personal glory and excellence (2 Pet. 1:3), as believers search to be efficient and fruitful contributors in what God is doing on the planet as we speak (2 Pet. 1:4, 8).2 On the idea of Gods name prolonged to believers to (or by) his personal glory and excellence (2 Pet. 1:3), they need to reply by including to their religion a wide range of virtues, beginning with excellence (2 Pet. 1:5). This casting of Gods character as the place to begin and the top aim, setting the agenda for what Christians ought to pursue, pervades all of Scripture. In his first letter, Peter declares, constructing on Leviticus 11:44, You shall be holy, for I’m holy (1 Pet. 1:16). Each Paul and Peter exhort believers to mimic Christ (1 Cor. 11:1; Eph. 5:1; 1 Pet. 2:21), and Paul affirms that these whom God foreknew he additionally predestined to be conformed to the picture of his Son (Rom. 8:29). The top aim of believers lives just isn’t energy, affect, cash, safety, or possessions, however turning into as soon as once more like their Creator and Savior, in whose picture they had been initially made. That is the idea on which Peter exhorts believers to make each effort to complement your religion with numerous virtues (2 Pet. 1:5).

Andreas J. Kstenberger

Calling all Christians, and particularly aspiring pastors, students, and lecturers, to a lifetime of advantage lived out in excellence, this ebook is a vital character examine for all Christians engaged in instructing and ministry.

A Ethical Advantage

The Greek phrase aret, translated excellence by the ESV in 2 Peter 1:Three however advantage in 2 Peter 1:5, has a substantial semantic vary, which makes it usually troublesome to find out the exact which means of the time period in a given context.3 A primary core part of aretis is that of eminence or excellence. With regard to human attributes, aret may convey the notion of valor. Within the context of Greek ethical philosophy, aret usually referred typically to ethical advantage. At the side of Greek gods, aret may denote energy. In different contexts, aret may additionally check with fame and be equal to glory (cf. 1 Pet. 2:9).4

Undergirded by ethical excellence and godly character, all of our work ought to be carried out with distinction and excellence.

Within the context of our research, it appears finest to translate aret as excellence in each 2 Peter 1:Three and a pair of Peter 1:5, primarily for 2 causes. First, selecting the identical rendering in each situations maintains the lexical and logical connection between the makes use of of aret in these two verses. It’s exactly as a result of Christians have been referred to as to or by Gods glory and excellence that they’re so as to add excellence to their religion. Second, understanding the phrase as designating a explicit advantage, excellence, fairly than as encompassing all the virtues within the checklist, appears to make higher sense of the situation of aret within the checklist of virtues in 2 Peter 1:57.5

If these insights are legitimate, then excellence is the primary advantage in Peters checklist. All of life is to be lived for the glory of God. Undergirded by ethical excellence and godly character, all of our work ought to be carried out with distinction and excellence. Mediocrity and sloppy workmanship by no means glorify God. Christians should try for excellenceincluding, and particularly, in pursuing their scholarly calling.


  1. Daniel J. Harrington and James F. Keenan, Jesus and Advantage Ethics: Constructing Bridges between New Testomony Research and Ethical Theology (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2002), 40.
  2. See Al Wolters, Companions of the Deity: A Covenantal Studying of two Peter 1:4, CTJ 25 (1990): 2844, for a cogent protection of the interpretation companions of the deity for the troublesome expression usually translated as partakers of the divine nature. If that’s the case, the expression signifies participation in Gods exercise fairly than ontological inclusion in Gods being or essence.
  3. The NIV interprets aret as goodness in each verses Three and 5. For main texts, see Inexperienced, Jude and a pair of Peter, 183; Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 185; and Otto Bauernfeind, , Theological Dictionary of the New Testomony, ed. Gerhard Kittel; trans. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1964), 1:45761.
  4. Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 185, is actually right when he notes, Probably due to its usually Greek connotationsvirtue because the achievement of human excellence, fairly than as obedience to Godit is never used within the LXX or within the NT (solely right here and Phil. 4:Eight within the ethical sense), and solely barely extra widespread within the Apostolic Fathers. Wright, After You Imagine, 60, observes that Paul by no means used aret. Wrights personal quantity compares and contrasts Aristotles idea of advantage (together with his instructing on the pursuit of eudaimonion, happiness) with Jesuss proclamation of the dominion of God and his name to self-denial and sacrificial service.
  5. For technical discussions see the related commentary literature, particularly Inexperienced, Jude and a pair of Peter, 190 (cf. 18384); and Bauckham, Jude, 2 Peter, 18586.

This text is tailored from Excellence: The Character of God and the Pursuit of Scholarly Advantage by Andreas J. Kstenberger.

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