|2 Peter 1:4-8 |
4 By which exceedingly great and precious promises are given to us, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.1
5 For this very reason, make every effort [the maximum possible],2 to add to your faith, virtue [excellence]; and to virtue knowledge; [How do you add to your faith? You sit and wait on God, listening, watching, and then obeying. His spoken words heard impart the life of God into your heart, John 6:63. You grow in faith with each revelation received. By the grace of His revelations Jesus authors your faith and increases your faith in the progression of these verses. From the Word of the Lord within: "I must warn you — you must make every effort to add to your faith and enter the rest."]
6 And to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance [or patience]; and to perseverance, godliness;
7 And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.3
8 For if these things are in you and abound, you will neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
3 Peter documents the progression of faith — in the true gospel. Faith in a different gospel is useless, fatal to your soul, and an abomination. Then with true hope add to faith virtue [excellence], then knowledge, then self-control, then perseverance, godliness, kindness, and love. So, Peter is saying that just believing is not enough. First you have to believe the true gospel, and then you have follow Jesus by picking up your cross daily, dying daily.
From George Fox's Journal:
You must have fellowship with Christ in his sufferings. 1 Pet 4:12-13
If you will reign with him, you must suffer with him. 2 Tim 2:12
if you will live with him, you must die with him. 2 Tim 2:11
And if you die with him, you must be buried with him, Rom 6:4
and being buried with him in the true baptism, you also rise with him. Col 2:12
There must be "a coming into his death, a suffering with Christ;" and this is of necessity to salvation;
and not temporarily, but continually: there must be a "dying daily."
As you die daily, the leaven of the Kingdom is spreading throughout your body, evidenced by the progression of faith and virtue, ending in kindness and love.
Peter continues above: But he who lacks these things, is blind and short sighted, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.
Therefore, brothers, be diligent to make your calling and election sure; for if you do these things you will never fall.
Faith is a journey. It has a beginning and a finish [or a perfection of your faith]. Faith is a series of revelations. Listening to, and obeying Jesus, is him being the author and finisher of your faith. One does not hear the Lord speak to you once to be justified. You must keep hearing and obeying until your sinful nature has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to then receive faith at part of the fruit of the Spirit, which frees you from the law and justifies you. Faith must be authored by Jesus, and he authors faith by revelation, but not just by your belief that the Bible truly states Jesus to be the Son of God. From the Word of the Lord within: "Until you can witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law." When you hear and witness Him author your faith, he lays the foundation of your faith on rock;
Whoever comes to me, and listens to my words and does [practices, obeys] them, I will show you what he is like. He is like a man who built a house, and dug deep and laid the foundation securely built on a rock; and when the flood arose, the torrent beat violently upon that house, but could not shake it because it was founded on a rock. Luke 6:47-48.
And when you hear the Son of God speak his words to you, and you believe it to be him, the foundation of your faith has been set on rock, a rock so solid that the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it.
Jesus finishes [perfects] your faith when you see him bring your salvation:
he will appear the second time, not to bear sin, but to bring full salvation to those who are waiting for and expecting him. Heb 9:28
For the grace of God that brings salvation .. Tit 2:11
looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring eternal life. Jude 1:21
Receiving the end of your faith — the salvation of your souls. 1 Pet 1:9