2 Peter 13-11
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 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. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, but will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 1:3-11
We can live godly lives, not through our own ability, but because of “His divine power”. We have “everything we need” when we are His children.
He works in us through His Holy Spirit:
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippines 2:12-13
He causes us not only to obey, but to want to obey. When we know the terrible consequences of sin (“the corruption in the world”), the fact that He loves us (he calls us (“my dear friends”), and is doing everything for our good (“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him…” Romans 8:28 – one of His “great and precious promises”), we will have joy in obedience.
The Apostle Peter (who wrote 2 Peter 1:13-17) asks us, because we have received “his divine power”, to possess and increase in certain qualities: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
We have faith if we are God’s children:
“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1
We have not seen Jesus physically, but we believe in Him. We believe in what He has promised.
Even in the Old Testament, before Jesus was born as a baby into this world, people were saved by faith in the One True God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
“Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.” Malachi 3:16
Some respected God and obeyed Him. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. Joshua, Ruth, Samuel, Esther, David and many others knew God.
It was always by faith in this One True God, that we have salvation, David wrote:
“The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1
“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.” Isaiah 56:1
Jesus, God Himself, came into the world to pay the penalty for the sins of mankind:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind…
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-14
Those who believed in Him received “the right to become children of God”.
Jesus revealed the righteous of God, that is by faith:
“For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17
We have peace with God through our faith in Jesus:
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,” Romans 5:1
We believe in our hearts and profess that we do and are saved:
“For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:10
Faith in Jesus came in a moment in time, but it is a continuing experience. Faith is one of the weapons of our warfare, against the devil:
“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.:” Ephesians 6:16
Faith is very important to God. It is the reason for our trials:
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1:6-9
We should consider trials “pure joy” because they will make us “mature and complete”:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
We are to add to our faith, goodness: “integrity, honesty, uprightness…morality, virtue refer to qualities of character or conduct that entitle the possessor to approval and esteem. Goodness is the simple word for the general quality recognized in character or conduct…”
We are to add to goodness, knowledge. Knowledge is getting to know Jesus. Faith, obedience, prayer. studying His word, worshipping Him with others and relating to other believers help our knowledge increase.
Add self-control. Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control…” Galatians 5:22-23
“The fruit of the Spirit is the change in our character that comes about because of the Holy Spirit’s work in us…Every good thing we do is the fruit of the Spirit’s work in our lives. Self-control… is…the ability to control oneself. It involves moderation, constraint, and the ability to say “no” to our baser desires and fleshly lusts. One of the proofs of God’s working in our lives is the ability to control our own thoughts, words, and actions.” GotQuestions.org
“Self-control naturally leads to perseverance as we value the long-term good instead of the instant gratification of the world.” GotQuestions.org Bible teacher Kay Arthur defines perseverance as “keep on keeping on”.
Add godliness. Godliness is being pious, obeying God. Jesus is the best example of godliness, and we can be like Him:
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” 1 Peter 1:3-4
Peter says that we have everything we need to “participate in the divine nature” – we can attain godliness with the help of Jesus.
The Greek word for brotherly kindness is transliterated “philadelphia,” a compound involving two words: “phileo” (love) and “adelphos” (brother). It literally means “the love of brothers.” As used in the New Testament, “philadelphia” describes the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren (Thayer). Romans 12:10 reveals that it is through brotherly kindness that we can have “kind affection” toward one another. It is brotherly kindness, therefore, that provides a true sense of family in our association as members of the Lord’s body.” 2 Peter 1:7a – Brotherly Kindness – Bible.ca
Love is defined in the Bible:
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:7-10
“Brotherly love in the biblical sense is an extension of the natural affection associated with near kin, toward the greater community of fellow believers, that goes beyond the mere duty in Leviticus 19:18 to “love thy neighbour as thyself”, and shows itself as “unfeigned love” from a “pure heart”, that extends an unconditional hand of friendship that loves when not loved back, that gives without getting, and that ever looks for what is best in others.” Wikipedia
We should earnestly seek to grow in these qualities (faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, love), rejoicing in knowing that, if we do, we “will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”