Adding grace to grace and abounding in the Lord
After the apostle Peter finishes explaining to us that now as Christians we escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust he tells us how to live. I will be going over one of the most popular set of verses in the entire Bible. The very first thing Peter writes is before engage in all these spiritual practices be diligent. I look at my life and my job is very difficult because we do so much in one day that our body starts to move faster than our minds. As I read this passage I would be well spiritually if I practiced these biblical truths with all diligence.
We are to add to our faith virtue and to virtue knowledge. It is like the apostle Peter is saying put a little effort in your relationship with Jesus Christ and other people. And to knowledge temperance and to temperance patience and to patience godliness. It is like Peter is saying we need self control. And to godliness brotherly kindness and to kindness charity. It is like Peter is saying show a lot of love.
Peter then writes if these things be in you and abound we receive the promise from the word of God that we will never be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is like Peter is saying we will never be useless for the kingdom of God.
The apostle then says he that lacketh these things is blind and will not be able to see far off and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. We were cleansed from our sins but according to what Peter writes if we as Christians do not engage in these characteristics we for all practical purposes do not appreciate that our transgressions against God were forgiven. Faith without works is dead but forgiveness without works is also dead. Remember it is a huge thing to be forgiven of all our sins because if this is not a reality in our lives we would not go to heaven.
Peter then writes give diligence to make your calling and election sure because if we do these things we as believers in Jesus Christ will never fall. Once again we see this word diligence. This is a choice so we will not stumble. Jesus Christ desires us strong in Him not stumbling all over the place, sinning and out of the will of God.
I love the very last verse I will be going over because if we do engage in these spiritual practices our entrance will be ministered to us abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is like Peter was trying to say God has already supplied this for us but we have to show some effort, self control and love in our relationship with God and other people. Let me quote the passage so you can read the text and perhaps make reference to it if need be in this particular study of the Bible.
(5) "And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. (10) Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: (11) For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Je'sus Christ." 2nd Peter 1: 5 - 11.
We as Christians have already obtained this precious faith but it has to be exercised. We were made partakers of His divine nature but this reality is not to be rested in as if we are already perfect.
Peter once again exhorts his listening audience to press forward for obtaining more grace. If we are going to make any progress with our faith in Jesus Christ being industrious in our endeavors with all diligence will be great gain in the work of holiness. Our way is marked out step by step from heaven so we must exercise virtue. There is justice in virtue but knowledge, temperance and patience must follow virtue because there is strength and courage for the reason of standing up for good works. According to the Bible a Christian is not supposed to be a coward. This is one of the reasons virtue is mentioned first. God wants us to have faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
Peter then writes add knowledge to virtue which helps with courage. Adding temperance to our knowledge allows us to be moderate in things we see in life and not fall into sin. There is balance in adding temperance to knowledge. This passage goes on to say add patience to temperance. Patience is somewhat similar to temperance but when added together it produces a perfect work. This is good because "When" not if we face trials Godly temperance and patience will go a long way in getting through the ordeal. Remember our sufferings no matter how overwhelming they may be are far less than our sins deserve. Try not to grumble when temptations come your way with the spirit of temperance and patience.
We must add godliness to patience. I have learned a very valuable lesson in life. When I bear my afflictions patiently I receive an experimental knowledge of the loving kindness of my heavenly Father because it produces child like fear and reverential love wherein true godliness consists. This is why we should add godliness to patience.
We should add brotherly kindness which is a tender affection to our fellow believers in Christ because they are the children of the same God we serve. We all need true Godly tender love from our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we are Christians we are partakers of being human desiring mercy and Godly affection. If we are believers in Christ God desires good for His Children.
There are advantages to listening to what this passage says for our spiritual journey. If the things Peter writes abounds in us we will not be barren on the inside. It is hard to feel like we have nothing in us on the inside. If we abound in all Christian graces no unfruitfulness will abide in the knowledge of Jesus Christ. If we do what this passage says these practices will cause us to be zealous, lively and fruitful in the works of righteousness. Fruitful and the kingdom of God are always a good combination. If we are fruitful with people for the right reason God will get the glory.
Peter in essence writes add one grace to another because this improves and strengthens one another. Most people are in the practice of tearing each other down but that does not represent the kingdom of God. We are used to hearing faith without works is dead but where grace abounds there will be an overabundance of good works. That is precisely the point as to why the apostle Peter writes add one grace to another because it will bear fruit for God.
There will always be an element of blindness if we do not apply this passage to our lives so I recommend that you read and review the text so you really understand what the apostle Peter is writing. God desires us somewhat literate of the truths to come in heaven. One of the ways we can acquire more understanding is to show effort, self control and love to other people.
Peter talks about two truths or advantages in adding grace to grace. We will be stable in the love of God and have a triumphant entrance into glory. It does take diligence and labor to make our election sure which means that we will have to examine ourselves as much as we can because we are prone to drift away from God. By doing this we will be kept from falling. We as human beings tend to fall into many errors but by adding grace to grace we will be preserved in our faith with Jesus Christ and stand perfect and complete in the will of God. When we grow in grace and abound in the work of the Lord Christians will have His joy and reign with Him forever.
If you have not accepted Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal Savior and Lord now may be a good time to repent of all your sins and invite the Lord into your life. If you just made that decision by showing effort, self control and love to other people you will be adding grace to grace in your life and glorifying God. This is not going to be simple but very rewarding in the joy of the Lord.
God bless you,