Putting God's Word into Practice…

2 Peter 1:5-15 Qualities: Distinctive Attributes or Characteristics

on December 28, 2013

For this very reason… Because I have escaped the corruption of the world and am called to share in God’s nature; because His divine power has given me all I need to live a godly life; and because I can claim God’s precious promises as my own…

Make every effort to supplement your faith… Our faith alone is what saves us, but faith must be proven with actions.  In James 2:17 it is written that faith without action is dead!  When we experience God’s grace and power, it alters the course of our daily lives.  We are called to make EVERY effort–to go all out, never quit, leave it all on the floor!  My sons are both playing basketball this winter–there were no cuts, everyone who showed up made the team.  But what good would it do to be on the team and just stand on the court!  If we are saved, we are on God’s team, but we must play like we belong to His team.  We must give Him our best effort.

To supplement your faith with…

  • Virtue.  Virtue can be defined as moral excellence.  And we learn this through the earthly example of Jesus Christ (1:3).  He did not sin, even when He was tempted.  He did not pay back His enemies, but loved them and pleaded for their forgiveness.  He sacrificially laid down His life for the sake of mankind.  He made choices in speech and action based only on the will of His Father.
  • Virtue with knowledge.  We are called to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, MIND, and strength.  After salvation, we must continue to grow in knowledge of the Lord through His Word (1:19-21).  That’s how we love Him with our minds.  We’ve already learned several benefits of growing in the knowledge of the Lord–grace, peace, power, and promises.
  • Knowledge with self-control.  Self-control means having disciplined, moderate, control over our sinful desires.  After having the privilege of escaping sinful desire-induced corruption, loving the Lord with all our strength is demonstrated in self-control by continuously avoiding those corrupting sinful desires that tempt us to fall back into old patterns of living.
  • Self-control with steadfastness.  This patient endurance is also required in loving the Lord with all our strength.  Steadfastness/patient endurance does not mean looking for the quickest exit out of adversity, but keeping on in spite of it–having the strength to remain under it until God is finished using it in our lives.
  • Steadfastness with godliness.  Loving God with all of our heart can be demonstrated by our desire to cultivate God’s character in our lives.  It also means that we have a desire to please Him with our lives.
  • Godliness with brotherly affection.  We are to thoughtfully consider others as we would our own family–with commitment and deep love, bearing each others’ burdens…
  • Brotherly affection with love.  This love is completely unconditional towards all people.  It is the second commandment that is equal to the first…the call to love our neighbor as ourselves.

These are the qualities in which all followers of Jesus Christ are to be growing.  They all flow out of the foundation of faith!

For if these qualities are your AND are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  If these qualities belong to me and are increasing it proves that I am growing in the knowledge of the Lord.    They are proof that my faith is effective and fruitful–that it’s real and life-changing!  Who wants their lives to be described as ineffective and fruitless?!  Not me!  But all too often I can evaluate the outflow of faith in my life that way.  As I mentioned earlier my sons are playing basketball this season, but my older son wasn’t getting enough playing time.  Instead of complaining or sending us in to plead his case, Ben went to his coach and asked where he needed to show improvement to get more time on the court.  We can do the same thing with the Lord.  He sees us and knows us.  He wants us to grow in godly qualities.  If we just ask Him where we need to grow to be more effective and fruitful, He will tell us and help us!

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 make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  For in this way there will be richly provided for you and entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Practicing the above mentioned qualities is a sign of truly understanding our salvation.  It is a sign that we remember what it cost the Lord to cleanse us of our sins–His precious blood shed on the cross.  Our righteousness does not come through these qualities, but only through having our sins forgiven by Jesus.  Growing in these qualities shows the Lord that we appreciate His grace and that we want to live up to the call to be like Him.

Therefore I intend always to REMIND you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have.  I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of REMINDER, since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to RECALL these things. When Peter wrote this letter he was facing execution for following Christ and preaching His truths.  Peter found these qualities to be so valuable that they were his final reminders to people who call themselves Christians.

Am I growing in godly qualities?  Is my knowledge of Jesus resulting in fruitful, effective living?  Am I living a life that shows I value the grace and forgiveness that Jesus bought for me with His own life?  Am I stirring up a desire in others to grow in godly qualities like Peter did?

Dear Lord, make me like Peter.  Let my legacy be one of continuously stirring myself and others up to living a life worthy of our calling as Your followers.  Give me passion, grace and strength to make every effort to grow in these qualities and to help others grow in these qualities.  Forgive me for being nearsighted and blind, for letting myself become ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of Your Son.

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