To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2Peter 1:1-11)
If ever there was exhortation to stay true in our faith, this is it. Peter, an apostle of Christ appealing to those he ministered to and the words given to him by Christ, preserved for us today are words to live by. If there were no other exhortation in Scripture, these alone could stand by itself.
His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue
There is no other to believe in or follow than Christ. He is sufficient.
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
Here is a pattern the Lord has given us. That if we consider this pattern that begins with faith and ends with love. But we cannot skip any consideration for the other aspects conveyed here. So faith leads to virtue which is a strength and conformity in a standard. This virtue cannot stand without knowledge. This is the knowledge of Christ in our relationship with Him defined by the Holy Scriptures so that we know we are in relationship with the right Spirit. Then if we have knowledge, we must have self control. We cannot chase after every desire that enters us, but must be in check as to the desires of the Lord verses those things of the world. So then if we have faith, knowledge and virtue we then be able to persevere in our Lord and His ways. Regardless of the pressures and influence of others in this world. Whether they be social, governmental, religious or otherwise. These things lead to godliness which is a loyal devotion to our Christ. All this sums up our love, first for Christ, then to our brothers and also for the lost.
Peter gives us a cause and effect for following this line of thinking in action. The positive:
For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
But more importantly the negative:
For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
Shortsighted, even to blindness. What a terrible pronouncement for those who lack in their walk with Christ. For this would even lead to dissension and separation in the Body of Christ. Ultimately it leads to the falling away of believers if left unrepentant and astray. There is a deep and spiritual warning here to check ourselves before the Lord so that we have neither spot nor wrinkle.
But we who are Christ’s are neither shortsighted nor blind. But we were called to walk in the Spirit as Paul exhorted us. And the fruits thereof are of the utmost importance in our walk. These fruits I believe are at the heart of Peter’s exhortation as quoted above. Paul wrote it this way:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control.
I see some overlap here as to what Peter wrote. But the point is made. We are to press on into the Lord’s Glory by His holiness and righteousness and not our own so that we may receive the crown of Glory that He has promised in everlasting life!