Have you ever wondered how you can grow and strengthen your faith? 2 Peter 1:5-7 talks about supplementing our faith.
2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV) 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), 2 Pe 1:5–7.
In other words, taking what we have, and adding to it so that it’s stronger and more well-rounded. Peter provides us with a 7-step plan for this. Let’s break it down!
We can also call this “Moral Excellence”. Virtue is striving to show goodness to the world. Why would you not want to do that? Why would we, as Christians, want to show anything else? It isn’t enough to just say you’re a Christian by faith, you must also reinforce your faith with good virtue.
After you’ve worked on your virtue, it’s time to supplement that with knowledge. Specifically, you should supplement your virtue with Spiritual knowledge. The best place to start doing that is by reading God’s Word. When we build our knowledge off of God’s Word, our faith starts to strengthen and we look more like Christ.
Once you start adding virtue and more knowledge to your faith, you’re going to start to feel your inner passions come out. These are good, but can be misused if we’re not careful. A little self-control will help you from becoming the spreader or false teachings. We never want to do that. Acts 17:11 tells us that we should check all that we hear against the Bible. We should be mindful and check ourselves against it as well.
Think of this in terms of patient endurance. You want to persevere, but you also want to have a lot of patience. When you start talking to others about Christ, it isn’t always going to be immediately received. Like most things in the world, you’ll need to patiently wait for it to start setting in. Not everyone is on the same level as you are, or as open as you are. Be patient and endure.
This is where you build your reverence for God. Having a stronger reverence for God will ultimately lead to more obedience and righteous living. This is important when it comes time for God to use you. You don’t want to be ignoring God because you haven’t tuned yourself into Him properly.
6. Brotherly Affection
We all have our community. This is our family, our friends, our coworkers, and others in our immediate circle. You should strive to show them brotherly love and help them where they need help. Without this piece of your faith, how can you serve others and spread the good news?
Not just any love, but love for EVERYONE. Your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, people at the gas station, people at the grocery store, and so on. This is each and every person on the planet Earth that you have the privilege to cross paths with. If you can’t show the world love, you can’t show them Christ.
Taking these 7 steps and supplementing your faith with them will help you become more useful and productive in God’s Kingdom. This should be the goal of every Christian, as these are our marching orders from Jesus (Matthew 28:19-20).