Devotional: Do you want to be wise in what is good?
In Romans, chapter 4, verses 20 through 21, Paul speaks about Abraham as our pattern and the father of all true believers. We’ve seen how Abraham gave glory to God and fulfilled the purpose of the Creator. How did he do it? By his faith. And then one more important point. Faith, in turn, enables us to achieve excellence. Once again, this is stated by the Apostle Peter, second Peter, chapter 1, verse 5, speaking to Christians who have become believers. He says:
"For this reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness..." (NIV)
But the word translated "goodness" actually, in its basic meaning, all through the Greek language up to that time is normally translated "excellence." Some translations say "moral excellence." That's good enough, but I don't think it's complete. I think God wants excellence in every area. That was His standard at creation. He's never lowered it. And the wonderful truth about faith is, that when we have faith in God and in His power to do what He's promised, then out of that faith we can add excellence.
So faith achieves the two purposes which sin failed to achieve. First, it gives glory to God. Second, it enables us to achieve God's standard of excellence.
In Romans 16:19 we find this confirmed. It says: but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.
However, the word translated by "wise" may also be translated as "excellent" because another basic meaning of the Greek word is to make the best plans and use the best means for implementing ... Some English translations give this text as "be excellent at what is good" - be excellent in the good things!
What a great power is faith in our life; a power that protects us against the corruption of sin and helps us to pursue God's measure of excellence in all things!
Lord, You have once and for all done away with sin when Jesus died on the cross. Thank You that, because of that, I may reflect your glory and do away with all forms of unbelief and sin. I believe that You will fulfil in my life what You have promised! Amen.