Click here for the reading: 2 Peter 1:2-11.

In his second letter to the Church, the Apostle Peter straightaway admonishes the believer to life of faithful devotion to the Lord God. He demonstrates just what Jesus has done for us and how this grants to us “all things pertaining to life and godliness.”

Words like “virtue” and “self-control” have been given a bad name by those who would not want to be associated with words like “fundamentalist” and “prude.” Indeed even the term “godliness” is rarely heard from pulpits and studies. Yet Peter is clear in this text. You have been called to God’s own glory and excellence, and “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.”

To lack these qualities, says Peter, is to be blind. To neglect love of neighbor or self-control, to refuse to live according to God’s will, is to forget the forgiveness of sins you received (v. 9).

Those who are being saved are elected in Christ before the foundation of the world. This brings great hope to the believer, that from first to last God is the author and perfecter of our faith. However, Peter tells you to be diligent to confirm your calling and election.

We must guard our faith from the devil and seek shelter from the temptations of the world. The promise of salvation is to those who have genuine faith (Matt 10:22, 24:12-13, Heb. 3:6). True faith persists until the end and will bear good “qualities” or fruit.  “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.”

Healthy introspection is not detrimental to faith, if one keeps his eyes on the cross. Peter begins with what is ours in Christ and urges toward cultivating that and keeping it close to us. To grow in godliness is to grow closer to Him. We do so by prayer, meditating on his word, discipling our bodies, and brotherly love. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus Christ, keep your ears open to His Word, keep your heart inclined toward Him and to your brothers, and these qualities will be yours.