Journey Through The Bible
Old Testament Reading: 2 Chronicles 5-7
New Testament Reading: 2 Peter 1
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with goodness, goodness with knowledge, knowledge with self-control, self-control with endurance, endurance with godliness, godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:5-8)
The Christian life begins with saving faith, faith in the person of Jesus Christ. When you know Jesus Christ personally, you also experience God’s power, and this power produces life and godliness. His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness through the knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness (v3).
God has not only given us all that we need for life and godliness, but He has also given us His Word to enable us to develop this life and godliness. He has given us very great and precious promises (v4). These promises are great because they come from a great God and they lead to a great life.
When you are born into the family of God by faith in Christ, you are born complete. God gives you everything you will ever need. Nothing has to be added! Just as a normal baby is born with all he needs for life and only needs to grow, so the Christian has all that is needed and only needs to grow.
But Spiritual growth is not automatic! Yes, God has given us all that we need to grow, but we must apply ourselves and be diligent in using what He has given us. Spiritual growth in the Believer requires cooperation with God and the application of spiritual diligence and discipline. As the Apostle Paul said, work out your own salvation … For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose (Phil 2:12-13).
Peter lists seven characteristics of the godly life. Like the Fruit of the Spirit in Gal 5:22-23, these qualities grow out of life and out of a vital relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not enough for the Christian to let go and let God, as though spiritual growth was God’s work alone. The Father and child must work together.
Developing a fruitful life in Christ is a process. There will always be bad habits to prune, improper thoughts to weed, and pure motives to water. To the diligent, God promises the rich harvest of a useful and godly life. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being useless or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (v 8). But Peter warns that the person who neglects to sow these traits is blind and shortsighted and has forgotten the cleansing from his past sins (v9).
Laziness and spiritual maturity cannot coexist. God expects His disciples to be both eager and disciplined in applying the spiritual power He provides. God has given us everything we need. But He also has planned things so that we have a part in using what He has given us. Look at Jesus as your example and guide. His Spirit will give you the help you need.