Bible Reading: 2 Peter 1:2-15
“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)
Roadblocks come in our faith when we ignore God’s call for sanctification. Though we are justified in Christ and Christ’s atonement will never fail us, our faith will be hindered to grow when we neglect our duty to obey. Obedience will not obtain our salvation. However, if our faith does not produce works, is it faith at all?
v. 9 says, “For whoever lacks these qualities (ie. obedience) is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins”. If we neglect our duty to sanctification, we are ignorant brutes before the lavish grace of God. If our attitude is such, we will be ineffective and unfruitful in our knowledge and walk with God (v.8). Therefore, it is a Christian’s primary duty to walk in the path of sanctification and obedience as fruits of the free gift of faith gracefully bestowed upon us.
The reason for obedience is assured grace. God has given us His divine power and all things that pertain to life and godliness. God, who has given us grace in Christ, has promised that we will be renewed and bear fruit, and we will grow in sanctification to be more like Christ. These promises are plentiful in the scriptures, and as we savour them, they empower us to obey and live for God.
Because of this, Peter exhorts us to make every effort toward sanctification. Making every effort means not neglecting any single aspect but working to the best of our ability to be obedient to God in all aspects, making use of the means of grace He provides. It means total and complete obedience, not a pick-and-choose according to our liking. A Christian’s life should be consumed by the grace of God that he humbly submits to his master in all areas of his life, whether it be at work, at school, with his family, his social life, his private life or his church life. In all these aspects, he puts his best effort to obey and return Christ’s Lordship over these areas of his life.
And so, as Peter lists the progression of sanctification, have we applied all these in all aspects of our lives? From faith, we must put on virtue. Matthew Henry describes virtue as the courage to obey. With virtue, we must put on knowledge. That is a knowledge of God’s Word and His will, which we must obey. With knowledge, we must apply self-control to resist sin and follow God. With self-control, we must apply steadfastness and perseverance to continue on the right path. With steadfastness, we ought to grow in godliness, becoming like Christ more and more in our everyday lives. With godliness, we must love our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ as the church with brotherly affection because we grow together as Christ has called us. And with brotherly affection, love should overflow to the whole world who are desperately in need to know Christ’s love.
If we set our eyes on this race, v.8 promises us that we will never be “ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”. Do we want to grow in knowing God? Obeying Him is the first step.
Lord, please help me to obey You. Help me to apply Your Word in my everyday life. Please forgive me because many times, I have ignored Your Word and forgotten to apply Your Word as I live out my day. Please set my eyes towards Your grace and Your love for me and set my eyes to walk in obedience to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.