Yesterday I shared 2 Peter 1:3-4 and didn’t want to stop with those two verses (you can read that post here), but I knew I didn’t need to stay up too late writing, so I saved the rest for another post. The rest of this passage is so good! We already talked about God’s promises and that we can become partakers of the divine nature through those promises. But did you notice at the end of verse 4, it says, “having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” We are not trapped by sinful desire any more – we get to live a life free of corruption. All of this because of God’s promises to us. Then 2 Peter 1:5-11 continue the thought
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Peter says to supplement your faith with these things:
- faith – complete trust or confidence in someone or something
- virtue – behavior showing high moral standards
- knowledge – awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation
- self-control – the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations
- steadfastness – to endure patiently, reliable, faithful, and true to the end
- godliness – the quality or state of being spiritually pure or virtuous
- brotherly affection – an extension of the natural affection associated with near kin, toward the greater community of fellow believers, it goes beyond mere duty
- love – an earnest and anxious desire for and an active and beneficent interest in the well-being of the one loved
That’s quite a list! And thank God that He didn’t give us the list and then step back to force us to do it on our own. Verse 3 says “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness.” We have God’s help to do these things. All we have to do is ask Him to help us and then determine to obey Him when He reveals how we should obey Him. If we pursue these qualities, they will help us to be effective and fruitful in our knowledge of Jesus. Let’s not be nearsighted (verse 9) and forget that we have been cleansed of our sins. We will never fall if we practice these qualities (verse 10) . . . it said practice them – we aren’t going to be perfect, but we do need to practice and let these qualities increase (verse 8) in our lives. Peter says in verses 12-15 that he will remind us to do these things even though we are established in the truth. Peter knows that we are forgetful. We let things of the world distract us from living out these qualities, so he wants to stir us up by reminding us how we are to live. Lets add these things to our faith and never forget that we have been cleansed of our sins by the blood of the Son of God!