“May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”
July 22, 2016, 11:05 AM

“May grace and peace be yours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord”

2 Peter 1:2

Now we are in the midst of political conventions – one has wrapped up this week (which is why this week’s Epistle is late – I wanted to hear what Mr Trump had to say), and one will be held next week.  It seems to me an appropriate time to recall some basics of our faith and the good news of the Gospel, as we consider how to exercise our franchise. 

So in honor of conventions, I’d like to bring out some of the things the Apostle Paul and other writers had to say about the attributes of those who believe that Jesus Christ has died for our sins and desires for us to live abundantly in the kingdom of God.

We find Paul’s list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:1-5.

[T]he fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

As to love, we find his description in
1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end.

Righteousness, joy, and peace are brought out in Romans 14:17.

For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

For kindness and generosity: see Colossians 3:12.

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

Goodness, righteousness, and truth are extolled in Ephesians 5:9.

for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true.

And hope, which does not disappoint, is summed up in Romans 5:1-5.

[S]ince we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

And in 2 Peter 1:5-6, we are told what we must do:

[Y]ou must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love

I don’t know if any of this makes the choices we face easier, but now at least we have some standards!