"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity."
2 Peter 1:5-7 lists out some important aspects of the Christian life that can at times get over looked. The view of Christianity as a “just have faith” movement couldn’t be farther from the truth. It is absolutely true that God saves us by His grace alone, through faith alone, and that it is “not of works lest any man should boast.” This is Justification. Scriptures also say that “the just shall live by faith,” and that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” But is faith all we need? Is the Christian life a “let go and let God” experience? Well…yes, but no. For Justification, do the “let go and let God” thing, because we are only saved when we believe that it isn’t our works that save us, but rather Jesus’s works that save us. But after that, the game changes. The process known as Sanctification (literally meaning “to purify or cleanse”) begins. This process requires a fair amount of work on our part.
Here in 2 Peter 1, we see Peter saying “add to your faith.” This can be summed up in the thought, “We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that remains alone.” Peter isn’t saying we need to be saved by these things, no, he is saying that now that we are saved, we need to live with these things. So, what does Peter say to add to your faith? virtue (honest and pure living), knowledge (a growing understanding of Who God is, and what He has done), temperance (self-control in body and in mind), patience (a reliance in the Sovereign hand of an Almighty God that keeps you from sweating the small stuff), godliness (a desire to do those things that God has called you to), brotherly kindness (a familial compassion for those around you, and an acquired responsibility for their success), love (self-sacrificial service for the growth of others and advancement of God’s glory)
Food For Thought: List out three things that Peter says we should “add to our faith.” How can you intentionally add these three things to your faith?