Courtney Jacob

Christlike Virtues

Is it possible to recognize a Christian without asking if they believe in Jesus? The apostle Paul would reply with a resounding, yes! Indeed, there are certain characteristics that should be evident in the lives of Christians. Join Groundwork for our series “Christlike Virtues” as we study seven virtues Paul uses to describe the character of a believer: Compassion, humility, thankfulness, gratitude, generosity, truthfulness, and forgiveness. 

What is a virtue? offers three definitions of virtue: “Conformity to a standard of right,” “a particular moral excellence,” and “a commendable quality or trait.” Virtues are considered good qualities in a person and stand in direct contrast to vices, like those of the traditional seven deadly sins. If you did an internet search for “examples of a virtue,” qualities like bravery, temperance, truthfulness, friendship, prudence, fortitude, or justice would rank high in your search results. 

Christian Virtues

Virtues are not, by definition, exclusively Christian. However, in his letters to the churches of Colossae and Ephesus, the apostle Paul describes several defining characteristics that should be evident in the lives of Christians because of their faith in Jesus Christ. In Colossians 3 and Ephesians 4, Paul encourages believers to take on the same qualities Christ possessed himself so that his character is evident in theirs: compassion, humility, thankfulness, gratitude, generosity, truthfulness, and forgiveness. 

Becoming Christlike

Paul explained the impact our faith should have on our lives in Romans 12:1-2:  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Faith in Christ changes the way we think and act, it transforms us. We may not display all these Christlike qualities yet, we may exude some more naturally and need to practice others, but that’s the point, with the help of the Holy Spirit we learn and grow more like Christ each day. 

Grow in Christlike Virtues

I invite you to nurture your spiritual growth through our Groundwork series, “Christlike Virtues,”  as we focus on the six virtues drawn from Colossians 3 and Ephesians 4:

Together, we will look at these passages where Jesus displays these characteristics and discuss how they can shape how we live so that we reflect Christ to those around us today. 

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