Add to Your Faith

At first glance this statement might seem like heresy. After all, God has done it all. Through grace and grace alone we have our salvation provided for us by Jesus death and resurrection. It is His Holy Spirit who makes us holy and blameless before God. It is only through Him we have peace and assurance, so how can we add to our faith?

This is a Bible verse found in 2 Peter 1:5 where it says, “Add to your faith virtue.” What is virtue? The dictionary defines virtue as an “admirable quality” or a “good habit.” So what is this verse saying? Simply this: practice good habits. Habits are learned. We are not born with the habit of dressing ourselves. It is a learned habit and becomes second nature to us. After we become Christians and are still babes in Christ, we have to learn good habits, from the Bible, from other believers and from our consciences. God will not clothe us with good habits or character. He will urge us to learn, but he will not force His will on us. We have to take the initiative to learn.

“And to virtue knowledge” v6 is the next part of the process. He wants us to be continually learning these habits that they become part of what we really know well. This is what we call character building.

Next in line to knowledge comes “self-control“. Thankfully we are not expected to have the self-control until we have the good habit and the knowledge. Before that it would be difficult to have self-control when we don”t know what we are doing. We don”t expect a child to have dry diapers until they have leaned the good habit of being toilet trained. When we are sure they know what we they are meant to do we expect them to show self control.

“To self-control, perseverance”. Here is where it begins to hurt! How do we get perseverance except we have trials! None of us like trials and testing but the end result is perseverance and this is character building indeed. “Perseverance through tribulation works patience” and how important it is for us to be patient and wait on what God has for us. You may be patiently waiting on God to save a close family member, while He is allowing you to build character that you will be a better example of Jesus Christ to them.

“To perseverance, Godliness.” Wow! finally, these are the kind of habits and virtues He wants to build into our character till we become more like Him and more useful for the extension of His Kingdom. Salvation is a free gift, the Holy Spirit to help is free, the privilege of prayer is free too, but the initiative to be willing to build character has to come from us. I sometimes notice people who come through trials and tribulations shining bright, while so often I go through the same thing and just be relieved to be through it! Well, that is how it is! The attitude of perseverance and patience if shown will allow character to build and make us more like Jesus in our actions and reactions. If we did not learn that habit we can”t move on to the next and isn’t godliness one of the habits we all want to be seen in us! !

Leave a Reply