The Journal of Biblical Accuracy
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2 Peter 1:5-11 : "Make every effort to supplement your faith"

Moving now to 2 Peter 1:5-11 we read:

2 Peter 1:5-7
"For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love."

Does our faith need to be supplemented? According to Peter yes it does. With what does it need to be supplemented? Here it is: virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love. See that Peter does not say: "if you want, here is a nice-to-have list". In contrast, what he says is very emphatic: "make every effort". Being in the faith then does involve effort, effort to add to our faith those things which Peter says. And who makes this effort? Very simply: We. Yes with the help of the Lord, but this help is not coercion but a working together with us (see also 1 Corinthians 3:6-9).

What Peter says, Paul also tells us, with different wording, in Galatians 5:22-26:

Galatians 5:22-26
"But the fruit of the Spirit [the new nature, the new man] is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another."

And Romans 12:1-2
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."

What both the apostles tell us is: "walk with the new man, not the old man; renew your mind; supplement your faith".

Back to 2 Peter: let’s now assume that, though the Word says "make every effort to supplement your faith", somebody chooses not to supplement his faith and makes no effort in this direction. What will happen in this case? We may find the answer by looking at what happens when somebody does supplement his faith. This is given in verse 8 of 2 Peter 1:

"For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ."

So if we "make every effort to supplement our faith" with these qualities then we will be neither ineffective nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord. This in turn means that a person who does not do this and makes no effort (not to say every effort) to supplement his faith will be both ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Peter continues:

2 Peter 1:9
"For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins."

Whoever makes no effort to supplement his faith and therefore lacks these qualities is called blind; a person who has forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins, exactly like the person in the parable of the debtor of the 10000 talents who had forgotten the generosity of his master and from what He cleansed him. And Peter carries on:

2 Peter 1:10
"Therefore, brothers, rather be diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things, you shall never fall."

Why should we be diligent to make our calling and election sure if these were made sure in the past, once and for all, the moment we believed? Because that moment we started in the faith, but this faith has to also take roots; it has to be supplemented; it has to become fruitful. And Peter continues:

2 Peter 1:11
"For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"For so" means "by these means", "in this way", "because of this" will an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior shall be ministered to us abundantly. Because of what? Because of what we read in the preceding verses: because of making every effort to supplement our faith with what Peter told us, which in turn means that we did not become ineffective and unfruitful but we were diligent to make our calling and election sure. By these means, for this reason, will be given to us an abundant entrance into the Kingdom of God.

Now the above brings to my mind the following thought and question: does it mean that those who were diligent to make their faith a fruitful faith, as the fourth category of the parable of the sower did, will get a very warm welcome into the Kingdom of God, but those who did not do this and who were or became fruitless will also get an entrance but a rather cool one? A look back to chapters 2 and 3 and to the sayings of the King shows who He will welcome. And from what I read my understanding is that only the ready ones will be welcomed. This does not mean that only faultless and sinless will get into the Kingdom. There is none like this, except the Lord Himself. What it means is that we are alerted, that we take care of our faith, trying to live it out. It is one thing though to try to live out our faith and fall here and there and quite another if someone lives out, practices, sin as a habit and way of life, ignoring whatever faith he had. Neither the 5 fool virgins, nor the unfruitful servant, nor the one that abandoned the vine will find the door of the Kingdom open. Let these be for us examples for avoidance.

Therefore, may we take care of our faith and despite our mistakes and failures may we supplement it "with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love ….. For in this way there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

Next section: Philippians 2:12-16: "work out your salvation with fear and trembling"

 

Author: Anastasios Kioulachoglou