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Pursue a Godly Life Diligently

2 Peter 1.5-7
For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.
How virtuous are you? This question is probably not one that you receive on a daily basis, but it is a question that we should consider. Sure, the word “virtue” may sound archaic, but virtue is anything but archaic; virtue is timeless. I am sure many of you are like me and others throughout our nation today that would love to see a fresh wave of virtue throughout our land again.

 The idea and thought that Peter is describing in verses 5-7 is how Christians are to pursue a godly life with diligence. What would it look like here in our nation alone if every person who claims to be a follower of Christ actually pursued a godly life with diligence? I bet things would be and look different in our country today. We find Peter here exhorting his hearers and readers to make every effort to supplement their faith. Verses 3-4 are crucial to verses 5-7. Verses 5-7 call the readers to take up a virtuous lifestyle, whereas verses 3-4 remind believers that a life of godliness is rooted in and dependent upon God’s empowering grace.

Believers should feel equipped to live a lifestyle of godliness that pleases God because Christ has given believers His divine power as it pertains to life and godliness. So, Peter tells the reader that they should “supplement [their] faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love” (5b-7).

This chain of virtues is a literary form that Peter used known as sorites, which is a step-by-step chain that culminates into a climax. The chain begins with faith and ends with love. This seems fitting since faith and love are two of the greatest themes throughout all of scripture. Faith and love are both the foundation to faith and love is the capstone, but everything in between is vitally important to one’s Christian faith as well.

As believers living in the 21st century, we would do well to rediscover these 8 virtues so that our faith will be supplemented. As Peter points out in verse 8, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1.8). I urge you, fellow believer, whether you are a new believer in Christ or have been a believer all of your life, make sure that these qualities are increasing in your life. As the late Dallas Willard once said, “Grace is not opposed to effort, it is opposed to earning.” Make every effort to supplement your faith today.

In Christ’s Service,
Cody Ragland
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