Give me a lever…

For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. – 2 Peter 1:5-8We take supplements daily, a special blend of fruits and vegetables that are said to combine to prevent us from poor health. It’s difficult to tell whether they do any good or not, but we have some confidence in them to help support our health. Peter says, add to your faith the supplements of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love, and you will keep from being ineffective or unfruitful in our knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. In other words, faith saves, but knowledge, virtue, self-control, and so forth leverage our faith and bring a return to our faith. Implied in these words are the more straight-forward words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:15, where he says that Jesus “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” Jesus himself said we are to abide in him so that we bear much fruit. Being saved is one very important thing; we have an eternal destiny with God in heaven. But it’s not the only thing to which God calls us: we are called to bear fruit, to bring forth the fruits of repentance, to serve our neighbor in love. Archimedes is to have said, “Give me a place to stand and with a lever, and I will move the whole world. Peter says, give me a woman or man of faith, add these virtues and good fruit will abound.

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