How To Align Your Faith

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[e] 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. 2 Peter 1:5-7

Dedication takes Effort.

make every effort to add to your faith 

by applying all diligence (Effort) It is not man’s effort that saves him; but, on the other hand, grace saves no man to make him like a log of wood or a block of stone; grace makes man active. God has been diligently at work with you; now you must diligently work together with Him. For we cannot expect to go to heaven asleep. We are not taken there against our wills. It is not our will that accomplishes our salvation; but still, it is not accomplished without our will.”5Spurgeon, C. (2014). Spurgeon Commentary: 2 Peter (E. Ritzema & C. S. Wolcott, Eds.; 2 Pe 1:5). Lexham Press. (Spurgeon)

2 Peter 1:5-7 prescribes 7 vital “supplements” for faith to be more ALIGNED

 The supplement of virtue.

“5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,”

 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you. Philip. 4:8-9

The supplement of knowledge. (1:5b)

“and virtue with knowledge,” 

 27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people's bones and all uncleanness. Matthew 23:27

The supplement of self-control. (1:6a)

“6 and knowledge with self-control,”

 James 1:14-15But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death

 Helm, D. R.

“To knowledge, Peter adds the term “self-control.” I recall once or twice turning to one of my children and saying, “Listen to me. If you don’t learn to control yourself, who will? If you can’t control yourself, what hope is there of someone else doing it for you?” On the rare occasion when this kind of reasoning has been required, they have stared at me quietly in an attempt to process my parental logic. But truly, how can a parent, or an employer or whoever, control others if they stubbornly determine not to control themselves? Peter is saying to those learning to follow Christ, “Begin to control yourself. Say no to ungodly passions. Grow up. Get on your feet; pick up your faith; do what is right; increase in your knowledge of God; for your own salvation’s sake, begin to control yourself.” Make no mistake about it—our entrance into an eternal inheritance will be won through self-control. And remember, God has already given us everything it takes to get the job done." 6Helm, D. R. (2008). 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: sharing Christ’s sufferings (pp. 197–198). Crossway Books.

 The supplement of steadfastness

“and self-control with steadfastness

Count it all joy, my brothers,[b]when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  James 1:2-4

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop. Luke 8

 The supplement of godliness. (1:6c)

“and steadfastness with godliness,” 

 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.10 That is why we labor and strive because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:7-10

 The supplement of brotherly affection. (1:7a)

“7 and godliness with brotherly affection,”

 John 13:25 By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another

 10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor Romans 12:10

To godliness, we must add “brotherly affection.” Peter was the recipient of Jesus’ brotherly affection that morning on the beach after the resurrection. After being wounded by Peter’s three denials, Jesus shared a meal with him. They remained brothers and family. We are now called to do the same thing. When a brother or sister in Christ fails us, will we run in the opposite direction when they seek restoration? Will we determine to hold on to the hurt in case we need it later as leverage over them? Or will we exhibit the mark of brotherly affection? Our affections for others must be warmed by our own experience of Christ’s love for us.”7Helm, D. R. (2008). 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: sharing Christ’s sufferings (pp. 198–199). Crossway Books. (R Helms)

The supplement of love.

“and brotherly affection with love.” 

 1 Cor. 13:1-7

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

“It comes as no surprise to anyone that the golden chain finishes on the landing of “love.” Here we stand upon the threshold of Heaven. We have arrived at the gate. For God is love. In poetic form, Peter has given us the golden chain. The way forward for fallen people—the ascending journey home for any who desire to finish well—has been written down.”8 Helm, D. R. (2008). 1 & 2 Peter and Jude: sharing Christ’s sufferings (p. 199). Crossway Books. (R Helms)

Challenge: are you claiming to be a follower of Jesus, without making the effort to live with the 7 vital supplements

Discussion Questions

  • What reason does “for this very reason” refer to?
  • What kind of effort is required to “make every effort.”
  • How does faith feed the effort that is commanded?
  • How do you know when you encounter someone who possesses virtue?
  • Why is knowledge an essential part of the Christian life?
  • Why are self-control and patience cardinal characteristics of a Christian?
  • What is the difference between brotherly affection and genuine love?
  • Why do we need to possess both?
  • Which of these characteristics do you need to work to add to your life?
  • How do you intend work on this?