As I was reading in 2 Peter this morning, I came across a passage that is very familiar to me. However, as I was reading it, I realized something that I never had before. Look at 2 Peter 1:5-8.
“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
What a list! It starts with faith, but faith is only the beginning. We must be growing and maturing. As Peter says in verse eight, “…if these qualities…are increasing…” This showed me that where I am at is not good enough. Where we are at will never be good enough until we are glorified. Until then, we are to be increasing in our faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Why? If we do not, then we will be ineffective and unfruitful.
But if we keep reading, we realize that these qualities are not just supposed to help us be effective and fruitful. They are much more important than that. Verse ten says, “Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.” If these qualities are ours and are increasing within us, not only are we going to be effective and fruitful, but we are also making our calling and election sure. In other words, the fact that we possess and practice these qualities prove to us that our salvation is genuine. They do not make our salvation genuine; they just prove that it is.
So let’s pray that God will help us to live out these qualities in our lives by His power, so that we can be effective and fruitful servants and so that we can be assured of our salvation.
I want to encourage you to memorize this passage or at least 2 Peter 1:5-8, 10. Why? Peter is clear in verse fifteen that he wants us to “be able at any time to recall these things.” The only way that can happen is if we memorize them. So I encourage you to do so, as I did this morning.