Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:3-11
“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.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
As Peter writes his farewell discourse, he once again stresses the transforming power of the gospel. He reminds us once again that God’s divine power has already worked in us. He has broken our heart of stone and has given us a new heart of flesh. We have been cleaned from our sins, and we have been made right with God. All of God’s precious and very great promises now apply to us, and God is working in us to renew us so that we can partake in His divine nature.
The gospel truly transforms our lives. Only by grace, God has enabled us to be free from sin and, day by day, grow in godliness and the true life which gets to know Him. God’s goal is to lead and guide us as we grow and conform more and more like Christ in the characters that make Him glorious and excellent. What grace is this that sinners like us can live a new life in holiness?
Because we have this hope and knowledge of the grace we have received, Peter urges us to obey God and follow His ways one step at a time. We must not only profess our faith, but we must live it out. Works do not grant us salvation. However, true faith will always produce fruitful works. Peter steps out of the path of spiritual growth, which must occur in each of our lives.
Firstly, from the faith which we have received, we should put on virtue. That is, we must put our faith into obedience. When we trust in God and His ways, that means we conform our lives to His ways. Then, our lives will have the virtues of the divine nature.
After obedience, we will gain knowledge. That is, we will have practical knowledge of the will of God. If we want to know God, put our faith into obedience. Seek the virtues of God in your own life through obedience. From knowledge, then we will be able to exercise self-control from sin and lust. If we want to kill sin, we must know God. Without knowing God, we will think that sin is more desirable than God. When we know God, there will be nothing more desirable than serving and walking with Him.
From self-control, we must develop steadfastness or long-suffering. We must learn what it means to follow God even when times get hard or even when sin seems so good. We must learn to persevere in the truth and righteousness of God. From steadfastness, we must grow in godliness. That is, we must grow in our devotion to God. He must grow to become everything to us. We must trust Him with all that we have.
From godliness, we must grow into brotherly affection, which is loving members of the church. We must learn to care for each other in the church because we are united in Christ. From brotherly affection, we are called to have a love for the whole world. We are called to love souls who are lost the way Christ loved sinners and came to earth and died for them. We are called to love like Christ and to give up our lives for the sake of lost souls.
If we are ever-increasing in these things, then Peter says we will be kept from being ineffective or unfruitful in our knowledge of Christ. In these paths, riches are awaiting us when we return to our Lord in the eternal kingdom.
Lord, please help me to understand how Your grace truly transforms my life. Please help me to obey You from the simple things and to continue to grow in my faith. Thank You for the new life that You have given me. To You be the glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.