2 Peter 1:1-11
1 Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who through the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ have received a faith as precious as ours: 2 Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 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. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
It may surprise you to know that I don’t like being told what to do. Shocking, I know! I think most, if not all of us feel that way. But the writer of 2 Peter doesn’t want us to feel like that. He is so excited by what he is about to tell us – truths about the greatness and love and “divine power” of God – that he can hardly contain himself. It’s like he is saying “this is the secret! This will change your life! The benefits of doing what I’m about to tell you are beyond what I can describe!” Ok Peter, you’ve got my attention. What do I do?
Answer? – “Add to your faith.” V5
“Add” isn’t a great word here. The original word was more like “extravagantly throw yourself in, boots and all.” ie because of the massive love and grace of God shown to us in sending Jesus to save us, let’s show that same massive love in the form of obedience and living God’s way.
Then Peter gives a list of things to do, a list where each virtue builds on the previous and explains how God wants us to live…
Goodness (being Christ-like)
Knowledge (renewed mind)
Self-control (see 2 Timothy 1:7)
Perseverance (keep trusting God)
Godliness (think – reverence for God)
Mutual affection (think – mercy and kindness to your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ)
Love (think – agape. Love like God loves)
But here comes the best part. Verse 10 says, “If you do these things…” this is what you will experience…
Effective for God
Productive in your Christian life
Validate/confirm your calling
Receive a rich welcome into heaven
God will share His nature with you
We need to ask ourselves “what good thing can I add to my faith today? How can I obey Jesus today?” and then do it – boots and all! If we do that, the blessings from God will amaze us.
Father God, thanks for providing everything I need for “life and Godliness.” Please help me listen, and do what you say today. From now on I will add to my faith – boots and all – because of what you’ve done for me.
Written by Boudy Van Noppen