This study of 2 Peter 1: 5-15 was given by pastor Barry Forder on 4th October 2020 at Calvary Portsmouth’s online family service.
Peter told us in v4 that we have been given ‘exceeding great and precious promises’, and that by holding onto these (much like you would a life-raft if you were lost at sea), we can escape the constant lure and pull of the world to confirm to its ways and thoughts, always craving some new thing that is supposed to satisfy that endless itch!
Of course, nothing satisfies other than an abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.
Peter now gives us a list of 8 attributes that should be found in the character of a true follower of Jesus. The list itself is given as a progression that we should grow into as we mature in our Christian walk.
Peter starts with Faith. Without faith it is impossible to please God, for we must believe that God is who He says He is, and that He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think, supplying all that we need according to His riches. If we have Faith (and Paul tells us in Romans that God has given to all me a measure of Faith), that Faith should be the catalyst to compel us to live a morally upright and Virtuous life. Next we are to add Knowledge. True knowledge comes from reading God’s Word as we learn to discern between the physical and spiritual, and as we begin to grasp God’s amazing plan of Salvation and Sanctification through Grace. Next comes Temperance, “self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites)”. This can only be done through the indwelling Holy Spirit which is why we need Knowledge before Temperance can become a reality in our lives. Then Peter tells us that a true Christian, (after they have inevitably attempted temperance in their own strength and failed!), is to add Patience. This is the Biblical quality of learning to wait on the LORD, rest in the LORD and hope in the LORD, knowing that you cannot add a cubit to your stature or a single hair to your head! As we grow in Grace we will also become more God-like viz. Godliness – such that others will see God’s nature in us. When we have learned these things we are to add Brotherly Kindness, understanding that we really are family in Christ with all those who have put their trust in Him. For brotherly kindness to be real we need faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience and Godliness!
Finally Peter reaches the pinnacle and tells us that all of this is kept in place by the cap-stone, unconditional Love.
“Add to your faith virtue: We begin our life with God with faith, but faith progresses into virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love – love being the capstone of all God’s work in us. (David Guzik)
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!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this teaching.