Fruitful Growth in the Faith

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

It seems like the Lord has been taking me back to feast on some of His exceedingly great and precious promises by which we we have become partakers of the divine nature. The other day He took me to Peter’s Second Epistle with His focus on how we are to continue well in our new spiritual life.

2 Peter 1:4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. NKJV

Peter set out an example of spiritual arithmetic for us to follow, a sevenfold progression in our spiritual growth in Jesus and our knowledge of the Word of God; building one upon another. He begins by telling us how we are to begin.

2 Peter 1:5-9 … But also for this very reason, giving all diligence

Our growth is more than just increasing our faith, it must be a diligent (spoude) faith, a faith that is earnest and behaves; a faith that is not isolated from works . And we are to build upon our faith by virtue (arete); the character of the Christian life – genuine goodness. As one commentary put it: we must have a belief that “behaves.”

 … add to your faith virtue

Our virtue is to act as a filter for the knowledge we attain by learning, effort, and experience; spiritual knowledge.

… to virtue knowledge …

To keep us from trying to use our knowledge to take control we need self-control (enkrateia); temperance.

… to knowledge self-control

To self-control we are to add perseverance (hupomone), patience. The Christian who has learned how to submit to that good, and acceptable, and prefect will of God.

… to self-control perseverance …

To patience we are to add godliness (eusebeia), being devout and having a Godward attitude while doing such things that are well pleasing to God. We are to always stand for righteousness.

… to perseverance godliness

To godliness we are to add brotherly love. We are not only to holy, we must be helpful and kind to one another so the spirit of goodwill will spill over into the world.

… to godliness brotherly kindness

And to brotherly kindness, love. This is agape, the God kind of love that can only be known by what it does. It is the love that seeks the well-being of all and harbors no ill will toward any.

… to brotherly kindness love.

And why?

… For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. NKJV

Christ and knowing Him! That’s it. That is the sum character of Christianity. It is what sets Christianity apart from all worldly religions. Everything that Peter tells us to add to our lives was present and evident in Jesus’ life. They transformed Peter’s life and that kind of knowledge will transform us if they abound in our life.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply