After we are saved, we must be diligent to add to our faith [2 Pet 1:5]. Rom 10:17, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Faith then is simply believing what God said and trusting God to perform his word. Heb 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” We didn’t see the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and yet the evidence of the gospel in our lives is that we have put our trust in Christ alone to save us. We haven’t seen heaven and yet the substance of our eternity is that we are trusting that Christ has already seated us in heaven in himself. We couldn’t be more certain of these two truths if we had been there to see the resurrection and if we were already dead and living in heaven. That’s faith.
But Peter said that there is more to our life than faith. Giving all diligence, we are to add to our faith. Add to your faith:
Virtue – the main sense of the word virtue is “strength.” It is the quality of bodies by which they produce effects on other bodies, like the virtue of plants in medicine. During Jesus earthly ministry “there went virtue out of him, and healed them all,” [Lk 6:19]. The sense of virtue in 2 Pet 1:5 is moral goodness. This virtue comes from yielding to righteousness [Rom 6:13-14] and thinking on the six things in Phil 4:8. From this virtue, we derive our spiritual strength.
Knowledge – There is much to know about God and his words that we must learn after we get saved. You might think that you know God. However, Paul said, “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know,” [1 Cor 8:2]. This knowledge comes from fearing God [Prov 1:7]. The Holy Spirit is the one who teaches us and reveals God to us as we fear God and study his words [Jn 16:13-14].
Temperance – moderation with regard to the natural appetites and passions. Temperance is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit [Gal 5:22-23]. Temperance amounts to keeping the body in subjection [1 Cor 9:25-27] so that we are led by the Spirit rather than by the flesh [Gal 5:16].
Patience – the suffering of afflictions, pain, toil, calamity, provocation or other evil, with a calm, unruffled temper; endurance without murmuring or fretfulness. Patience comes from your submission to God’s will. Jas 1:3-4 says, “the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Patience endures whatever God allows or wills in your life for his glory and your good [Rom 8:28].
Godliness – obedience proceeding from love and reverence for the character and commands of God. 1 Tim 4:7-8 “exercise thyself rather unto godliness.” 1 Tim 6:6 “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” In godliness, you just keep doing and obeying what God says.
Brotherly kindness – that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants, or alleviating their distresses. Lk 6:35, Jesus was kind to the unthankful and the evil. In Eph 4:32 we are to be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven us.
Charity – 1 Cor 13:4-8. Charity is ultimately the fulfillment of the second commandment. Our love for each other is based upon Christ’s love for us [Jn 13:34]. Rom 5:5, the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.
If you add these things to your faith:
and they abound, “they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” You see, the things that produce fruit in your life are the words of God [Col 1:5-6], the righteousness of Jesus Christ [Heb 12:11], and Holy Spirit [Gal 5:22-23]. Your good work produces fruit, as well [Col 1:10]. When these seven things are added to your faith, you will not be barren and unfruitful because the work of the righteousness of God, the word of God, and the Spirit of God will be more effectual. The more these things abound, the more effectual the work and, therefore, the more fruitful your life will be.
If you don’t add these things to your faith:
You are “blind, and cannot see far off,” [2 Pet 1:9]. You must have “the long look” when adding these seven things to your faith. That is, these things take time to acquire and they take time to become effectual. If a person is hasty, he won’t give all diligence to add these things to his faith. He won’t see the fruit soon enough to stick with it.
Furthermore, he doesn’t see that, down the road, Jesus will appear [1 Jn 3:1-3], and further down the road, the earth and the heavens will be dissolved [2 Pet 3:11]. Seeing these things encourages a man to purify himself and live godly. He doesn’t forget “that he was purged from his old sins.” Staying stuck in old sins keeps Christians from becoming fruitful. Paul said, Christ “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works,” [Titus 2:14].
Conclusion: Peter said that you are “to give diligence to make your calling and election sure,” [2 Pet 1:10]. God has called you to a particular service for him and has elected you to rule with him in his everlasting kingdom [2 Pet 1:11]. When you make your calling and election sure, you have full confidence; you certainly know your calling and election. And knowing this abundantly ministers an entrance “into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” That is, with this certainty, you take possession of the kingdom into which you have been translated [Col 1:13] and commence the work that you are to be doing in that kingdom. And, thus, “ye shall never fall,” [2 Pet 1:10].