Salvation Requires Growth
Welcome back readers. As we mentioned last week, Faith, Repentance, Confession, and Baptism, grants the promise of salvation and our home in heaven. To secure that promise, we must grow! Over the next few issues we will point out what the Lord, and His Father, expects of us.
I know many teach that faith is all you need, but why does God ask for more? I know that some teach that works are not necessary, but why does God ask that we do certain things, and in fact “faith” itself is a work, according to scripture. So, let’s get into what God said for us to do.
Look at 2 Peter 1:3-11. The apostle Peter is speaking to Christians, who have believed, repented, confessed, and been baptized for the remission of their sins. They have put the world desires behind them, and are striving to walk the new life in Christ. Verses 8 and 10 are the goals we are wanting, “to make our calling/election sure” and to “not be barren and unfruitful” in our service to our Lord. Please follow along with me : Vs. 3 – “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:”. God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness through the grace of Titus 2:11-14. The “knowledge of Him” calls us to glory and virtue. Verse 4 – “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” That knowledge gives the promises, but teaches us how to live like His divine nature, which requires that I escape the corruption of the past life, Romans 6:1-5, and those worldly lusts that I was a slave to. Now for the surety in securing those promises: Vs. 5 – “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;”. This text says to be diligent! It will take some interest and determination. Faith is not enough! Peter said, add to your faith, VIRTUE. Virtue means “whatever procures intrinsic eminence, moral goodness, of God”. Virtue is the essential quality of the exercise of our faith! So we must live the faith! Then to the Virtue we add KNOWLEDGE. We must KNOW God! To learn of God’s knowledge, 1 Corinthians 12:8, which is revealed in scripture. We must be inquirers in God’s Word.
Some have called this list, the “Christian graces”, or characteristics of a “true Christian”. The list continues through verse 7, and we will continue our discussion of this list next week. But understand, “if these things be in you and abound”, we reach our goals and receive the promises of God. We don’t want to fall short and fail before God. Faith is important, but it isn’t the totality of salvation. It is the beginning! We can’t please God without it, Hebrews 11:6.