Tag Archives: virtues
Clearly Scripture teaches that we do not add our good works to what Christ has done for salvation! But after salvation, there are good works for us to do (Eph. 2:10). And one of those primary good works . . . is to work on ourselves!
The Christian life is not a passive “Let Go and Let God” situation. Nor is it merely our striving to be the best we can be. It is a cooperative work between the believer and the Holy Spirit to grow us up in Christ.
Here’s my outline of this great passage. What thoughts would you add?
I. The Basis for Adding to Your Faith (vv. 1-4)
Looking over those verses reminds us of God’s precious promises He has given us in Christ!
II. The Attitude in Adding to Your Faith (v. 5)
We are to “make every effort”! Note that that expression is used several times in this first chapter of II Peter. Our character is not “fixed” at birth, and God can bring about great changes as we follow hard after Him in our sanctification!
III. The Specifics of Adding to Your Faith (vv. 5-7)
There is much work to be done on this list of seven virtues. Some questions that occur to me: (1) How is each virtue to be defined? (2) Are each of these virtues added specifically to the previous one — or to one’s faith as a whole? (3) Is the order of these virtues important?
IV. The Choice of Adding to Your Faith (vv. 8-9)
Notice that we added the words “THE HAVES” and “THE HAVE NOTS” to the text.
A. The Haves — 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Possessing these qualities — in increasing measure — will keep us from being ineffective and unproductive!
B. The Have Nots — 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Wow! What awful conclusions! If I don’t have — and grow in — these qualities, God declares me nearsighted and blind! And He accuses me of forgetting that I have been forgiven!
Conclusion: This passage is certainly worth memorizing, don’t you think? At least more in-depth study. But most of all — application to our daily lives! Your comments welcome!
My next preaching trip to Cedarcroft Bible Chapel in New Jersey is coming up quickly and will be from March 31st to April 7th. I will also be teaching Sunday School on both Sundays (which we’ll talk about in a later post). When I was there last (Feb. 26-March 4), we looked at the topic “Why Should We Believe Anything at All?” For these two Sundays we will look at the subject “Why Should We Behave as Believers?” My first message will be on Titus 2:11-15 and my second on 2 Peter 1:3-11 (for April 7th).
Let’s look at the 2 Peter 1 passage one more time:
There have been some in the so-called Victorious Christian Life movement who have said things like ‘Let God — and Let God!” or “Trust God for your sanctification just as you trusted Him for your salvation.” There is truth in these slogans — but they can also mislead one to think that the Christian life requires no effort on our part. Note the language Peter uses in this passage: “MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO ADD TO” (v. 5) and “MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO CONFIRM YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION” (v. 10).
Here’s a challenge: Ask someone who loves you which of those VIRTUES you need to work on! And don’t get angry at them if they say, “Well, you could use a bit more SELF-CONTROL!” Or, “I think you can grow in your KNOWLEDGE of the Word, don’t you?” [Such loving feedback, by the way, doesn’t have to take the form of NAGGING!]
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.