In Addition to Faith
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)
In Peter we’re told to “add” attributes to our faith. The way in which this is phrased can easily lead us to believe that this is something we must attempt to do on our own - “make every effort.” The original language the Bible was written in clearly indicates something contrary. “Make every effort” comes from the original phrase giving all diligence; this phrase means to bear in alongside or introduce simultaneously with speed or haste. The word add comes from a Greek word, epichore geo-, which means to furnish besides, fully supply, aid or contribute, and to minister nourishment. We must understand that faith comes from hearing the Word of God. The production of faith that is accomplished by the Word will simultaneously produce or bear in alongside Spiritual attributes: goodness, knowledge, and so on. Faith, because of its source, furnishes us with Spiritual fruit.
Faith is Spiritual in the same way these attributes are Spiritual; nothing that is Spiritual can be produced without the Spiritual source of the Word. It is His Divine power that has given us everything we need for life and godliness; it is nothing we can achieve somehow on our own. Through His own glory and goodness we receive the Word (His very great and precious promises) and the Word is the only means whereby we can take part in the Divine nature and break away from our flesh (2 Peter 1:3-4).
Written by Stephanie M. White
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