Sunday, April 15, 2012

7 Things to Add To Your Faith

2 Peter 1:4-8

I feel strongly about these 4 verses right now. God has given us wonderful promises so that we can become a part of His Divine nature. Just think about that - we can adorn ourselves with His likeness by following these steps.

Verse 5 says - "...add to your faith..." This is something we must do - God doesn't do it for us, we have to do the work of adding these 7 things to our faith:

Add to faith—virtue (moral excellence, goodness)
Add to virtue—Knowledge (especially knowledge of God)
Add to knowledge—self control (discipline)
Add to self control—perseverance (patience, endurance)
Add to perseverance—godliness (piety)
Add to godliness—brotherly kindness (love for other Believers)
Add to brotherly kindness—love (love for everyone)

Here are these 4 verses in New King James and New Living Translation:

4by 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.5But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge,6to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness,7to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.8For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
4And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.5So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better.6Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness.7Godliness leads to love for other Christians, and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone.8 The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice how we grow with each step - we build these 7 things into our faith so that we will be mature and more like Christ.

The other important thing to note is that we have to add these things into our faith - the Lord doesn't do this for us. There are things that He does that we cannot do. For example He saves us—we cannot save ourselves; but these are things that we must do for He calls us to deeper relationship and intimacy with Him. He will not do this work—we have to do it ourselves and win these victories in order for them to remain in our lives.

Without God—we cannot
Without us—God will not