2 Peter 1:5-11
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith i with virtue, 1 and virtue j with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control k with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness l with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection m with love. 8 For if these qualities 1 are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or n unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he o is blind, having forgotten that he was p cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, 1 be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and q election, for if you practice these qualities r you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you s an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:5-11
5 Καὶ αὐτὸ τοῦτο δὲ σπουδὴν πᾶσαν παρεισενέγκαντες ἐπιχορηγήσατε ἐν τῇ πίστει ὑμῶν τὴν ἀρετήν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ἀρετῇ τὴν γνῶσιν, 6 ἐν δὲ τῇ γνώσει τὴν ἐγκράτειαν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ἐγκρατείᾳ τὴν ὑπομονήν, ἐν δὲ τῇ ὑπομονῇ τὴν εὐσέβειαν, 7 ἐν δὲ τῇ εὐσεβείᾳ τὴν φιλαδελφίαν, ἐν δὲ τῇ φιλαδελφίᾳ τὴν ἀγάπην. 8 ταῦτα γὰρ ὑμῖν ὑπάρχοντα καὶ πλεονάζοντα οὐκ ἀργοὺς οὐδὲ ἀκάρπους καθίστησιν εἰς τὴν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ ἐπίγνωσιν• 9 ᾧ γὰρ μὴ πάρεστιν ταῦτα, τυφλός ἐστιν μυωπάζων, λήθην λαβὼν τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ τῶν πάλαι αὐτοῦ ἁμαρτιῶν. 10 διὸ μᾶλλον, ἀδελφοί, σπουδάσατε βεβαίαν ὑμῶν τὴν κλῆσιν καὶ ἐκλογὴν ποιεῖσθαι• ταῦτα γὰρ ποιοῦντες οὐ μὴ πταίσητέ ποτε. 11 οὕτως γὰρ πλουσίως ἐπιχορηγηθήσεται ὑμῖν ἡ εἴσοδος εἰς τὴν αἰώνιον βασιλείαν τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν καὶ σωτῆρος Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
If you practice these qualities you will never fall Intro : Self-improvement and change. A huge industry. It has its origins in Christian-influenced thinking, eg Benjamin Franklin. Is this what we're talking about, when we talk about Christian growth? A kind of self-improvement? Since it rests on the self, this approach inevitably leads to pride or despair [ example ]. Not at all; this is change from belonging to Jesus. Knowing Jesus changes you. cf Moses' face. Certain kinds of knowledge are shown in a changed character. E.g., a man who has served in combat in an elite force. A man who has suffered a great loss. A woman who knows extreme responsibility. 'The surest defence against doctrinal and moral error will ultimately be to rekindle their devotion to Christ.' 1. Furnish your life with the life of Jesus (v5-7) his own 'glory and excellence' is spelled out here. Here is how we 'furnish' our lives with the life won for us by Jesus. [ Example ] v5 for this reason; cf the previous verses. God has given us all things, and we are escaping the corruption of this world by his magnificent promises v5 make every effort ('make haste'); theme of active diligence throughout the letter. Does this mean that our efforts contribute to our salvation? Strong links between v3 and 5. We make every effort, but drawing on the power already given in Jesus. Again, the significance of the ascension. cf Paul 'with his power which works so powerfully in me.' v5 virtue, same as v3 - Christ's likeness. Begins with faith, and ends with love. This is a description of Jesus' own character. Also, this list are those things which the false teachers lacked. This list is not a pick and mix buffet. All one inseparable garment. Jesus longs to see these things in us. He is committed to our good - which is this list of things. faith - virtue/moral excellence, perfection knowledge, doctrine, wisdom self-control, s ense of 'self-mastery' steadfastness, endurance, perseverance godliness, piety brotherly affection; loyal love towards those in the family. Philadelphia. love Application directions This is not productivity, but goes way beyond it. Self-control, perseverance in hard things, love. Can't be measured, and often are appallingly inefficient and ineffective. In other words, it's the direction, not the distance that counts. The swimming, not the speed or power. This encourages us when we feel we keep failing as Christians. In what areas could you clearly make more effort? What if you asked the person next to you? 2. This is how you grow and prepare for the life to come (v8-11) v8 ineffective ('idle, lazy') or unfruitful. I.e., do these and you'll grow - be effective and fruitful. v8 in the knowledge of Jesus. What knowledge is this? If they're increasing, then you can be sure you're growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus. You're looking both backwards, and forwards. v9 the scary alternative. The lack of growing in this shows you've forgotten the gospel. Flippant, complacent Christian living. They don't look either backwards, or forwards. Blind, and then shortsighted (emphasis); perhaps point is deliberate shutting eyes to the truth. v10 so work hard, diligent at this. All the more diligent; it's the 'hasten' word group again from v5; to make your calling and election firm/steadfast/enduring. Not sure in the sense of doubted, but sure in the sense of strong, durable. v10 for doing this you will never ever (double neg) stumble/fall v11 in this way. What way is that? Richly provided. Is it the sense that, God has really given us all things in Jesus - not just the inheritance of the new creation, but all the preparation in Him too. Not, clean yourself up and get yourself ready. But, take these things out of the box and put them on, and I'll help you each step (cf air hostess and emergency equipment on airline). [Or those make at home kits , eg for cooking or baking, which give all the ingredients, and all the instructions, and a helpline, etc] You've been chosen not just to know Jesus, but to meet him and be welcomed richly into his kingdom. Application directions: Christian growth happens in relational knowledge of Jesus, and thus in character. And thus all of life and experience is a discipleship opportunity. The pandemic a chance to grow in all these things. Our hatred, fear, and resentment shows our real priorities. Am I really making every effort in my Christian life? Would anyone look at my life and think I was passionate about growing in godliness? What is the solution if you feel like a second class citizen? How does reflecting on the future encourage greater godliness now? How can we encourage each other to be more effective and more fruitful as believers? God's glory. He calls us to share in his life, a wonderful life. He gives us confidence in our growth. FCF . Playing the victim (of our circumstances), rather than the 'co-creator' (of my new life as a disciple). Change happens all by his power, but through my will and choice. Blame and complacency, and self-wallowing. This pandemic illustrates it perfectly. Obligation - resentment - entitlement. Entitlement - demand - anger. We forget that we have been 'cleansed from our former sins' and become blind, shortsighted. Person of Jesus . This describes his own perfect character. faith - your will be done Father virtue/moral excellence - complete purity knowledge - the operating system for the software of wisdom self-control - not fighting back against the personal injustice being done to him steadfastness - I won't leave you or forsake you godliness - praying all night; brotherly affection - Peter, do you love me? love - father forgive them Work of Jesus. He 'cleansed us from our former sins' (v9), putting our old self to death so that he might make us new in his image. No longer in Adam, but in Jesus. Union with Jesus. His life is applied to us, since he died to save us, and lives to re-make us. Here's the nitty-gritty of fixing our minds on things above, where Jesus is. What we mean by 'growing in grace and knowledge', unpacked here. You grow by putting on what has been won for you by Jesus, which he now hands you from his throne by his Spirit, and helps you put on as you depend on him. We actually grow in knowledge of him as we put these things on, since we share in his own life. As we persevere, we know more of Jesus' own beautiful steadfastness . As we love, we learn more of Jesus' love [e.g., parents' love for a child teaches them of God's own heart]. As we learn more joy in the Father, we share with Jesus. As we pursue more loyalty to other Christians, we know Jesus' own loyal heart. faith - will I trust the promises of God today in this pandemic? virtue/moral excellence - will I walk in complete uprightness and purity, even in my speech? knowledge - will I pursue knowing Jesus above all things? Will I keep thinking about his words, and will his words shape my decisions? self-control - will I vigorously strive to control all my thoughts, speech, and actions, for Jesus' glory? steadfastness - will I keep going and persevere, seeing discouragements as opportunities for training? godliness - will I turn everything towards the worship and enjoyment of God? Have I invested the extra time in this pandemic for enjoyment of God? brotherly affection - will my brothers and sisters be on my mind and heart a lot? Have I made every effort in this pandemic? love - will I love my neighbours more in this pandemic, or retreat further into my bubble? Invitation . v10 be diligent to make your calling and election sure. You will never fall if you do these things. Confrontation . v9 so blind as to forget. Wake up! Make haste, start now. If you are not swimming upsream, to life, you are drifting downstream, to death. There is no neutral. Consolation . v11 a rich welcome awaits. It is his power, not yours. So lean on him and take up his invitation to diligent Christian growth. Wrap up: Knowing Jesus changes you. Diligence in the Christian life lets you know Jesus better. It's a glorious cycle all the way until we see him face to face.