Moral Life and Faith

Teaching of Virtue

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Moral Life & Faith

Divinely infused faith leaves no area of the Christian moral life unmoved—elevating the cardinal virtues from the natural to the supernatural one degree of glory at a time: perfecting prudence with the mind of Christ, justice with the will of Christ, fortitude with the strength of Christ, and temperance with the purity of Christ.

For the devoted, faith increasingly becomes the rudder of their life, guiding them to the truth, steering them through the storms, and directing them in the way of Christ—which lovingly, but righteously, drags at the vessel of their heart whenever they stray from the Way.

Divine faith brings order from disorder, hope from despair, fulfillment from emptiness. It provides purpose, reveals truth, and restores meaning. It speaks to the heart of the believer as to what to do, what to avoid, and what to stand for. Through sanctifying grace, it helps one gradually see as God sees, will as God wills, and come to the ever firmer assent—

Jesus is "...the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6).

Faith is the cornerstone of moral life—and by the grace of the Holy Spirit working within, the believer builds a virtuous life upon it. Knowing, it is only by grace through faith, utterly unmerited by works, one is saved. Thus, the virtuous one strives to live a faith-driven life, not to earn salvation (for that is already won by Christ), but to do God's will—as a disciple of His Word—and a channel of His love.

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Related Scripture

“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, then you will also know my Father. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’” — ‭‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭(NABRE)

“...make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, virtue with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with devotion, devotion with mutual affection, mutual affection with love. If these are yours and increase in abundance, they will keep you from being idle or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” — 2 Peter 1:5-9 (NABRE)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” — Ephesians 2:8-9 (NRSVCE)

“For we consider that a person is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” — Romans 3:28 (NRSVCE)

“What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? Of course not!” — Romans 6:15 (NRSVCE)

“For the grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires and to live temperately, justly, and devoutly in this age, as we await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the great God and of our savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to deliver us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for himself a people as his own, eager to do what is good.” — Titus 2:11-14 (NRSVCE)

“For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the Gospel, will save it.” — Mark 8:35 (NRSVCE)

“Every house is founded by someone, but the founder of all is God.” — Hebrews 3:4 (NRSVCE)

Related Quotes

“Without the way, there is no going; without the truth, there is no knowing; without the life, there is no living (see John 14:6).” — Thomas a Kempis

“Sanctification is the work of the Holy Spirit in us whereby our inner being is progressively changed, freeing us more and more from sinful traits and developing within us over time the virtues of Christlike character.” — Jerry Bridges

“Trying to do the Lord's work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.” — Corrie Ten Boom

“The best morality in the world will not prove a man to be a Christian, but if a man has not morality, it proves that he is not a child of God.” — C.H. Spurgeon

“The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.” — Billy Graham

“True faith rests upon the character of God and asks no further proof than the moral perfections of the One who cannot lie.” — A.W. Tozer

“Faith is not the belief that God will do what you want. It is the belief that God will do what is right.” — Max Lucado

“I do not pray for success, I ask for faithfulness.” — St. Mother Teresa

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” — St. Mother Teresa

“We are twice armed if we fight with faith.” — Plato

“Faith is not an easy virtue; but, in the broad world of a person's total voyage through time to eternity, faith is not only a gracious companion, but an essential guide.” — Theodore Hesburgh

“If you have been truly born again you have a new and holy nature, and you are no longer moved towards sinful objects as you were before. The things that you once loved you now hate, and therefore you will not run after them. You can hardly understand it but so it is, that your thoughts and tastes are radically changed. You long for that very holiness which once it was irksome to hear of; and you loathe those vain pursuits which were once your delights. The man who puts his trust in the Lord sees the pleasures of sin in a new light. For he sees the evil which follows them by noting the agonies which they brought upon our Lord when He bore our sins in His own body on the tree. Without faith a man says to himself, “This sin is a very pleasant thing, why should I not enjoy it? Surely I may eat this fruit, which looks so charming and is so much to be desired.” The flesh sees honey in the drink, but faith at once perceives that there is poison in the cup. Faith spies the snake in the grass and gives warning of it. Faith remembers death, judgment, the great reward, the just punishment and that dread word, eternity.” — C.H. Spurgeon

“Faith enlivens the other virtues and serves as a nourishment of the just man and a support in his labors.” — Mary of Agreda

“A wise lover values not so much the gift of the lover as the love of the giver.” — Thomas a Kempis

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Lesson Plan

For your family, small group, or personal reflection.

STEP 1: Introduction

Example: "I'm going to play a short video on the topic of moral life and faith. After the video, I have some questions to gather your thoughts and get the discussion started. We’ll then wrap up with a closing prayer."

STEP 2: Watch Video (or listen)

Watch (or listen to) the video of the teaching (cast to your TV via YouTube). If time allows, also read the teaching, related Scriptures, and related quotes.

STEP 3: Discussion / Reflection

  • In your own words, why is faith the cornerstone of moral life?
  • Divine faith speaks to the heart of the believer as to what to do, what to avoid, and what to stand for. What are some examples of this in your life?
  • Are there examples in your life where faith whispers to you what to think, say, do, or avoid, and you ignore it? (please explain)
  • What does the statement “Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life" mean to you?
  • If the virtuous one does not strive to live a faith-driven life to earn salvation, why do they do it?
  • Did any of the related Scriptures or quotes stand out to you (please elaborate)?
  • Any other thoughts you’d like to share?

STEP 4: Wrap Up & Closing Prayer

Summarize and wrap up the discussion. Then, conclude with a sincere and humble prayer from the heart.

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