2 Peter 1:5-8

“Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 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.”  (NIV)


In this passage Peter describes a growing, fulfilling, and fruitful faith.  I would hope that is the kind of faith we all yearn to have.  It is important to notice, though, that he doesn’t present growth and fruitfulness as something automatic or something we will just stumble into.  He says: “Make every effort…” , so there is something we need to attend to here.  The word that the NIV translates “effort” can also be translated “diligence” (as it is in the NASB) and it implies “methodically doing your job.”  In other words, Peter is saying that we not only can do this, we ought to be doing this and doing it with diligence; it is our job as Christians. 


So what is it Peter says we should be doing?  Adding goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love to our faith.  You see, we are saved by faith alone; nothing needs to be added to our faith in Christ in order for us to be saved.  BUT we are saved for a purpose.  We have been called, saved, and set apart by Jesus to do kingdom work.  Eph. 2:10 says: “We are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”  And in order to do kingdom work we have to have more than faith alone, we also need goodness, knowledge, self-control, etc. . . . you get the picture.  Look at the last sentence in the passage.  Now read carefully . . . do you see the “if”?  That word always leads to something conditional.  In this case we learn: if you are growing in these areas it will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive. 


Many people have looked at the modern day church and diagnosed it as ineffective and unproductive, useless and unfruitful.  Some even go so far as to describe it as a worthless and outdated institution.  Why do you think they see it that way?  Perhaps it is because so many modern day Christians are unwilling to make the effort to add to their faith.  Just a thought . . .


--- Pastor Keith Andrews