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. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Your relationship with God starts with an assured faith in the accomplished work of Christ on your behalf. But your relationship doesn’t end there. Saying that your Christian life consists of only your conversion and nothing thereafter is tantamount to saying that human life consists of birth and nothing thereafter. This just isn’t the case with either. Just as you are born and then you grow and develop. In human life, after birth, before long, your diet changes, your vocabulary changes, your actions change, your understanding changes, your desires change, your efforts change, and you continue to change until the day your human life ends. The Christian life isn’t much different. From the day of your spiritual birth into God’s family, His Divine nature begins to dominate your sinful nature. Through daily faith and constant obedience, your vocabulary, actions, desires and understanding all change. If you are a growing Christian, your ignorance becomes knowledge, your vile living becomes virtue, your anxiety becomes patience, your selfishness becomes love for others, and day after day, week after week, month after month, you grow and conform more and more into the image of Jesus Christ. And if you don’t grow, something is wrong. If you view your conversion as something that happened to you one time and now you go back to living the way you did before, you are in some serious need for re-evaluation. Christians grow, and if you are not growing, you need to look at verse 8-9 and see the admonition Peter gives. Paul says in Colossians 3:1, if you have been converted, “seek those things which are above.” Seeking doesn’t happen on its own. It takes work. It takes, according to 2 Peter 1:5, “all diligence.” It won’t be simple, but it will be healthy. Ironically, in human life, the lazy and unhealthy are often the most unhappy and dissatisfied. Similarly, in Christian life, it is the lazy and non-growing who are most frustrated and live in shame and guilt. Free yourself from the bonds of Christian complacency and grow in Christ “with all diligence.”
Food For Thought: Both the lazy and the hard-working experience pleasure. What is the difference between the types of pleasure that they enjoy?