The Story: We really need to slow down here because Peter begins an extremely important summary of the life of faith in vv. 5-11. He begins with the motive for growth: “for this very reason…” What reason? For the reason that God has saved us, holds out to us precious and very great promises, and draws us into Himself with divine and transforming power! Because of this, Peter says, because of what God has done and is doing, we need to get busy and get serious about our faith. We must make every effort to supplement the present condition of our faith with more of the evidence of faith which is the outward expression of our inward hope (Heb. 11.1). Faith by itself is worthless, as James explained (Jms. 2.14-26). Faith must bear fruit or we will not be able to know that, indeed, the Lord has chosen and redeemed us (Jn. 15.4-16). The fruit of faith is virtue, which is expressed in good works of service and witness (Eph. 3.10). Those who have true faith will press on to bring forth virtue. And, when they do, it won’t be their virtue, but that of Christ Himself.
The Structure: We cannot fulfill our callings as servants and apostles in this age of restoration, this time before the Lord returns when the Gospel and Kingdom of Christ are advancing on earth, unless we work out our salvation in fear and trembling (Phil. 2.12). This is hard work, daily work, supplementing faith with virtue so that our lives display the glory and excellence of the Lord as we go about to serve and bear witness in His name. If the love of God, His promises, and His power are not sufficient incentive to get us growing into His glory and excellence, then we have to question seriously whether or not we know the Lord at all.
Do you have a rule of disciplines that you follow each day, to help you supplement your faith with virtue? How’s that working?
Each week’s studies in our Scriptorium column are available in a free PDF form, suitable for personal or group use. For this week’s study, “Getting on with the Life of Faith: 2 Peter 1,” simply click here.
T. M. Moore
Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.