Do you want to strengthen the faith that you have from Jesus Christ? Do you want to take your Christian walk with God to a new level? Do you want to build on the faith that saved you from yourself? Then keep reading. But before we get there some readers may need faith defined. The faith I am talking about here is the faith that separates the Christian from everyone else. It is through faith, trust in God, that one comes before God to worship. Faith is the first step to a relationship with the Creator God.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible… 6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. Hebrews 11:1-3; 6 ESV
Faith in Jesus Christ and what he did on the cross is what saves. Faith is what draws one into a relationship with God. For those of us who are saved it is time to start the journey or continue the journey of growing into the knowledge and understanding of what Jesus has done and what that means for the church and each individual.
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. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8 ESV
Peter writes that we need to supplement our faith with layers of ever-increasing virtues, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Before I define these spiritual attributes let us take a moment to dwell on the what the ESV version of the Bible translates as supplement and the old Wycliff version translates as minister. The Greek ἐπιχορηγέω (epichorēgeō) means to nourish and give aid. So, Peter is in effect saying the following things will give support, nourishment, and growth to the saving faith that you already have. So, grow in faith and become stronger and more useful as Christian.
Virtue: Set your mind to moral and modest thoughts. The world thinks only of lust and selfishness.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence [virtue], if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 ESV
Knowledge: More fully understand who God is and what he is about in the work of Jesus Christ.
And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God … 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:3-4; 6 ESV
Self-Control: Restrain your lustful physical passions. Unlike the world that tells us to do whatever feels good.
24 After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. 25 And as [Paul] reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.” Acts 25:24-25 ESV
Steadfastness: Patient endurance to continue on down the narrow road.
25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience [steadfastness]. Romans 8:25 ESV
Godliness: Humble reverence for God and the work of Christ. Be set apart from the ways of the world.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly [godliness] and dignified in every way. 1 Timothy 2:1-2 ESV
Brotherly Affection: Real kindness and caring for other Christians as one would love a brother or sister.
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Romans 12:10 ESV
Love: God is love. The world gives love of the lustful self-seeking kind.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:3-7 ESV
Dear reader dwell on these supporting attributes that provide growth and nourishment to faith. By growing in these and practicing these things in loving reverence to God then he will grow your faith and take you on a journey to places you never imagined.