2 Peter 1:2-8
(2) Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, (3) According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: (4) Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (5) And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; (6) And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; (7) And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. (8) For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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He mentions that, since the Father and Christ have given us so much—even allowing us to share in God's nature—we should strive to add to our faith. Just believing that God is and that He has forgiven our sins is not enough (James 2:19). Among other things, we must grow in these qualities: virtue, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love. If we work to instill these godly attributes into our characters, we will be producing the kind of fruit that God wants to see in us (John 15:1-8).
Peter concludes his instruction in verses 10-11: "Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ." Spiritual growth and producing fruit are what make our calling sure. Our maturity as Christians is based upon us zealously, diligently working to move our conversion along.
What is real conversion? It is the transformation of our characters, our intellects, our emotions, our actions, our words, and our very thoughts, from the evil way inspired by Satan and man's carnal nature into the divine nature—the very nature of God Himself!
So, how much like God are we? How straight and true is our trajectory to putting on the image of Christ (Romans 8:29)? How much of the old man have we put off, and how much of the new man have we put on (Colossians 3:9-10)? Are we growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ (II Peter 3:18)? Are we cooperating with God in being transformed to His image (Romans 12:2)? Are we making becoming more like Christ a daily goal (Luke 9:23)?
Though the Corinthians had their problems with carnality—as we all do—they worked to overcome them and began growing. Paul's final words to them in his second epistle should encourage us as we "work out [our] own salvation" (Philippians 2:12): "Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. . . . The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all" (II Corinthians 13:11, 14).
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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