For this very reason, 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 (2 Peter 1:5-8)
I love these verses…..
Having taken them out of context here, you might ask “for what very reason???” Consider the preceding verses:
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
“Faith” is not just faith for faith’s sake. “Faith in God” isn’t an insurance policy. We believe, we trust, we have faith – we HOPE – because we know He who sent his Son to die for our sins. We know him through his Son, who knocked on OUR door. I love Revaltion 3:20, which says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me”. In this verse, Jesus is saying we must open the door he’s knocking on. It is up to us, we do have a choice….
But in order to open the door, we must first HEAR. So often we don’t hear his still sound voice. There are so many things in this world that cloud our minds and plug our ears. If this is so for us believers – how much more so for non-believers! We have to keep this in mind, when we think ourselves better than they. We’re not. In fact we’re often worse, because we know the truth and yet act just like those in the world. How much that must sadden our Lord…..
In order to HEAR, Jesus has to KNOCK. And that is the key here – we can’t do any of our part, if he doesn’t first do his. We’re powerless to save ourselves, we need Jesus. Plain and simple. And the beautiful part – He’s KNOCKING! He KEEPS KNOCKING! So if you are someone who doesn’t yet know him, and are asking “Why hasn’t he knocked on my door?”, I’ll ask “How do you know he hasn’t?” Refer back to our plugged ears….. 🙂
So getting back to the verses in 2 Peter – in verses 3 and 4, Peter is explaining (I think) what I just explained. His is much better than mine, so I’m not sure why I bothered. But ah well, there you have it. And there you have what the “very reason is”.
K – so on to verse 5 – For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness….
Because we have faith in Jesus that is founded on knowing Jesus, we are to make every effort to allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Some other texts that talk to this can be found in Galations chapter 5, where Paul talks about walking in the Spirit instead of in the flesh. I love that “goodness” is one of the qualities that describe the fruit of the Spirit. And that is what we are to strive for – Fruit. Evidence that the Lord is working in us. We are to “put off our old selves”, as he says in Ephesians, and allow the Holy Spirit to work in us. And if we do this, others will notice! They’ll see this goodness in us, that can only come from God.
But do we allow the Holy Spirit to work in us? or do we choke it in our lives, by seeking worldly, temporal pleasures? I can say for myself that I have willingly choked the Holy Spirit in my life, too many times to count. I’m embarrassed by this…. Yet God is patient, and has provided a way out for every thing – it’s sort of like he systematically kills every excuse I try to muster up to try and justify, or hold on to, my worldly ways. Praise Him for that!
More on this tomorrow. Until then, God bless!