And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 2 Peter 1:6
Peter the Apostle leaves us some very scary promises, but the one that I find scariest (in a positive way) is that he says, “If you practice these qualities you will never fall. For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Pet 1:10-11
Isn’t that an amazing promise? That if we practice certain qualities, we will find that the Lord comes alongside us to uphold us in our walk, and abide with us through the journey until we get to the kingdom where the door will be swung wide open since we are expected. It is an amazing promise.
But what qualities is Peter talking about here? What are these things that he says can guarantee our spiritual walk, and eternal destiny?
They are in fact not some ‘high-level rhema’; they are actually simple, everyday disciplines that God has placed within the reach of every child that he begets. Just as a human child grows incrementally until they become mature adults, the spiritual babe is encouraged to not remain one but pursue the course of incremental spiritual development.
And so Peter implying that it is not sufficient to simply come to faith says, “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. 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.” 2 Pet 1:5-8
This incremental growth is the life that the believer is called to – it is the path that shines more and more unto the perfect day. The path does not become brighter unless we follow its course. If we remain babes, the bible says “that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no different from a slave, though he is the owner of everything.”
Beloved, the life of faith comes with its imperatives. There is an ‘oughtness’ with which the life is to be lived. As the writer of Hebrews says, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food.” Hebrews 5:12
You ought to grow.
Lord, help me to imbibe the disciplines necessary for my spiritual development.