2 Peter 1: 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence….
…5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 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.
Many of us in this broken world are praying daily for a spiritual awakening. Those prayers are extremely important, but it is not enough to simply ask God to do more than He has been doing.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us God has already granted to us all things we need for life and godliness. In Christ, He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, including: (1) Jesus as the Savior who died for all our sins; (2) Jesus as the Lord with all authority in heaven and earth, including authority over the forces of darkness that seek to destroy us; (3) the Holy Spirit, who is God living within us; (4) a heavenly Father who loves us beyond measure and always watches over His children; (5) the God-breathed Bible that reveals God’s truth and God’s will to us; (6) the covenant promises of the ultimate Promise Keeper; (7) the right to talk with God in prayer anytime and anywhere; (8) sisters and brothers in Christ who, together with us, form the family of God and the Body of Christ; (9) angels who minister to God’s family on earth; and (10) keys of His Kingdom that represent our authority on earth when we fully submit to His authority and operate in His name. (Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Hebrews 1:14; Matthew 16:19; James 4:7; John 14:12-14)
If God has already provided all of this to us, what more could we possibly need? We need to do our part.
Peter understood this. Having declared that God has given us all we need, he goes on to explain that for this very reason, it is vitally important for us to diligently supplement our saving faith in Jesus Christ with the added ingredients that make us fruitful and effective disciples.
We must add “virtue” or “moral excellence” to our faith. The Greek word used here – arete – means excellence in doing what God declares is right vs. wrong. It is a heartfelt commitment to faithfulness and righteousness. Because I trust Him, I fully intend to do what He tells me to do. I am a hearer and doer of His Word. (Matthew 7:24-27; James 1:22)
We must add “knowledge” to our virtue. When I first come to saving faith, I only know a few of the things God wants me to know and do. I need to know more so I can obey more, sin less, and bear more fruit for His Kingdom. We are called to obey everything the Lord has commanded. (Matthew 28:20) Those who both have and keep His commandments are the ones who love Him. (John 14:21)
We must add “self-control” to our knowledge. Our flesh – our old habits and desires – are always warring with our spirit’s desire to obey Jesus. (Galatians 5:16-25; Colossians 3:1-17) We must be disciplined and “in command” of ourselves, or the world will trip us up.
We must add “steadfastness” – perseverance – to our self-control. In this world, we will have trouble and wrestle against forces of darkness. (John 16:33; Ephesians 6:10-20) Christian discipleship is a marathon, not a sprint, and we must both run and finish the race. (Hebrews 12:1-2; 2 Timothy 4:7-8)
We must add “godliness” to our steadfastness. The Greek word used here – eusebeia – means the devout practice of your religion and relates to how you worship and show reverence toward God. In short, “godliness” is doing everything you can to love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. (Luke 10:27)
We must add “brotherly affection” to our godliness. The Greek word used here – philadelphia – is always used in the New Testament for the love Christian brothers and sisters must have for one another. (John 15:9-12) The world will know we are Christians by our love for one another! (John 13:35)
Finally, we must add agape love to our brotherly love. Agape love is what binds it all together: the unconditional, selfless, serving love for everyone that God can pour into our hearts. (Romans 5:5; Colossians 3:14) Without agape, we are nothing and gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13:1-3) Faith works through love. (Galatians 5:6)
My friends, God is always doing His part. We need to do our part … and watch what happens then.
God bless you, and God bless our community.