“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:8, KJV:
When I started working in a new area last year, the manager of the section ensured that my laptop had all the necessary software to get the job done.
2 Peter 1:3 tells us that God, by His divine power, has given us everything we as believers need for life and godliness, or as the AMP bible puts it He has “bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness”. We received these when we came into the knowledge of God, who has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, (1 Peter 5:10) and Jesus Christ our Lord (2 Peter 1:2).
Through God’s glory and His divine power we have received precious promises of redemption, adoption, atonement, union with God, eternal life and the most precious of all, the promised Holy Spirit (Acts 2:33). However, we need to practice walking in godliness, diligently chasing after the things of God. Many athletes strive to be better by watching their diet, exercising the muscles and listening to their coach. If they do not diligently practice these qualities, they may become stagnant at best, a “has been” at worse, permanently injured at worst.
The same thing applies to the believer. God has given us everything we need for life and godliness, but that is just the beginning. We now need to do our part by using them to ensure that we live lives that are fruitful, productive and pleasing to God.
Imagine God giving you the most beautiful garden to tend until He gets back. Because you want to please Him, you would take the utmost care of the garden. We need to take care, with all diligence that which God has invested in us. (Matthew 13:24-25) Additionally, we do not want to be like the man with the one talent who buried his talent and ended up losing everything. Matthew 25:14-30. Rather, we should desire to mature spiritually.
The Apostle Peter gave us seven Christian characteristics that as believers we should use to supplement our faith, and mature spiritually. These are found in 2 Peter 2:5-7, and are somewhat similar to what the Apostle Paul referred to as the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23. These Christian characteristics are (NLT): moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection and love for everyone.
As believers, not only should these qualities permanently reside in us, but also they should be multiplying or increasing daily, as we, like the athlete, strive to be better than our last “performance”. (2 Thessalonians 1:3). By so doing we will not become idle or unproductive like the slothful servant in Matthew 25:26, who the master referred to as wicked. Neither will you become unfruitful, producing nothing. John 15 tells us that a branch that is unfruitful is cut off and thrown into the fire, and Matthew 5:13 speaks of the salt that has lost its saltiness. It is useless.
Instead we should live lives which are increasing in godliness though the growing knowledge of Jesus Christ, the source of our godly lives, and the One who enables us, through the Holy Spirit to live godly lives.
I pray today, “that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,” Colossians 1:10 Amen