| || |The Berean Expositor Volume 51 - Page 111 of 181 Index | Zoom | |
godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (love)"
Peter specifies a spiritual ladder of experience for the believer, each characteristic or
attitude building up the child of God to the bearing of good works and most precious of
all the developing knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. To savour each step and examine
each word as we suggested before would be profitable and would honour God's Word.
Faith. A personal conviction of the truth of an unproveable statement. Our personal
agreement with a way of life we believe is in harmony with the will of God as understood
from the Scriptures. From another angle we could say faith is belief in acceptance of the
standards of the righteousness of God and hence the intention and aim of such a believer
to let his life be in harmony with those standards. This should lead to:
Virtue. Moral strength and excellence. The moral refinement and loyalty to
established good principles leads to acquisition of even more mature spiritual knowledge.
Knowledge. The retained memory of facts and experience having for the believer
special reference to the Bible and truth revealed by the Holy Spirit. Knowledge will
always carry with it a secondary yet more important feature which can only be described
as a closeness or awareness of God the Father through His Son. This can vary from day
to day but is a precious experience that cannot be shown or proved to others.
Temperance is moderation with an element of personal restraint. The believer will
reflect the love of God and remember the frailty of man and his own sinful background in
facing the problems of others and his own personal witness.
Patience is the quality of being able to endure calmly: suffering, affliction,
frustration; the weakness, failings and obtuseness of others. Practice and success with
these qualities leads to:
Godliness. This is the ultimate character of one who seeks to conform to or be in
harmony with the character of God, the which he has discovered from the Scriptures.
Brotherly kindness and charity. These are the final outward fruits of applied Christian
knowledge and experience by the believer to the world. Such exhibit love in its highest
aspect and fulfillment--a reflection of God's attitude to His creation, of which the gift of
His Son was the supreme proof and example of His love towards us.
"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" (1: 8, 9).
The whole emphasis of God's plan of salvation is that it is unto good works. The
parable of the talents in Matt. 25: shows we are expected to exercise and make
profitable the freedom from bondage, with the access to spiritual power that salvation in