“In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.” – 2 Peter 1:5-9
The other day, my sister and I were talking about the various vitamins and supplements that we are each taking. During the course of the conversation, she mentioned that one of the supplements was making her sick on her stomach. She said that she changed that one out for another comparable supplement that was much better without the side-effects. How many times have we tried to supplement our faith with the wrong things or even nothing at all? When this happens, we feel just how my sister did: tired, sick of it and discouraged. So, what are we to do? Follow Peter’s advice here and start “taking supplements” for your faith. Take steps to put yourself in situations where you can experience and grow in the areas he lists. It’s really difficult to be productive and useful in any situation when you have no energy, when you’re sick or can’t function. This is much like our faith left to face the storms of this world. When your faith is supplemented with morality, patience, knowledge, endurance, godliness and love its roots grow deeper in you. Those roots are vital to have your faith survive the storm. Thankfully, Peter’s list of supplements to our faith come with absolutely no side-effects and they’re guaranteed to work!
Moral Excellence– Used as a Roman Greek word Arete meaning the act of living up to ones potential. It is a person of the highest effectiveness; they use all their faculties–strength, bravery and wit–to achieve real results. In the Homeric world, then, Arete involves all of the abilities and potentialities available to humans. (Wikipedia) To reflect Moral Excellence as a Christian we must pursue to be more like our Lord Jesus Christ since only our Savior is most excellent. (Phil. 3:14).
Knowledge– is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts, information, descriptions, or skills, which is acquired through experience or education by perceiving, discovering, or learning. (wikipedia) To have Moral Excellence we must know how to achieve it by growing in knowledge. We must seek to know our Savior Jesus Christ before we can pursue to be more like Him. We can obtain more knowledge of our savior by making time to study and read His Word daily.
Self-Control – an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses. As an executive function, self-control is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one’s behavior in order to achieve specific goals. (Wikipedia) To know what self-control is, is to look at those who do not have it. In order to have knowledge we need to discipline ourselves to learn more over time with out distractions. Avoid reading or watching materials that will hinder you from knowing the Lord. Ex. A muscle becomes stronger over a period of time with the proper exercise. However, the wrong exercise or lack there of will injure or weaken the muscle.
Perseverance– continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition :the action or condition or an instance of persevering :steadfastness ( Merriam-Webster)
To have self-control we need to have perseverance. As a Christian we need to persevere when trials and temptations of sin come our way. In these times we must be strong and keep our focus on Jesus Christ through his Word and His promises.
Godliness – God;
Brotherly Kindness– How we treat others. As children of God we are to love one another. (Romans 13: 8-10, Galatians 5:13-14) To have godliness we need to be like Christ. Our savior loved us so much to die and resurrect on the cross for our sins. He loved us that much! Mark 12:31 tells us to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
Love– also referred to as the ancient greek word Agape. Agape is an term referring to love, “the highest form of love, charity” and “the love of God for man and of man for God”. God is love (1 John 4:8) To know how to spread the love to our brothers and sister we must first come to know that Love comes from our Lord. “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” (1 John 3: 16)