Faith and Virtue
Make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, [etc.].
If you would enjoy the eminent grace of the full assurance of faith, under the blessed Spirit’s influence and assistance, do what the Scripture tells you: “Make every effort.” Take care that your faith is the right kind—that it is not a mere belief of doctrine, but a simple faith, depending on Christ and on Christ alone.
Pay careful attention to your courage. Plead with God that He would give you the face of a lion, that you may, with a consciousness of right, go on boldly. Study the Scriptures diligently and get knowledge; for a knowledge of doctrine will help a great deal to confirm faith. Try to understand God’s Word; let it dwell in your heart richly.
When you have done this, add to your “knowledge . . . self-control.” Pay attention to your body and soul. Be controlled in speech, life, heart, and thought. Add to this, by God’s Holy Spirit, patience; ask Him to give you that patience that endures affliction, which, when it is tried, will come forth as gold. Array yourself with patience, so that you do not murmur or be depressed in your afflictions.
When that grace is won, look to godliness. Godliness is something more than religion. Make God’s glory your object in life; live in His sight; dwell close to Him; seek fellowship with Him; then you will have “godliness”; and to that add brotherly love. Have a love for all the saints: And add to that a charity that opens its arms to all men and loves their souls. When you are adorned with these jewels, and just in proportion as you practice these heavenly virtues, you will come to know by clearest evidence “your calling and election.” “Make every effort,” if you would get assurance, for lukewarmness and doubting very naturally go hand in hand.
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