2 Peter 1: 5-11….Is effort involved?

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. 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. For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Comment: Here we have a list of things which seem to be a progression. In order they are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love. In some ways it reads as if there is a logical progression but that cannot be absolutely true as, for instance, Christian ‘faith’ is not a blind leap into the unknown but rather based on knowledge of historical truth and facts. So frequently becoming a Christian is spiritualised as if faith is followed by effortless development into ‘holiness’. Burt here we have the phrase ‘make every effort’ and the word ‘self-control’, both of which include a lot of personal input. But it ends up with ‘godliness, brotherly affection and love’. And Peter doesn’t pull any punches – he says ‘Don’t listen to me and you are near-sighted to the point of blindness’! And the effort he underlines, necessary for the now, isn’t temporary in its results but these enter heaven with us as we go there! But let’s not go to the other extreme and forget that the Holy Spirit does live within us to guide and strengthen us in our growth to maturity in Jesus and our faith!

Prayer: Give me passion to please You in all things, O my God.

2 thoughts on “2 Peter 1: 5-11….Is effort involved?

  1. Thank you Barry for your comments on this passage. JB Phillips translates V.5 like this; “For this very reason you must do your utmost from your side..” so it is up to us to “make every effort, and to do our utmost”. There are no “magic fairies” to wave a magic wand and to do it for us. We need to do our share, and God will do His share. God bless you.


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