Second Peter 1:6     




In this part of Second Peter the Bible is telling us what to add to our faith. The Christian life starts with faith in Jesus Christ, but God wants us to add to our faith so that we can be useful in this world for the name and glory of Jesus. First, we were told to add virtue and knowledge to our faith. Peter wrote by the Holy Spirit in Second Peter 1:6 to add, “to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.” “Temperance” is a word that refers to having power over your own desires. There are people in this world who have a philosophy that anything goes. They will try anything, and they will do anything. They seem to have no strength and no desire to control their appetites. A Christian can learn through trusting in Christ to be in control instead of out of control. If you are going to be the Christian that God wants you to be, then you must learn to be temperate.


You must also learn to have patience. The word patience means “to remain under something.” What will surely happen in your life from time to time is that sorrows and difficulties will come your way. When they come, one important thing is to not get out of the difficulty prematurely in a way that is not God’s will. That is what Jesus was talking about when He said, “He that endures until the end shall be saved.” Jesus was not talking about the salvation of the soul, but Jesus was talking about being saved from the particular distress or calamity that has come upon someone. The sorrow will not last forever. Do not leave it by human will and impatience. Let patience have her perfect work. Stay under the burden until God lifts the burden. Have faith in Christ, and then add to your faith patience.


Second Peter 1:6 also says that we should add “to patience godliness”. The word that is translated “godliness” comes from a word that has to do with “reverence” and “respect” towards God. There are people in this world who do not reverence God. It shows by the words that they use. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” “Fear God and honor the king.” Jesus said that our prayers should start with the words, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.” One of the things that should set you apart from the people of the world is that you have a reverence toward God and toward Christ.


Second Peter 1:7 says, “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” If you learn to have the right attitude toward God and the things of God, then you can learn to have the right attitude towards your fellow man. This verse is actually talking about your attitude toward other Christians. It speaks of “brotherly kindness” and “brotherly” love. The word “charity” means “love.”


Verses five, six, and seven list all the things that need to be added to your faith in order for you to become what God wants you to become. It is important to notice that brotherly love is the last thing on the list. Perhaps it is the most difficult of all to achieve. It may also be the most important. Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, that ye have love one toward another.” The Apostle John wrote in First John 2:10-11, “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes    


We live in a day when very few Christians have added all of these things to their faith. This we know because very few have love for their fellow Christians. You do not have to compromise the truth in order to have love, and you do not have to join in any unholy alliances in order to show love. If you love every one of your fellow Christians, then you will love more than just those who are only in your own church or denomination.


If you look into your heart, you may not find much love there for your fellow Christians. How will you ever learn to love? You will definitely learn if you follow the path that is laid out for you. Start with faith in Christ, and then step by step add to your faith the things that are listed in Second Peter 1:5-7. Notice that “brotherly kindness” is listed before love. Maybe there is a reason for this. Maybe if you simply learn to be kind to people, you then eventually will be able to learn to also love them.


There are several reasons that you should be diligent to make sure that you grow in faith, and that you add to your faith the things that were just mentioned. One reason is that it is the desire of Jesus who died for you, and surely you want to please Him and do His will. Another reason to add these things to your faith is given in Second Peter 1:8. It says, “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.” Notice very carefully that these things must be “in” you. We are not talking about outward religious observance. We are talking about the inner man: the person that you really are. Hopefully you are being transformed by the renewing of your mind. Hopefully you are being strengthened in the inner man.


It is very important to bear fruit for the Lord Jesus Christ. One day every Christian will stand before Jesus, the great and mighty King of kings. Yes, we are saved by faith, but we will give an account of the things that were done in our body. The Apostle Paul did not want to be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. After Paul became saved by faith in Christ, it seems that his great motivation became to bear fruit for Christ. Paul wrote in Romans 1:13, “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, but was hindered hitherto, that I might have some fruit among you also, as among other Gentiles.” Paul wrote in First Corinthians 9:25, “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.” Speaking of the Christians to whom he had ministered in the name of Christ, Paul wrote in First Thessalonians 2:19, “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?” And of course, just before his death Paul wrote in Second Timothy 4:7-8, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing


Concerning the Christian who has not added to his faith, the Apostle Peter by the Holy Spirit writes in Second Peter 1:9, “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.” This verse tells us a sad thing, but an important thing to know about some Christians. Some Christians have even forgotten that they are Christians. A Christian has been cleansed from his sins by Jesus Christ. One would think that to be blessed in such a great way would be something that a person would never forget. One would think that a Christian would wake up every day, and would look to Christ with thanksgiving for having been forgiven of sins. But the truth is that some people forget. Some people get faith, but then they do not grow in virtue and knowledge and all the other things, and so they forget. Others get involved with the cares of this life, and they forget.


Second Peter 1:9 says that “he that lacketh these things cannot see afar off.” Christianity is based upon looking to the future. The unspiritual people of the world look only to today. Carnal people live by the philosophy: “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.” But when a person starts becoming serious about his spiritual destiny, he starts looking to the future and what will happen when he stands before God. If he is wise, he will realize that he needs a Savior, and he will turn to Christ by faith. In order to build on his faith, he needs to continue to look toward the future when he will one day stand before his Savior.


Do not let it happen to you. Do not become one of those who have forgotten what Jesus did for them on the cross of Calvary. The Bible says in Second Peter 1:10, “Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” This verse needs to be understood in the context in which it is written. The subject at hand is regarding rewards that believers may win or lose when they enter the kingdom of Christ. When Christ called you, He did not just call you to go to heaven, but He called you to go to heaven and to win all of the rewards and responsibilities and honors that He wishes to give you when you enter His eternal kingdom. Some of us will enter the eternal kingdom, but we will lose the rewards that we could have had, if only we had faithfully served Him in the things that He had called us to do, and if only we had added to our faith diligently the things He wanted us to add to our faith. Become everything that you can be. Add to your faith all of the things listed in this passage of scripture. Remember what Christ did for you. You were not just called to be saved from your sins and to go to heaven. You were called to grow in Christ and to become a useful servant of Christ in this world and to accomplish His will for you.  


Notice that the Bible says, “for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” This is an emphasis on individual responsibility. No Christian has any excuse for not becoming everything that God wants him to become. If you fall, it is not the devil’s fault. “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If you fall, it is no one’s fault but your own. To you have been given the promises of God. To you has been presented the powerful Word of God. You have the presence of Christ and you have the strength of the Spirit. If you fall, it is your fault and no one else’s. Remember that God has provided a way for you to become everything that He wants you to become.


Just be diligent to add to your faith all of the things listed here, and no matter what happens in this life; the final result of it all will be wonderful. That final result is offered to you; the same result that the apostles themselves strived for. It says in Second Peter 1:11, “For so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Some people do not believe in eternal security, and one of their arguments is that if someone is saved by grace and by grace alone, then that person has nothing to lose by going out and committing whatever sins they wish to commit. But this verse shows that there is still a lot that a person might lose, even though they are saved by grace and by grace alone.


From time to time you might hear someone say that they do not care about rewards as long as they get to heaven. As we are reading here in this passage in Second Peter, that is not what the Apostle Peter said and he was filled with the Holy Spirit. And it is not what the Apostle Paul said either. At the end of his life Paul was able to speak of the rewards that awaited him. He knew that he had won the battle of faith without losing his rewards. He knew that he was going to heaven because of Christ, and he knew that he was going to heaven without losing his rewards. Paul wrote in Second Timothy 4:6-8 knowing that he had not lost his rewards, “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing     


Peter knew by the Holy Spirit that it was important for people not only to go to heaven, but to also win their rewards when they got there and when they stood before the Savior who died for them. Having faith in Christ will get you to heaven. Adding to your faith all of the things that Peter listed will get you the rewards. If you add to your faith the things that Peter listed, then this is what will happen when you get to heaven: “For so an entrance shall be administered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” Through faith you have an entrance into the kingdom. But you will only have an “abundant” entrance if you have added the other seven things to your faith. 


Because they are so important, you might want to keep this list ever before you and make sure that you are diligently adding them to your faith: virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, love.




Copyright; 2006 by Charles F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved