A lot of what is happening in the Book of 2 Peter is that the author is preparing his readers, the church, to grow in faith and live& lead righteous/holy lives. He is aware that the church will come under attack from outside the church (as in 1 Peter) and from inside the church as he describes in chapter 2. This is a supplement to earlier lesson on 2 Peter 1.
In verses 5-9, we are implored to add to or to build on our faith. This is important. It is not the case, after salvation, that there is no more growing to do. In fact, we are told in this chapter to make every effort to add to our faith. It is not a suggestion but a strong command . . . “make every effort.” It further tells us that if we fail to add to our faith that we will be ineffective, unproductive, spiritually nearsighted and blind! (see verses 8 and 9).
So, just as a professional athlete or professional musician continues to work and practice to improve her craft . . . we must do the same thing to grow in our faith. Here is a little assignment that you can do to practice, grow in and build your faith. Verse 5 through 9 list 7 areas in which we are to make every effort to add to our faith. I challenge us to examine ourselves. For each area, ask yourself honestly, how am I doing here? Am I doing pretty good, just okay, or not so good?
Then, assuming you are committed to growing your faith, reflect on what you can do to grow in the areas where you are weak. Exercise your faith muscle!!
- How is your goodness or virtue?
- How is your knowledge of the word of God?
- How is your self control or temperance?
- How is your perseverance or patience?
- How is your Godliness?
- How is your brotherly kindness?
- Last, and perhaps most importantly, how is your love??
5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.