His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins.
Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:3-11
VERSE BY VERSE STUDY
1:3 EVERYTHING WE NEED FOR LIFE AND GODLINESS. The love of our heavenly Father, salvation through Jesus Christ, Christ’s intercession for us in heaven, the indwelling of and baptism in the Holy Spirit, the communion of the saints and God’s inspired Word are sufficient to meet all that believers need for life and godliness.
1. No additional human wisdom, technique or theory is needed to complete the sufficiency of God’s Word that reveals our perfect salvation in Christ. The words of Jesus, the New Testament apostolic faith and God’s grace were adequate in the early days of the church to meet the needs of the lost, and they are just as adequate as today. Absolutely nothing can offer more height, depth, strength and help than what Jesus Himself proclaimed and provided and what the apostles testified to in Biblical revelation. Jesus Christ alone is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
2. If the gospel we hold is found wanting in these days, it is because our gospel is something less than the gospel of Christ and the apostles.
1:4 PARTICIPATION IN THE DIVINE NATURE. Our participation in God’s very nature is another description of the new birth which we receive God’s life. We share God’s nature in order to conform to God and His holiness.
1:5 ADD TO YOUR FAITH. Peter lists the virtues a Christian must develop in order to be spiritually victorious and fruitful before God. The phrase “make every effort” demonstrates that believers must be actively involved in their Christian growth. Those who become Christians must immediately strive to add to their faith these seven qualities. Note that godly characteristics do not automatically grow without our diligent effort to cultivate them.
1:10 MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE. Our faith and salvation must not be taken for granted. We will continue faithful to the end only if we make very effort by God’s grace to add to our faith the spiritual qualities listed in 2 Peter 1:5-9: “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, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins”.
1:11 RICH WELCOME INTO THE ETERNAL KINGDOM. Some believers, because of negligence, will barely make it into the kingdom, while others who remain steadfast in holiness will be welcomed richly with honour.
THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT
Contrasted to the acts of the sinful nature is a single-minded lifestyle called “the fruit of the Spirit.” This is produced in God’s children as they allow the Spirit to so direct and influence their lives that they destroy sin’s power, especially the acts of the sinful nature, and walk in fellowship with God. The fruit of the Spirit includes:
1. LOVE – caring for and seeking the highest good of another person without motive of personal gain. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:5. “and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” – Ephesians 5:2.
2. JOY – the feeling of gladness based on the love, grace, blessings, promises and nearness of God that belong to those who believe in Christ. “Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,” – 1 Peter 1:8.
3. PEACE – the quietness of heart and mind based on the knowledge that all is well between the believer and his or her heavenly Father. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:7
4. PATIENCE – endurance, long-suffering, being slow to anger or despair. “Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” – Ephesians 4:2.
5. KINDNESS – not wanting to hurt anyone or cause them pain. “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” – Colossians 3:12
6. GOODNESS – zeal for truth and righteousness and a hatred of evil; it can be expressed in acts of kindness or in rebuking and correcting evil. “Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written,” He said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.” – Matthew 21:12-13
7. FAITHFULNESS – firm and unswerving loyalty to a person to whom one is united by promise, commitment, trustworthiness and honesty. “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” – 1 Timothy 6:12.
8. GENTLENESS – restrained coupled with strength and courage; it describes a person who can be angry when anger is needed and humbly submissive when submission is needed. “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” – 1 Peter 3:15.
9. SELF-CONTROL – mastering one’s own desires and passions, including faithfulness to one’s marriage vows; also purity. “Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.” – Titus 1:8
Paul’s final comment on the fruit of the Spirit indicates that there are no restrictions to the lifestyle indicated here. Christians can – in fact, must – practice these virtues over and over again; they will never discover a law prohibiting them from living according to these principles.
Culled from The Full Life Study Bible.
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