Add These…

June 4, 2014
II Peter 1:5 – 9

(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)

In the last blog we talked about making a Grand Entrance…into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:11).  Such an entrance involves living for the Lord here and now so that our life will both train up Christians to maturity in their faith, and bring others to a saving knowledge of the Son of God.  The rewards that will then be given us in heaven are beyond imagination! (see I Corinthians 2:9).  I don’t want to just get to heaven!  I am aiming for rewards in the kingdom – even though my main goal is just to please my Lord because of all that He has done for me!

So how do we prepare our own lives for such fullness in God’s kingdom?  II Peter 1:5 through 9 gives us the answer.

    …giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; to virtue knowledge; to know-
    ledge 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 barren nor unfruitful in the
    knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  For he who lacks these things is short-
    sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old

It must start with faith!  Paul plainly states this in Ephesians 2:8 and 9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”  That’s saving faith.  Then – as Paul writes in Romans 1:17 – quoting Habakkuk 2:4 – “The just shall live by faith.”  It is all a life of faith – from beginning to the time when we see Jesus Christ face to face!  And the best biblical description of faith is in Hebrews 11:1 and 6:

    Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not
    seen….But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to
    God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently
    seek Him.

Peter says “…add to your faith…” seven things (by the way, seven is God’s number of perfection!):

•    “…add to your faith virtue…” (II Peter 1:5) – Here virtue does not mean goodness, but energy.  This means – in the original Greek language – your faith should result in vigorous Christian action!
•    “…add to your…virtue knowledge…” (II Peter 1:5) – Your vigorous Christian action should be to pursue increasing knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ through the Word of God.  For “…the new nature…is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator..” (Colossians 3:10 – Revised Standard Version).
•    “…add to your…knowledge self-control…” (II Peter 1:6) – This means holding your passions and desires in hand.  “…the Word of Christ dwell[ing] in you richly…” (Colossians 3:16) will facilitate such self-control.
•    “…add to your…self-control perseverance…” (II Peter 1:6) – Perseverance, or patience means “…the heroic, brave patience with which a Christian not only bears but contends…” with the hard situation he or she is facing – and this out of his or her self-control. (M. R. Vincent, Word Studies In The New Testament).
•    “…add to your…perseverance godliness…” (II Peter 1:6) – This does not have to do with the attributes of God added to Christians’ lives.  The Greek points to worship rightly directed!  Patience or perseverance under difficulties will lead to right worship.
•    “…add to your…godliness brotherly kindness…” (II Peter 1:7) – Literally this means love of the brethren.  Right worship of God will facilitate properly loving other Christians!
•    “…add to your…brotherly kindness love.” (II Peter 1:7) – This is agape love.  This love is unselfish and does not depend upon being returned by the recipient.  It is the love with which…God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16), even though so many in the world have despised and rejected Him!

For if these [seven] things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (II Peter 1:8).  God forbid that our lives are barren or unfruitful when we know Jesus as our Savior!  But if we diligently Add These… seven things to our faith, we will not be!

But what of Christians who do not add these seven things to their faith in the Lord Jesus to save them?  “…he who lacks these things is short-sighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” (II Peter 1:9).  Blind – or at the best, near sighted – with a very bad memory to boot!  God forbid that this would describe me or you!  So get busy and Add These… to your faith!

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