“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither useless nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
(2 Peter 1:5-8)
ADD to your faith. My goodness, I don’t believe I have ever seen this before.
Peter is giving us a progressive list of Christian characteristics that will cause us to be fruitful in the very knowledge of the Lord. If you will notice, these virtues don’t just happen; Peter says we must DILIGENTLY ADD them to our faith. Without them we will be useless, unfruitful for the Kingdom.
FAITH -> virtue -> knowledge -> self-control -> perseverance -> godliness -> brotherly kindness -> LOVE.
It is a progression – growth. Line upon line. Precept upon precept.
These traits are born of sanctification (character transformation), allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us into the image of Christ through the renewing of our minds. Why? For the purpose of growing in the knowledge of Christ. How? Diligently!
This transformation begins with ‘faith’ and ends with ‘love’.
It is love which impacts the world for Christ.
Father, I know that every Christian is given the same measure of faith at salvation. And I know that some of us choose to develop our faith into something strong and fruitful for You. Thank You for helping me understand that Christ-like characteristics will become evident as a result of sanctification. As I allow the Holy Spirit to work in me, as I allow and desire to be changed for Your glory, these traits will abound in me and they will result in love. I want to share Your love with those around me, Lord. I want to walk in Your love and I want Your love in me to draw others to You. I never want to find myself useless in Your Kingdom. Help me to be diligent and purposeful with my faith.