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. (2 Peter 1:5-7)
Healthy Children And Spiritual Supplements
The basic need of the child of God is to respond to the need for growth much like a child must grow in the physical world. If a young child is not growing in the body, there is a concern for the health of the child and doctors are consulted. It is important to see the need for growth for the spiritual body and Peter addresses the fundamental pattern of how every child of God should examine themselves on their spiritual growth chart. Peter writes the prescription to a healthy spiritual body begins with supplementing faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, patient endurance, godliness, brotherly affection, and love for everyone. These spiritual vitamins will give the child of God a strong healthy body to fight against the wiles of the devil.
Any parent knows how difficult it is to get children to eat healthy foods and take supplements that will give them strong bodies. Broccoli is not on the top of the list and eating vegetables is like pulling eye teeth. Brussel sprouts are weeds so why bother. If anything is good for you it automatically will not taste as delightful as the candies of the world that so attract the childish wills of the unsuspecting. Good diets and good foods will bring about greater happiness and a longer life. Adding the right kinds of supplements to a daily diet causes greater health and longevity. This principle will also find truth in the spiritual diet.
Adding the elements of Peter’s list are traits that will give a person a wholesome and happy outlook on life. Faith is the essential building block that everything else is built upon but will have no value if nothing is added to it. Many Christian believe in faith only by the nature of never adding anything else to their faith. The Holy Spirit emphasizes the need to make every effort to add something to a person’s faith and shows the necessity of supplementing each part with another. Faith needs moral excellence or virtue. Standing alone faith cannot shine without the excellence of God’s character infused in the heart of man. This level of moral excellence comes from the knowledge of the word of God. The more knowledge a man possesses the greater his virtue and the stronger his faith.
Self-control comes from faith that is filled with moral excellence by the knowledge of God. It is easy to live without restraints. Harnessing the spirit of man with the power of the word of God will bring about patient endurance. The scriptures reveal the nature of man and the blessings of trusting the Father. There will be less worry over the affairs of life with perseverance. This leads to a godly life measured by the character of the Divine. The measure of faith increased by virtue which is supplemented by knowledge, self-control and a patient spirit will create a life filled with the calm assurance of godliness.
Finally, all of these attributes will evidence a character of love toward the family of God and before all men. Jesus told His disciples the world would know them because of their love for one another. Adding to faith the characteristics of Peter’s admonition will bring harmony to the family of God to dwell together in the knowledge of the Son of God. Further, the world will see a spirit of love that is foreign to the ungodly. The children of God will stand as healthy, vibrant and happy souls who want to share their spiritual diet will all those who would desire to live godly lives. Peter’s list is a vitamin bottle full of eternal blessings to give the heart of the child of God a healthy and happy life here and in the world to come.