Read 2 Peter 1:5-11
Would someone describe you as a virtuous, God-fearing believer? Are you aware that He’s watching over you and cares about how you live? His presence makes a difference in your life.
May grace and peace be lavished on you as you grow in the rich knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord! I can pray this because His divine power has bestowed on us everything necessary for life and holiness through the rich knowledge of the One who called us by His own glory and excellence. Through these things, He has bestowed on us His precious and most magnificent promises, so that by means of what was promised you may become partakers of the divine nature, after escaping the worldly corruption that is produced by evil desire.2 Peter 1:2-5 NET.
I know we’ve heard it in the past, but it’s true: God’s grace is sufficient, but our rich knowledge of Him keeps us safe as we grow in the rich knowledge of who He is. He has called us and sustains us. Take not that there are nearly 70,000 promises registered in the Bible. As we come to know Him and draw near to Him, these promises become more and more fulfilled.
We do not need to be afraid, for He promises to remain with us. So, we gain knowledge from the Spirit of truth because He will never fail nor forsake us. Someday we will see Him face-to-face. His promises are true and amen.
Our relationship means we become partakers of His divine nature. So, this nature is not as God. We are partakers because we are so near to Him. Therefore, the nearness assures our escape from death and the death sentence of the world. We are marked for eternal life, not destruction.
We are God’s walking witness to the world. So, as we walk with Him, the watching world will see these virtues – virtues that can only come from our faith in Him: excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly affection, unselfish love.
2 Peter 1:5-6 NET.
Excellence is a virtue conforming to a stand of what is right — moral excellence. It is the capacity to know what is right and then walk in it.
Knowledge requires time, familiarity, and experience. It is something behind information. We apprehend the truth that requires “first-hand” knowledge based on study, investigation, observation, or experience. Beyond “book-learning.
On the surface, self-control is merely controlling our self or restraining ourselves from unfavorable emotions, reactions, and thoughts. However, according to God, self-control is not only a fruit of the Spirit, but it is what we do in response to God. We relinquish all rights to self and yield to His control. Self-control requires unswerving trust and unquestionable loyalty.
Another word for endurance is steadfastness. We have learned to be firmly fixed in place. We’re not letting anyone or anything change us from the course Christ has set for us. Endurance may require hardships and doing what might not be politically correct, but right in God’s eyes. This is faith with determination and unshakable.
Godliness is not easily defined. The more time we spend with God, the greater our taste for Him, and, in turn, the things of the world will become less and less desirable. We will put on the nature of God in that we will desire what He desires. We will come to hate what He hates. Godliness will give us the ability to see from God’s perspective and gain discernment.
Brotherly affection requires a “family” like love. It’s alive, bound in community of fellow believers. We care for fellow Christians with patience, kindness, and understanding because we are children of the same Heavenly Father. It is mutual affection.
The easiest way to find out what love is by reading 1st Corinthians 13. Love is patient, kind, and it does not envy. Love does not boast and is not proud. It does not dishonor others or become self-seeking. It’s not easily angered. Furthermore, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not take pleasure in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and love always perseveres.
To know God is to know love.
Rich Knowledge Keeps Us From ineffectiveness/unproductive
For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. But concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.2 Peter 1:8-9 NET
Something clearly unique happens now. What is the great reward deriving from these virtues? When we pursue an intimate relationship with God, then our pursuit will not be in vain, ineffective, or unproductive.
Makes sense. The opposite of these virtues is sin, and sin separates us from God.
- The opposite of goodness is corruption, cruelty, dishonest, evil and immorality.
- We’re left with ignorance, ineptness, stupidity, and even weakness of character without knowledge.
- We are impatient, indulgence, self-indulgent, and so much more result in lack of self-control.
- Without endurance, we’re unstable, unreliable, incompetent, lazy, and weak.
- If there is no godliness, there’s no devotion, reverence to God, or spirituality.
- It’s obvious that without brotherly affection there is division, back-biting, and jealousy.
- Take away love, and you’re bound to apathy, disloyalty, unhappiness, anger, keeping records of wrong and so much more.
Blindness and Nearsightedness
But concerning the one who lacks such things — he is blind. That is to say, he is nearsighted, since he has forgotten about the cleansing of his past sins.2 Peter 1:9 NET
There are some who prefer to remain in ignorance. They just cannot see that these virtues are important to God and of great value in our relationships with Him and others as well. They are blind because they’re unwilling to see or discern, so they lack direction and their conscience is seared. Without knowledge, the blind remains blind.
Nearsightedness is dangerous. There is no foresight, and looking forward is impossible. Discernment is so far from them that they walk in danger every single day.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, make every effort to be sure of your calling and election. For by doing this, you will never stumble into sin. For thus an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be richly provided for you.2 Peter 1:10-11
Make sure you know God’s calling for you. By doing this, you will be secure and not tossed and turned by the winds of false teaching and the storms of doubt in your soul. We know, that we know if we walk with God.
Fundamental knowledge of God comes from our day-to-day companionship with Him. The indwelling Holy Spirit does not sit idle. He is leading and guiding you into the truth. It’s a good reminder that our life is not our own.
If the Lord came, and you allowed Him to examine you, what would He find?
For a man’s ways are in full view of the LORD, and He examines all his paths.Proverbs 5:21
We live, move, and have our being in the Lord. The virtues are important elements of your life with-God. Don’t doubt yourself, the Lord will give you strength.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him.2 Chronicles 16:9
Trust the Lord. He’s got this!
“The faithful person lives constantly with God.”Clement of Alexandria