Summary: Putting our faith to work by adding godly virtues in increasing measure.
Increasing our Faith
In this encouraging epistle, Peter expressed the wonderful grace of God who gave us everything we need for life and godliness made possible by our knowledge of Jesus Christ who called us to his glory and excellence.
The basic element of faith is clearly seen in this: we were enlightened by our knowledge of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter1:1)
Through faith we were called to the obedience of the gospel from which we received great and precious promises enabling us to partake of the divine nature of God through the Holy Spirit that He gave to us.
But faith needs to grow in order that we can successfully overcome temptations, trials, the desires of the flesh, and the flaming arrows from the evil one who is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Apostle Peter explains that faith needs to be applied to our lives through the righteous virtues given to us by Jesus in his precious words.
He also warns us of the danger of ineffective and unproductive faith caused by the lack of effort on our part to apply godly virtues, in increasing measure, to our lives.
And so, today we shall consider four very practical guiding principles from apostle Peter concerning our precious faith:
1. Obtaining our Faith
2. Building up our Faith
3. Dangers of a stagnant Faith
4. Reward to the Faithful
I – Obtaining our Faith
1. We received Faith through the righteousness of God and Savior Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:1
1 Simeon[a] Peter, a servant[b] and apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ:
It is amazing that we received just the same faith that the apostles received. We did not see Jesus; we have not witnessed his miracles. We have not heard him tell us about those thought-provoking parables about his kingdom, yet we received the same faith just as the apostles did through his wonderful words as written by the apostles, just as the Holy Spirit inspired them.
2. Faith comes from hearing the message about Christ – Romans 10:17
3. Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen – Hebrews 11:1
4. We cannot please God without Faith – Hebrews 11:6
5. The end result of our Faith is the salvation of our souls – 1 Peter 1:9
6. Through our Faith we obeyed the gospel. Consequently, God has given us everything we need for life and godliness. 2 Peter 1:3
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[
7. Through them we received great and precious promises – so that we can participate in the divine nature – 2 Peter 1:4
b]4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
a. Promise of the Holy Spirit
b. The promise of forgiveness
c. Promise of answers to our prayers
d. Promise of eternal life in heaven
e. Many more promises we find when we read our Bible.
i. Promise that God will never leave us or forsake us – Hebrews 13:5-6
8. We have escaped corruption in this world caused by evil desires. We were once a part of the world corrupted with sin.
II – Building up our Faith
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[a]and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
1. Faith without action is dead - James 2:17
2. The wise man hears his words and puts them into practice – Matthew 7:24
3. Therefore, let us add to our Faith these virtues in increasing measure.
a. Knowledge – Without knowledge we cannot achieve wisdom, for wisdom is the application of knowledge as God through His Spirit grants to us in answer to our prayer (James 1:5). Therefore, the more knowledge we have of God’s righteousness, the more we can receive wisdom so valuable in the life of a Christian.
b. Self Control – temperament. Simply stated self-control enjoins us not to give in to the worldly desires of the flesh.
c. Steadfastness – perseverance – patience. Note James 1:2.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers,[a] when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.