Supplementing your faith!
2 Peter 1:3-11
Most of us or most people take supplements; a supplement is something that is added to something in order to make it complete. There are all kinds of supplements, hair loss, for losing weight; to enhance performance; to fight anxiety, and so forth.
The Bible tells us about some supplements we are to add to our faith. As followers of Jesus, we also may experience deficiency in our walk, in our faith or even in the knowledge of how to live for God in a hostile world. God has given us everything we need to continue to grow in him, but sometimes we feel we may not be growing at the rate we want, because we have not added these supplements to our faith in Jesus.
Peter wrote two letters to Christians who were being persecuted throughout Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia. In his 2nd letter Peter’s tone is that of “I may not write to you again or see you again, but I want to remind you of these things even though you may already know them.”
2 Peter 1:3-11
Peter acknowledged that God has given his followers everything they need for godly living. This we know, through the knowledge we have of him. When we know him, then we know what he has done and is doing for us.
God has given us what we need to live holy lives for him. He has given us promises to make us partakers in his divine nature and escape the corruption of this world. God has given us supplements to avoid the contamination of the world.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith…….
Make every effort; Peter just told us what God has done, now this is our part to do. Spiritual growth doesn’t just happen, it requires an intentional effort, hard work. “To pursue holiness is to take aggressive action to separate ourselves both from sin within us (pride, selfishness, a critical and judgmental spirit, irritability, impatience, sexual lust and so on) and also to take steps to separate ourselves from the ever-encroaching temptations of society around us.” (Growing your faith by Jerry Bridges)
To supplement your faith is going to require efforts, hard work on your part.
Make every effort to add to your faith:
Goodness (moral excellence, virtue: morally good behavior or character) Fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22)
Knowledge (knowledge of what? Knowledge of God. In verse 3 we already talked about He has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him. It’s by knowing him that we get to learn who he is and what he expects of us. Christians are constantly encouraged to continue to grow in Knowledge of Christ (2 Pet.3:18; 1 Thes.4:1) How do you grow in knowledge? By reading and studying his word. He has revealed his plan through the pages of Scriptures because he wants people to know him.
Self-control: (self-mastery, self-restraint) This is one of the fruit of the Spirit that he produces in the believers.
Perseverance: (endurance, to await, stand your ground, bear up against) James 1:12 blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. In the same chapter James said that it is the testing of the faith that develops perseverance. (James 1:2-3). The supplement of endurance is going to require tests, trials, hardships and it’s there that you will be able to develop it and see how much of it you have.
Godliness (piety, devotion for God). A godly person is the one who reveres God and tries to follow his word) Cornelius was known as a devout person Acts 10:2 “devout and God-fearing centurion” This is the same word for godliness (eusebian)
Brotherly love (kindness or affection) Romans 12:10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Love: (agape love), the love God demonstrated toward us, the love we are to have for each other as followers of Christ. He said “love one another as I have loved you”! (John 13:34)
Supplement your faith with goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
These supplements will help you be productive and effective in your faith. (v.8) for if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, (these qualities abound in you). You will be productive and effective in the knowledge of Jesus.
Lacking these supplements would make you shortsighted, and blind; (v.9) It is a person who has forgotten what God has done for him in cleansing him from sins,
Once again Peter reminded his readers to be diligent in their pursue of their calling. Being diligent in proving that you have been called to live holy lives for God. (v.10 Be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure.)
These supplements will keep you from stumbling or falling. (V.10) For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. These supplements abounding in the life of a believer will keep him from stumbling over the corruption of the world) They will keep one pure in the midst of a toxic world. A person stumbling or falling is linked here by Peter to having a deficiency in one of these supplements. IF these things abound in your life in great measures, you will not stumble.
God has indeed given us what we need to live the lives he is calling us to do. We must add these supplements to our faith in order to be fruitful and effective in the knowledge of Christ. They will keep you from being contaminated by the corruption in the world. They will guarantee us a richly (grand) entrance into his eternal kingdom. Well done good and faithful servant.