It’s been just over a week since I last shared something with you, (although it feels like it’s been much longer) but personally I’ve had quite an eventful couple of weeks. Thankfully you’ll be pleased to hear I have managed to keep up with my bible reading plan. I did miss one or two days along the way but I doubled up and caught right back up to where I’m supposed to be.
Recently I read 2 Peter 1 and I stumbled across a passage that has a recipe for being a Christian fruitful in the knowledge of Christ.
5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
2 Peter 1:5-7 KJV
This shows us that having faith is a basic element of Christianity and therefore should be the starting point for anyone who considers themselves to be a Christian. What is faith? Faith can be defined as complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or a strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof. However, my favourite definition of faith is:
11 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1 KJV
As a Christian if you don’t have faith what do you have?
To take your Christianity to the next level you need to add virtue. What is virtue? Well virtue can be defined as behaviour or a quality that is considered to be morally good. That’s pretty straightforward right? A Christian should have good morals.
The next step is adding knowledge. Well, as this is with regards to the knowledge of Christ, the knowledge I’m speaking of here isn’t general knowledge or the type that is typically taught in schools or colleges, but the type of knowledge that can be obtained by searching the scriptures, from preaching or from spending time in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Once you have knowledge the next thing that’s required is temperance. What is temperance? Another way of saying temperance is to say self-control. Self-control is needed because once you have the theory which is the knowledge, you need the temperance or the self-control in order to be able to put what you know into practice.
To go even higher a person needs patience. Patience isn’t just about being able to wait but patience is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. You need patience as a Christian because some times you have to endure problems and suffering and maintain your self-control.
Further to this a Christian needs to display godliness. When I first encountered this term ‘godliness‘ I completely misunderstood it. I assumed it referred to being like God. However, with the use of my trusted concordance I discovered that what it is actually referring to is piety. Which is about being devoted to God; this is where you’re living in the will of God. Simply put, a godly person is a person who does God’s business.
At this point you’re probably thinking what more could a person possibly add to make themselves a better Christian? However, there’s an icing on this Christian fruit cake and that’s brotherly kindness or brotherly love. This is the general care and affection that one has for their brothers and sisters in Christ.
If there’s icing, there’s got to be a cherry on top, and the cherry is charity. Charity, also known as love or agape love is an unconditional type of love that serves regardless of circumstances.
I’m sure we could all do more to become better christians and Peter has given us a few areas for us to improve here. I pray that we are able to embrace these characteristics and grow as Christians, and may God bless us as we do so.
Until the next time may the grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. Amen!