The Book of Second Peter

Lesson 2 - "This Family Adds To Their Faith"

by Pastor Frank J. Cuozzo

Pastor Frank Cuozzo

II Peter 1:5-11, “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. 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”


We started a new series from II Peter entitled “The family of like precious faith.  Last week we talked about the power, the promises and the partakers of this precious faith, today we want to look at adding to your faith.


When we trust Christ as our Savior, we say that we partake of this “saving” faith, which is a gift of God according to Ephesians 2:8 & 9. This is not the end but rather the beginning of a life lived by faith. Paul says in II Corinthians 5:7 that we are to walk by faith and not by sight and this must be done if we are to live a life that pleases the Lord. It’s the faith life.


Here in II Peter 1:5-11, Peter admonishes us to “add” to our faith several things. We have a list here and usually in God’s Word these lists are placed there for us to take note of these things mentioned in the list. In fact Peter says we are to “give all diligence” to these things on this list to do them. One thing that we must remember here is that we are not adding faith, we are adding to the faith that we already possess.


God through the human writer Peter provides for us a list of seven things that come from the first thing we read about- faith. These things cannot produce faith, rather as he says we are to “add to our faith.” Let’s look quickly at each one,


#1) Virtue.

II Peter 1:5 again says, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue.”

The first thing that we are to add to our faith is virtue. Order is essential to the Christian life and this Biblical list is given to us in a specific order. The Lord says to us that we are to add these things to our faith and to do so “with all diligence.” The word “diligence” has to do with haste and urgency. In other words, hurry up and add to your faith the following things as soon as possible.


When we think of virtue, most often we think of someone being pure or virtuous. Here the word virtue speaks of courage and valor. Add to your faith a holy boldness to speak courageously for Christ. This grows out of your faith because without faith you will not be a bold witness.


Are you convinced that Jesus Christ is Who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He will do? If so, then God says, “Out of this faith, exercise it and be bold in witnessing.” Speak up for Christ and be bold about it! The problem is that those who don’t know Christ are more bold to express their unbelief than we are to express our faith. We must add to our faith, virtue. Virtue to speak out for Christ and courageously share our faith.


#2) Knowledge.

2 Peter 1:5, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.” Most people like to put knowledge at the top of the list, but that is not where God puts it. There are many people who claim to be knowledgeable who are not virtuous- who never speak out boldly for Christ.


The Bible speaks of faith, virtue, and then knowledge. John 7:17 says, “If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.” Notice that the “doing” comes before the “knowing.” If we are willing first to “do” God’s will, then we will know God’s will. Our God reveals His will to those who are willing to do His will.


There are plenty of people who will never know the will of God because they are not willing to do the will of God. Let’s put it another way, the most knowledgeable and discerning Christians you will ever meet are not the people necessarily with the most education; they are the people who are the most obedient to God and His Word. Obedience is not simply doing God’s will; it is delighting in doing God’s will.


#3) Temperance.

II Peter 1:6 says, “And to knowledge temperance.” We usually define temperance as self-control but that’s not the best expression here. We cannot control ourselves; we must instead be yielded to Christ’s control. Everything we are gifted with, we are apt to abuse. You see nothing is really a blessing for the Lord’s work until it is crucified and put to death. For anything to be used of God, it must be placed in His hand. Jesus said in John 12:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.”


Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:25-27, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”

It was the one thing that Paul guarded against all the time. He knew that he must life a temperate life- keeping his body under subjection. He did it in the strength of the Lord! We are told that we must with all diligence add to our faith-virtue, and to virtue- knowledge, and to knowledge- temperance. It’s a life that is lived under His control not our own and not out of control.


#4) Patience.

II Peter 1:5 & 6 says again, “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience.” Patience is simply waiting on God. Psalm 37:7 says, Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.”


Patience is not an excuse for doing nothing; it’s an exercise of faith, believing the Lord, trusting the Lord, knowing that God is going to come through in His time and not ours. Often we pray and attempt to get God to do as we please. Prayer is not trying to get God to come around to our way of thinking; prayer is patiently waiting on the Lord and coming around to God’s way of thinking.

-Psalms 27:14 says, Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”

- Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”


#5) Godliness.

II Peter 1:5-6, “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.”


Godliness demonstrates itself in Christ-like behavior. The question is, can we ever truly be Christ-like here on earth? The answer is we must abide in Christ or commune with Christ daily and moment by moment. We must live consciously in the presence of Christ if we ever expect to be like Him.


In John chapter fifteen Jesus talks about abiding in Him and we see a pattern not only for growth but for fruit bearing. In John 15:1-8 Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”


#6) Brotherly Kindness.

II Peter 1:5-7 says, “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.”


As a Christian, brotherly kindness means to love the brethren. What does it mean to love the brethren? It means to be committed to the brethren and love them by demonstrating that love in kind and meaningful ways. In other words, not just saying you love them, but showing them you love them by acts of kindness when needs in their lives arise. Ephesians 4:32, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.”


#7) Charity.

II Peter 1:5-7 says, “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.”


The Lord doesn’t stop with brotherly kindness. He tells us to add to brotherly kindness charity. We know that this word charity is a word for love. It is a word that means God’s love. It’s what we call and “unconditional love.” It means we love with no strings attached. It means we love the unlovely. It means we love even when the other party doesn’t love us back.


Peter wrote to this family of like precious faith and he told them that you must add to your faith. If we trust God to help us and to enable us to live the Christian life the way God wants us to live it, then we must add to our faith.  He says, “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.”


Have you added to your faith, these seven things? We’re saved by faith in Christ, but we’ve only just begun. Add to your faith.


Let’s pray.



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