Now for this 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
Always improving, getting better all the time!
What is fascinating is that there is no Calvinist/Arminian controversy here. Verse one states that you have received your faith; verse four states that God has granted His precious and magnificent promises; and then verse five states that for this reason, also, the individual Christian should apply all diligence in their faith and then all of the other qualities. There is a mental framework that acknowledges God’s sovereignty and man’s contribution to the living out of faith. It is not one or the other; it is both. There is not the slightest hint of how this works or which is more important. Both are essential.
This verse begins this section called the ladder of virtue and calls upon those of faith to work hard to add to the basics of the faith that they have been given. There is no “let go and let God” here. There is “take what God has given and diligently add to it.” It is not enough to just have raw faith that comes from God; one must add virtue and knowledge and self-control and perseverance and godliness and brotherly kindness and Christian love. There is the clear import that you supply these things. You, as the individual Christian, add these things and increase these things in your life. They may telescope out of your faith, but it is your responsibility to pull them out of your faith.
Really, the apostle is giving a condensed lecture on personal success in these few verses. These qualities added to faith will be immeasurably helpful and profitable to you. Make sure that you add them to your life.
diligence: This is the word spoude, which means zeal, diligence, earnest care and effort. Notice that he says that we should supply diligence in our faith. We do not supply faith; God does that. We supply the diligence that uses the faith. Faith must not just lay there in your life. It must be developed, obeyed, strengthened, expanded. One’s trust in God must be a daily practice that grows like a muscle grows. In what ways have you trusted God today? What has the guidance of the Holy Spirit instructed which you obeyed? What is God asking you to trust Him in which requires you to exercise your faith this week?
* This material is copyrighted © by Gil Stieglitz who retains all rights to the material. The verses quoted are taken from the NASB Bible 1995 edition.