Let’s consider your question by reading 2 Peter 1:5-7, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”  Verses 3-4 of our chapter tell us that we have been given what we need to live a holy life in an unholy world.  Verses 5-7 show us that we must be diligent to develop that life.  Because Peter is writing to believers, he begins with that which is common to all Christians…FAITH!  It is by faith that we are saved, and it is by faith that we live.  Peter gives us 7 elements of holiness that we must be diligent to manifest in our lives.

  • Add to your faith virtue.”  This speaks of moral courage, a courage that is necessary to maintain the principles of a life in Christ in the face of the world, and even the temptations of our own flesh.
  • And to virtue knowledge.”  It is so needful for the believer to continue to learn more about the savior by spending time in His Word.  2 Peter 3:18 exhorts us to, “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”  We absolutely MUST be sincere students of the Word in order to grow.
  • And to knowledge temperance.”  This means we must exercise self-control.  It refers to us mastering all our evil inclinations and appetites.  2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us we should be “bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”  For the believer, to have self-control is to be controlled by Christ, our savior.
  • And to temperance patience.”  James wrote in James 1:3-4, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”  Patience is produced by the trials we endure, and this will help perfect, or mature us.
  • And to patience godliness.”  When we have endured hard trials and persecutions, the result will be devotedness in our lives.  We will become more ‘God-like’ in our thoughts, words, and actions.
  • And to godliness brotherly kindness.”  It’s only natural that the more we become ‘God-like’, we will love others with the love of God.  We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:9, “…ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.”
  • And to brotherly kindness charity.”  This indicates a love to all mankind.  While there is a special love and bond between believers, we should also love the unsaved enough to share the precious Gospel of Christ with them.

Peter goes on to say in 2 Peter 1:8, “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  If we are diligent to develop these elements of holiness, and allow them to grow in us, we will not be barren, or idle.  Neither will we be unfruitful, or unproductive.  Titus 3:8 tells us, “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”  (183.6)