"Whatever the devil cannot be or do as it relates to God in Jesus Christ, he will either counterfeit or wipe out." Gary Flannigan, 111: The Media War (2008) at 131.

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Christian Virtues to Pursue

If we only had Christ, what virtues would we seek to instill in ourselves? And what are the most important virtues?

What are those who do not make Christ their primary teacher following instead as the primary virtues?

Current Pauline Influenced View

In Platonic and Aristotelian thought, there were four virtues. These four initial virtues were temperance, wisdom, justice, and courage. With the focus on Paul, three more virtues were taken from Paul's letters --  faith, hope, and charity. (See "Seven Virtues," Wikipedia.) Hence, there are said to be seven virtues comprised of Platonic, Aristotelian and Pauline conceptions.

What Does Jesus Teach?

Virtue #1: Loyalty and Love for God, A Single Being

First, the most important command is to believe God is one, and love Him with your whole heart. In Mark 12:28-29, we read:

28One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

29"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.[e] 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.'[f]


 Virtue #2: Love Your Enemies

Jesus gave us a powerful lesson on the virtue of loving people who hate us.

In Matthew 5:43-48 (NIV) we read:

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor[a] and hate your enemy.’44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

If we love only those who love us, God says there is no reward or merit in that. It is easy to do.

Why must we love even our enemies? 

Apostle John stated: "Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God: and every one that loveth is born of God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. We love Him because He first loved us." (I John 4: 7-11, 19).


Virtue #3: Humility

11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.

12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. (Matthew 23: 11-12 KJV)


Virtue #4: Charity, Helping Poor

In Matthew 25, we read:

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:

35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:

42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:

43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.

44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?

45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.

46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.


Virtue #5: Treat Others As You Want To Be Treated (The Golden Rule)

In Matthew 7, we read:

12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.


Virtue Set - #6: List from Sermon on the Mount

We read in Matthew 5:1-12 a list of virtues which partly overlap with what we already listed:

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: and when he was set, his disciples came unto him:

And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


Virtue #7: All People Are Equal and Brothers & Sisters

Jesus asked everyone who enjoyed unequal status to resign from that attitude. This is sort of a demand to humility. Jesus thus gives us a practical consequence of humility: hierarchical organizations create inherently improper relations between humans.


Virtue #8: Mean What You Say, And No Need to Swear You Are Telling the Truth (Hypocrisy Issues)

In Matthew 23, we read:

23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they [sic: he, i.e., Moses] tells you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues;they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.