2 Peter 1:9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (NKJV)
These “things” are listed beginning in verse five and last time we discussed virtue being added to your faith. Virtue is the outward manifestation of your salvation in the form of goodness and moral excellence demonstrating the authenticity of your faith.
2 Peter 1:5-7 – But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. (NKJV)
Next we find Peter instructing us to add knowledge to our virtue. Keep in mind this is not a “checklist” or a set of beads we add to a string. You don’t add them one by one and “check” them off as done. This is a growing, interdependent list of qualities that feed and build on each other.
Remember too, that the idea of “diligently adding” means to “come along side of” and make your best effort while realizing that the “greater power” (God in this context) is actually the real producer of results. We are to try our very hardest all the while knowing that our efforts alone will amount to nothing. But God honors our effort by producing results for us. God does the adding in an abundant and extravagant manner.
What does Peter mean by “knowledge”? In this context it speaks of complete, practical knowledge – the ability to successfully deal with life in a Godly manner. It is not intellectual knowledge, but knowledge that comes from the illumination of God’s Word in the Believers heart. It is the ability to determine right from wrong – to have moral discernment.
Psalm 119:18 – Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law. (NKJV)
This knowledge comes from your eyes being opened by God Who reveals the truth of His Word to you that you may rightly apply it to how you live your morally excellent life of faith.
Romans 12:2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove (know) what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
We are to renew our mind through Bible study and prayer that we may know the will of God. You have probably heard people ask on many occasions “how can you know what God’s will is?”. Well now you know! Renew your mind with holiness learned from the Word and prayer… and you will know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God!
Tomorrow we will look at adding self-control to our discerning, morally excellent life of faith.
God of True Knowledge, open our eyes that we may read Your Word and learn wondrous things to help us live a virtuous, faithful life. In Jesus name, Amen.
Contemplation: Are you renewing your mind each day in God’s Word and prayer? Do you know the good and acceptable and perfect will of God? If no, do you see any connection? Does Scripture imply a connection between the two? Are you bold about what is right and what is wrong? Do you take a stand for it, or fall quiet to the accusations of “judgmental”?
Application: The knowledge in mind here is not simply broadening the amount of Bible knowledge you possess. This knowledge is a God-illuminated understanding of right and wrong.. of Truth. It is a clear understanding of morality and holiness. This clear understanding allows us to live a virtuous life of good works and moral excellence.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?