Summary: Gaining knowledge of Christ means knowing Him intimately through your lifetime.
Experienced Travelers 2 Peter 1:5-9NKJ
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
“In this beautiful paragraph Peter orchestrates a symphony of grace. To the melody line of faith he leads believers to add harmony in a blend of seven Christian virtues which he lists without explanation or description.” Peter writes in his letter that we should make every effort to cultivate Christ-like character qualities. Most of us have goals that revolve around what we want to accomplish rather than who we are, but God wants us to develop character. When we focus on being the person God wants us to be, then we will accomplish what He wants us to accomplish. We must be diligent in cultivating Christian virtue, self-control and knowledge.
Listen to 2 Peter 1:5-9NLT 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, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. 8 The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins.
Like precious faith- Peter was emphasizing that Christians have all received the same precious, priceless saving faith. There are no second class Christians in spiritual, racial, or gender distinctions.
Notice verse 5, “Add to your faith!” When a dead soul is awakened, it’s because God granted faith, and faith is the capacity to believe.
“The Christian life is like power steering on a car. The engine provides the power for the steering, but the driver must actually turn the wheel. So the Lord provides the power to run our lives, but we must ‘turn the wheel.’ To a great extent the Christian determines the course of his life.” P.H.
Listen to Ephesians 2:8-9NKJ For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
The same faith given to you by God, is the same faith that allows you to add too.
1. Add to your faith virtue, or moral excellence. God desires that we grow with a strong conviction of right and wrong.
“I’m a novice when it comes to air travel but, I have traveled on planes on several occasions; however, I remember the first time or two. I remained being glued to the window.’ However, after a few trips traveling by plane, it became more familiar and academic. I’m concerned that our walk with God can become like a well experienced traveler.
We can become endangered in losing the wonder of Scriptures that once thrilled us may become too familiar and soon can be taken for granted.
That’s why we add to our faith, moral excellence, and moral excellence takes every cap off of your spiritual growth.
Mark 11:22TM Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Embrace this God-life. Really embrace it, and nothing will be too much for you.
2. Add to your moral excellence, knowledge.
Through out 2 Peter, knowledge is a key word. This knowledge isn’t a superficial knowledge, or mere surface awareness of facts, but a genuine, personal sharing of Christ.
Illustration: Thinking about genuine. “I’ve always been impressed by the solemn, magnificent simplicity of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery. In September 2003, Hurricane Isabel was bearing down on Washington, DC, and the guards were told they could seek shelter during the storm, but the guards refused. Moreover, daily and hourly, when no one is watching these guards faithfully stand understanding their significants.
Knowledge: They have an awareness of the sacrificial death of these solders! (The same should be said of you and Jesus Christ!)
3. Add to knowledge, self control. In Peter’s day, athletes who were to be self-restrained and self-disciplined. Thus a Christian should learn to control ones passions and lusts.
Do you remember when Magic Johnson announced he had AIDS? He vowed to use that tragedy to promote AIDS awareness. While we might be able to commend him for using his illness for a creative, positive purpose, don’t you think it would have been better for him to stress to young people the real cause of his disease: promiscuity. The real cure is abstinence before marriage and faithfulness in marriage. We don’t need information nearly as much as we need discipline, self-control, and positive examples.