Adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence), and in [exercising} knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety), and in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.
– 2 Peter 1:5-7 Amplified
If there is one thing that God has demonstrated in His creation is that He is a God of order. The circle of life follows an orderly guideline. You can count on the sun rising every day and setting every night. You can count on the moon and it’s varying shapes throughout the year. If you give your body the right amount and kind of nutrition and exercise for the most part you can count on it’s response, unless you have some disease counter acting your diligence. And it would appear there is an order to the verses above.
Let’s take it step by step and see what the verses are actually saying to us. First we are to be diligent (work hard) at delving into [the divine promises], to me that means digging into God’s Word. Once we are faithful to that what are we to do? Make every effort to take what we’ve learned stretch our faith (work it out – put it to the test, thus exercising it) thus developing virtue (excellence, resolution). Faith that has been stretched and pulled put through the flames and come out the other side has resilience and is stronger than faith that hasn’t been tested. We will never how solid our faith is without it being tested. Testing brings growth.
The next step is as we grow in virtue (excellence, resolution) we gain knowledge. This makes sense as we grow in the Word of God and our faith blossoms we grow in knowledge.
Now we are growing stronger in the Word of God and we have a faith with resolution backing it up and growing in the knowledge of God we have the tools to exercise self-control. It’s through exercising knowledge that we develop self-control. They build on one another.
When we take the time to work on self-control we will see as the fruits of our labor steadfastness. We will be firm, unwavering, patient, and enduring in our affairs.
With that steadfastness being worked out in our lives we will see godliness add to the characteristics that we bare. Which is a necessity to build on the other qualities we who love God want to very much to attain.
Once we have godliness we can exercise that to mature to brotherly affection. This is an important step. We must have affection (fondness, liking, devotion, endearment, caring, attachment, warmth, and friendship). If we can not have these attributes for one another we have no hope of loving one another.
While exercising brotherly affection this is how we develop Christian love. An unconditional love. This is when our characteristics become most like Christ. We love those around us as Christ did. Life is a process and we are not God we are humans so there will be times when we will fail. At that time we repent and move on.
Joy – A Fellow Sojourner & A Woman After God’s Own Heart!