2 Peter 1:5-8 (KJV)
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.
8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
If these things be in you…you shall abound and be fruitful. So, what are the things Peter is referring to? Back up and let’s look at the things he says we are to add to our faith: virtue, knowledge (of the Word of God), temperance (self-control), patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and of course, love.
He starts with faith, adds to it, and ends with love. This is significant because faith works by love (Gal. 5:6). And, as you know, these attributes are also listed in I Corinthians 13:4-8.
So, how does walking in these attributes cause us to abound and be fruitful in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ? Simply, that knowledge of His word (He is the Word) and acting on that knowledge, causes our faith to grow and faith is what pleases God. Isn’t that our whole goal—to please God?
Walking in these attributes is really quite simple because we already have them in our re-born spirit: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. But, we need to yield to these fruits. You can’t pray and ask God to give them to you because he already has. However, they don’t automatically manifest just because you get born-again. You have to on purpose yield to them. It’s similar to yielding to other cars when entering a highway from and on ramp. You give them the right of way.
For example, instead of flying off the handle, stop and say, “I yield to self-control and the love of God that’s in me.” Then you get out of the way and let self-control and love come forth. But if you don’t, on purpose, yield to these fruits, they won’t automatically come forth. It’s like God’s Word. Even though it’s for all of us, if you don’t, on purpose, apply it to your life, you won’t benefit from His promises.
Let’s make every effort to yield to the fruit of our spirits and be fruitful Christians, abounding in every good work.
Galatians 5:6b (KJV) 6 … but faith which worketh by love.
Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV) 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance:
1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (KJV) 4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. 8 Charity never faileth: