IF These Qualities are Ours

2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Supplying Your Faith With

This word translated here as “supplement” means “to supply, to provide, and to furnish.” And to “supply” means to make something needed or wanted available to something. And “provide” means to make available for use or to make adequate preparation for. And “furnish” means to be a source of or to supply or provide with what is needed. So what this is saying, in essence, is that these qualities listed here are necessary components of believing faith that must be a part of our lives, that we must be putting into practice.

Virtue is honesty, integrity, righteousness, and morality. And knowledge is not just head knowledge or theory but it is working (applied, experiential) knowledge, and it has to do with us being in an intimate relationship with the Lord, like a wife is with her husband. And it is the wisdom gained from that intimate relationship with God. And self-control doesn’t mean we do it all ourselves without God, but it means we are not living out of control. It means our lives are disciplined and we are not living in self-indulgence.

And steadfastness is endurance, it is waiting patiently for something, and it means to remain, like we are to remain in Christ and in his word. And we are to not be those who are wavering, being tossed back and forth by various winds of doctrine or by our emotions. So it means we are unwavering in our walks of faith in Jesus Christ, and that we are persistent and committed to the Lord and to following him in his ways and to his commands to the end. He is our Lord and our desire is for him to do what pleases him.

Godliness has to do with our inner response to God and to his word and to his will for our lives which then is evidenced by our actions and our behaviors. It has to do with reverence and respect and honor for God and for his commands (New Covenant). It means to be living holy lives, pleasing to God according to God’s will and purpose for our lives. And brotherly affection has to do with the love we as Christians are to have for one another, which is of God, and therefore it is holy, righteous, godly, and morally pure.

And if these qualities are ours, and if they are increasing, they will keep us from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And what does John 15 teach us regarding us being unfruitful? Every branch in Jesus Christ which does not bear fruit he takes away, and he (the branch) is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned, and this is because he/they did not abide in Jesus (the vine) and so he/they did not bear the fruit of righteousness.

2 Peter 1:9-11 ESV

“For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

For Whoever is Lacking

Now, having these qualities is not optional. They are not mere recommendations or things desired but not required. For if we lack them, we are so nearsighted that we are blind. We have forgotten that we were cleansed from our former sins. And we need to pay attention to the wording here, for this also fits with John 15 and with many other passages of Scripture which teach our salvation, not as a one-time event in our lives which guarantees us eternal life with God, but as something that is continuous, and progressive, and enduring until the very end.

So, our salvation and God’s grace we are not to take for granted. All of God’s promises to us are conditional. They have conditions which we must meet for us to qualify for the promises. Yes, our salvation is a free gift of God’s grace to us, but not everyone is saved, are they? We have to believe, but then what is belief? Faith comes from God and thus it submits to his will and purposes, and thus if we have genuine faith we will die with Christ to sin daily and we walk in obedience to his commands, in his power and strength.

For, if we do not obey our Lord, and if we do not forsake our sinful practices, and if righteousness is not what we practice, but sin is what we practice, and if we don’t love our fellow Christians, but we hate them, then we don’t have eternal life with God. We don’t know God. He doesn’t know us. And no matter what we profess or confess with our lips or think we believe in our hearts, if we don’t forsake our sins and follow Jesus in obedience, we don’t have salvation from sin, and heaven is not our eternal destiny.

So, this is why we are being instructed here to be diligent to confirm our calling and election. And we don’t do this by reverting to the “cheap grace gospel” which teaches a diluted half-truth gospel taught by removing Scriptures from their context and twisting them to say what they don’t say. And we don’t do this by just claiming who we are in Christ, especially if we are not really in Christ. For, this says, if we practice the qualities listed for us here we will never fall. So the indication is if we do not, we will fall.

And then here is the clincher. If we practice these qualities, we will never fall, for in this way (the way of practicing these qualities) there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. You see, it is conditional. “IF” verses are all throughout the New Testament indicating that if something is true then something else will be the result. And the Scriptures are clear that if we walk according to the Spirit, that we have eternal life, but if we walk according to the flesh, we will not inherit eternal life with God, but we will die in our sins.

[Jn 8:31-32,51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:1-12; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 11:17-24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; Col 1:21-23; 2 Tim 2:10-13; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 5:9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:1-5; 2 Pet 1:5-11; 2 Pet 2:20-22; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jas 1:21-25]

My Jesus, My Savior

Michael W. Smith

My Jesus, My Saviour,
Lord, there is none like you,
All of my days, I want to praise
The wonders of Your mighty love.

My comfort, my shelter,
Tower of refuge and strength
Let every breath, all that I am
Never cease to worship You…

I sing for joy at the work of your hands,
Forever I’ll love you, forever I’ll stand
Nothing compares to the promise I have in You.

Caution: This link may contain ads

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s