Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 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. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call 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. (2 Peter 1:2-11)
The Need Of Diligence
Before Peter discusses the characters of grace that will help the child of God live with the assurance of salvation, he reminds his readers there must be a heart dedicated to the life changing message of truth. Having knowledge of the will of God and exercising that knowledge is what makes the difference in the attitude of how to carry out the word of God. The Christian graces given in this text cannot be viewed with an indifferent mind that does not realize the vital part each grace serves in the building character of the disciple of Christ. Adding these exhortations must be done with a diligent and careful heart determined to continually develop the image of the Lord into the life of the Christian.
There must be a diligence in adding these graces to the faith established in the heart. This shows how that developing the character of holiness does not come passively but by an active pursuing of the graces to be added and built up every day. Adding virtue to faith must be done with diligence. Every effort must be made to learn how to add knowledge to the mind of the child of God. Self-control requires a great deal of work as the battle between the flesh and spirit rages on. Learning to persevere under hardships and trials will require all the strength of the Christian. Godliness is a developed characteristic that takes years to fashion in the image of the Father. Showing brotherly kindness and love is often more difficult in the face of disappointments and without diligence will lag. Putting every effort into each one of these graces will transform the heart of the Christian.
Giving diligence to add to faith the graces of righteousness teaches the need for an active life of growing. Children of God must daily grow in the graces the Father has left as examples so that we can face the world with courage and live with the hope of eternal life through death. The Christian graces of 2 Peter are the definitive measure of a whole life built upon the promises that make eternal life a certainty. Faith does not come on its own. It comes from hearing the word and implanting the word in the daily living of the child of God. Adding the graces to the faith of the Christian will embolden the spirit to be more focused on eternal goals. Lacking in any areas will weaken the resolve. Giving all diligence is the engine that drives the character of the Christian.
Diligence is required in making sure the calling and election of the child of God. The graces listed in this passage will not make the individual barren but filled with the power of the spirit of the Lord. Through the working of these graces sin will have less sway on the heart of God’s people. The Holy Spirit has given a perfect list of graces that when examined will show what is lacking in the heart. If there is an area of life that a person struggles with having difficulty overcoming, one or more of these graces is the antidote. Giving all diligence to increase in one of these graces (or more) will help to overcome the pattern of sin that plagues the heart. Applying all of these graces with a diligent heart will give the child of God the assurance that eternal life is sure. Stumbling over sin will happen less often because faith has added these characteristics to a life of righteousness. Our weaknesses are defined by what is lacking in these graces. The strength we need to overcome is putting forth every effort to add to our faith the virtues of the Christian graces. It will transform our life making us to be stronger than ever before to fight against the wiles of the devil. The greatest blessing of this diligence is the knowledge that an entrance will be given abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of Jesus Christ. Thank you God for Your grace that allows us to live in the knowledge that heaven is our home.