So after telling the faithful who they are, Peter proceeds to let them and us know:
What we need, and why we need it?
In verse 5 he begins by saying: For this reason (what reason), because of WHO you are, you should make every effort (apply all diligence) to supplement (add to, supply) your faith ~ virtue; virtue ~ knowledge; knowledge ~ self-control; self-control ~ steadfastness; steadfastness ~ godliness; godliness ~ brotherly affection; brotherly affection ~ love.
Sounds a little like Peter is telling us to work, right? No, that is not the case. What he is saying is as we grow in Christ (I myself think of "sanctification" ~ The act of making a thing pure and holy or "Consecration" ~the devoting or setting apart of anything to the worship or service of God. ) these are qualities that we need to practice:
- to make ready, to prepare
- to produce, bear, shoot forth
- to acquire
in order to not be ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (Verses 8 & 10). You need to claim these qualities, recognize the importance of them in your spiritual life, and be increasing in them. It's a big product of time spent with God, through the study of His word, through prayer, through worship. It's a nature progression that, if one truly is one with Christ, happens without effort or work. The process is driven by a thankfulness to God for our salvation; by our recognition of our state without this great salvation, our desire to KNOW him more, and our desire to be partakers in His divine nature. That being said "It's not WORK at all".
Peter also goes on to say that those who lack these qualities is SO nearsighted and blind that they forget they were cleansed of their former sins, Verse 9. If you are not in the Word, and growing in these qualities you are in danger of forgetting what God has done for you, and the power that you possess (in Him) to live a life of godliness. It is easy then to fall into temptation. But Peter says, those that practice these qualities will not fall (stumble, err, make a mistake, sin). He actually says NEVER! WOW, that's amazing! With these qualities you will make your calling and election sure. What Peter means here is that you will not doubt your standing in Christ. If you are not in the Word, and not growing in these qualities, you may doubt your salvation, and therefore be ineffective and unfruitful.
Practicing these qualities = Confidence, fruitfulness and effectiveness
Not practicing these qualities = blindness, confusion, doubt, unfruitfulness, ineffectiveness, and stumbling in the dark as a blind person.
- Are you practicing the qualities mentioned in this section? It is never to late to start. The only time it is too late is when we stand before our Lord and Savior.
- Are you getting into the Word daily and seeking the Holy Spirits help in understanding what it says, and applying it to your life?
- Do you doubt your salvation? If so, please talk to someone about it, and get into the word so your knowledge of God grows.