To Be Effective and Fruitful
The second epistle of Peter is addressed to Christians (1.1) with an opening prayer of grace and peace that is founded and built by knowledge in God and Jesus (1.2). Peter immediately follows up on that prayer by telling us that “[God’s] divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness…” (1.3) Meaning, the power of God (no small thing), has ensured that we can know how to be who to be. Because of God’s power, we can find protocols for living this life in a way that will ensure we are “partakers of the divine nature” and escape the “corruption” of sin (1.4). Because the power of God has made this available Peter says we should work on this a few things. Next references are from 2 Peter 1.5-7.
“Make every effort”- An exercise that you do not take for granted. Effort must be put forth on a regular and constant basis.
“Supplement your faith”- The starting point is faith. If you have no faith that God will act in making you more Christ-like, you cannot begin to be more Christ-like.
“With virtue”- Moral excellence, modesty, purity. After establishing faith in God, begin to be purified from sin.
“With knowledge”- Being free of sin requires knowing what behaviors are acceptable, or unacceptable, in every situation. This is rather tricky at times and proper virtuous navigation of this life will require the knowledge of how to handle yourself, always.
“With self-control”- Temperance. “One who masters his desires and passions”. Once one gains the understanding of how to be virtuous, the actual ability to be pure becomes paramount.
“With steadfastness”- Constancy or endurance. Being able to refuse temptation is great. But, winning today does not mean winning every day, and winning every day is the goal.
“With godliness”- Piety is the best definition here. Our culture casts a jaundiced eye towards piety, thinking the definition to be sanctimoniousness, or being hypocritical. Not at all, rather, our behavior is to be reverent toward God.
“With brotherly affection”- Kindness. BE KIND. Yes, it is that hard for some of us. Yes, kindness is to be efforted towards.
“With love”- agape. Love like God loves. Loving others means considering the value of their soul and the desire God has for seeing them stand with Him in Heaven eternally.
Starting with faith, we build toward being like God.