A word study of 2 Peter 1: 5-11
(5) But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, (6) to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, (7) to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love.
(8) For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (9) For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. (10) Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; (11) for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. . ~NKJV
Virtue This literally means “the God-given ability to perform heroic deeds.” It also means “Excellence” and “praiseworthy”. Doing good deeds, which causes someone to say “praise God for you!” Peter is writing of moral energy, the God-based power to perform deeds of excellence.
Knowledge is the knowledge of the Bible. The ability to correctly discern truth from error, right from wrong, and good from evil. Discernment is lacking in our Christian culture, but is commanded of us in countless locations in Scripture. This includes holding to, and voicing truth, as well as exposing un-truth. This can only come with diligent daily study of the Word of God, and the help of the Holy Spirit.
Self control This literally means “holding oneself”. Keeping an even keel. Being self restrained and self disciplined. Keeping our emotions even and our thoughts and responses predictive and based on the Word of God. We are to not allow outside occurrences to dictate how we act.
Perseverance This means patience with endurance in doing what is right, never giving to temptation or trial. We have perseverance when we have God-given abilities to perform, knowledge of what is right, self control and “staying power”, an attitude of not quitting, and an absolute and vibrant hope. Hope and trust in God, His sovereignty, His power, and His future promises to us.
Godliness This means to live in reverence, loyalty, and obedience to God. God gives us every resource to be godly. We just need to use those resources faithfully. We endeavor to be like Jesus. For us people, “godly” does not mean perfect, but faithfully obedient. Jesus said in John 15 without Him, we can do nothing, and with Him, we will be fruitful (and therefore have godliness).
Brotherly kindness love Putting the above into practice. Putting legs on the above words. Putting others before ourselves, we do acts of kindness, show genuine concern and care, show the love of Jesus thru us. Being the physical manifestation of God’s loving will. Notice the term has no punctuation: “brotherly kindness love”. Peter says in his previous book “And above all things have fervent love for one another for love will cover over a multitude of sins.”
-Notice the progression of these fruits. One builds on the previous. Are you progressing?
-Trees are always growing, and producing more fruit each season. We should always be growing in biblical knowledge and maturity in Christ. Have you grown in the past year?
-Dozens of passages in the Bible tell us to be fruitful, most of them are words of Jesus. Are you obeying Him?
-We are not saved by our fruit, but fruit is evidence of being saved because fruitfulness is not what we do for God, it is what God does through us. We do, however, have to initiate the fruitfulness, we have to create the opportunity for God to work through us. Are you being proactive, or reactive? Proactive is best.
-We do not have a spirit of fear or timidity, but of power, love, and self control. If we do not have the spirit of those three, then we need to ask ourselves what spirit then do we have?!
-Are you barren and unfruitful? Or by God’s grace and your willing maturity in Him, are you fruitful?
-Notice Peter says if you do these things, you will never stumble. Stumbling hurts, so lets pay attention to these.
Copyright 2012 Kevin Brownlee