Run the Program
Run the Program
“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8).
For This Very Reason
If I am looking for motivation to get my life together, this section provides it. God has given us everything we need to really discover life and to transform ourselves into genuinely good people (1:3). God has given us the true and accurate knowledge of reality, of why we are here, of how life works, who He is and so on (1:3). He has given us some amazing promises, including a promise of an unbelievable future with Him in heaven (Revelation 21:4). Not to mention, in the present life of becoming more and more like Him (1:4). What a breathtaking statement! It does not mean that we will be God. Rather, all the qualities listed in the following verses (1:5-8), compose the divine nature. The disposition or attitude that Christians are to assume, is a disposition patterned after God (Luke 6:36; Matt. 5:48; John 13:14,34; 17:21; Eph. 4:33; 5:25; Colossians 3:13; 1 Peter 1:15; 2:21). Wow! Consider the potential within every one of us. We do not have to be weighed down by lusts, bitterness, anger and bad attitudes. We can reflect the glory of God with our lives and our attitudes. I can think properly! I can behave in a way that brings honor to God. I can live an unselfish life. The new man that the Christian is to become is really nothing more than man as God intended (Ephesians 4:24).
“To bring in besides, to contribute besides to something” (Thayer, p. 487). “’Introducing by the side of‘, i.e. besides those precious promises on God’s part, bringing in on your part” (Alford, p. 1673). “Adding your diligence to the divine promises” (Vincent, p. 625).
“Earnestness, interest one’s self most earnestly” (Thayer, p. 585). “Do your level best” (Wms). “Try your hardest” (NEB). “We frequently come across a false understanding of Christian freedom which says that if we are justified by God’s irrevocable grace, we enjoy a new kind of relationship with God where ideas of law and obedience are inappropriate… Anxious Christians think they lack the key to Christian growth and certainty, and move from guru to guru seeking the touch of God to change them. Some even claim to have had an experience that makes it impossible for them to sin… People say that provided they believe as the early Christians believed, they need not behave as the early Christians behaved… One of the major concerns of Peter’s letters is that Christian faith which is firmly rooted must make a radical difference to the way we behave. We will want to please Jesus more, rather than presume upon His love” (2 Peter, Lucas/Green, pp. 55-56).
In Your Faith
Faith is the foundation upon which we all must build (Hebrews 11:6). The faith in this passage is one’s own personal faith, a borrowed faith will crumble. Growth cannot happen as long as we prevent ourselves from trusting in the goodness of God. The person who remains doubtful (James 1:6-8), is undermining whatever they might try to accomplish in terms of spiritual maturity.
The background for the word rendered “supply” is very interesting. Originally it was as term from the theater, and was used for the person who put up all the money to finance a production. It was also used to describe someone who gave much back to his own community, i.e. a generous city benefactor. “It never means to equip in any cheese-paring and miserly way; it means lavishly and willingly to pour out everything that is necessary for a noble performance… always at the back of it there is this idea of a willing and lavish generosity in the equipment” (Barclay, p. 353). Unfortunately, there have always been Christians who tried to grow using only the bare minimum of effort and time.
For If These Qualities are Yours
If this is really you. You are not just pretending in these areas, but you are serious. Remember, people can look virtuous, knowledgeable, self-controlled, etc., and be the complete opposite (Matthew 23:27). At the same time, this can be you. This is not an impossible standard, in fact, former sinners, people who were deep in sin were and are expected to live this way (1 Peter 4:2-3; 1 Peter 1:18).
And are Increasing
This stresses continual growth. “There is no excuse for resting content with present attainments… Nor is there any room for indolence and the slackening of effort” (Green, p. 71). “Peter insists that this growth is our own responsibility – not that we are to ‘let go and let God’, as some Christians say” (Lucas/Green, p. 61).
Useless and Unfruitful
If my faith in God is weak and I cannot seem to trust Him, or I lack moral courage in the face of evil and temptation. Or if my Bible knowledge is minimal, and my self-control or patience are short-lived, and I don’t love my brothers as I should, then I will be a person that God cannot use. I will never really know Jesus as I should.
Blind and Short-Sighted
Blind to spiritual realities, to his or her own sin, to opportunities to share the gospel, to one’s own poor choices and making decisions without really thinking about any of the long-term consequences. Only thinking about here, now, today and this moment.
Having Forgotten His Purification
Such can happen when one loses an appreciation for their salvation; thinks that it wasn’t such a big deal, and that they weren’t as much of a sinner as the next person. “I wasn’t that bad”. “I wasn’t that lost”. Observe that either you move forward or backwards spiritually, but you never remain the same.
Is This All Overwhelming?
Many things seem overwhelming the first time you encounter them, but like anything else, taking the time to learn each step of the process and understanding the importance of each step, you eventually get to the point that performing such tasks becomes automatic or second-nature.
- Becoming a new Christian and then getting in the habit of adding bible study, prayer and worship to your schedule takes some effort, yet after a while it can become second nature. You don’t even think about whether or not you will be there on a Sunday. It is simply part of you now.
- In teaching your children, you show them the steps to do anything, and then you reach a point that you simply tell them (clean up your room, load the dishwasher, set the table, etc.) and they do all the steps automatically without that much mental effort.
- The value of making things habits is that such frees up a lot of your time and energy to then process and work on certain demands of the day that arrive. You continue to do all the other things necessary, but all those other things are like automatic programs that are simply running in the background.
Mark Dunagan | firstname.lastname@example.org
Beaverton Church of Christ | 503-644-9017