A Unique, Different, and Amazing List

Add to your faith … (2 Peter 1:5, KJV).

I’m fascinated with lists in the Bible — the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, the Fruit of the Spirit, and the Gifts of the Spirit are all lists.

But the list in 2 Peter 1 is unique.

With the Ten Commandments, Beatitudes, Fruit, and Gifts of the Spirit, one item is not more important than the others.  

The lights of a Christmas tree have a full effect — a single light doesn’t stand out.

The list in 2 Peter is different. This list says … 

add to your faith, moral excellence, and

add to your moral excellence, knowledge, and

add to your knowledge, self-control, and 

add to your self-control, perseverance, and 

add to your perseverance, godliness, and 

add to your godliness, brotherly kindness, and 

add to your brotherly kindness, love!

My wife had a single strand of mini lights intertwined with pine branches across our fireplace mantel during the recent Christmas season. One light after another, and if a single light blew, the entire strand blinked off.

A Christmas tree vs. a single length of lights is the difference between most of the lists of the Bible and the list found in 2 Peter 1:5-7.

The Apostle Peter teaches we grow in faith to moral excellence to knowledge to self-control to perseverance to godliness to brotherly kindness to love. The qualities build upon one another, and if you miss one, they all flicker and go out.

The list from 2 Peter is amazing!

This list gives us a clear path for growing in Christ — one virtue after another. We add, add, add, add, add, add, and add all eight qualities one after the other. 

As Peter says …

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 1:8, NASB1995).

I realize (and the Apostle Peter did as well) that all of us have the “eight virtues” to some degree or another, but his path is meant to instruct us on how to start and finish (faith to love). Let’s review his thinking below.

Faith (we must have faith to begin); moral excellence (we only change behavior after believing in Jesus); knowledge (we begin to intimately know and experience Jesus); self-control (we love Jesus more than sin) …

Let’s pause, as we don’t use long paragraphs in Interruptions. Now, let’s continue … 

Perseverance (we see His will and learn to wait); godliness (we honor God with our actions); brotherly kindness (love our sisters and brothers no matter who they are); and finally, love (the true mark of a believer).

Add, add, add, add, add, add, and add — faith to love!

When our mantel strand of lights went out last Christmas, my wife had to take each bulb out and replace it to find the one broken. As she replaced the bulbs, I believe her perseverance was challenged!

It’s easier for us as followers of Jesus. If we find ourselves lacking any of the 2 Peter 1 actions or attitudes, all we must do is ask God to increase our faith!

Spiritual maturity starts with faith. Let’s renew our faith today, and the rest of the lights will reignite.

2 Peter 1:5-9 — a unique, different, and amazing passage of Scripture.

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