Thursday, June 29, 2017

Supplements to Faith

Supplements of Faith
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 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. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 2 Peter 1:5-9KJV
 In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge vers5 NLT
We have to borrow a term from NLT here; Supplements of Faith. NIV would rather say that we add to our faith – additives of faith. Even though they mean the same thing but we have a modern idea of food supplements that contain those nutrients that help us balance our diets. Without them, we can still eat our food, but there are chances we will not be healthy without the supplements. These spiritual supplements are like enhancement vitamins that help to make our faith stand the test of time. We ought not to see faith as an end in the sense we say, “Now I have faith; I am going to wait here for God to do His part”. The scripture suggests that even in a position of faith, there are efforts to make. You are not making those efforts so that your faith will grow but because you already have faith. Like we said somewhere that faith has to be proactively active to be considered living faith. Faith that stands aloof is a dead faith. So we are advised to add to our faith….
1.      Goodness or Virtue – New Living Translation calls it the pursuit for moral excellence. In our walk of faith, we should also make it our goal to pursue moral excellence. We should not be like those who use faith as a license to sin
2.      To Goodness, Knowledge. You have to be active in building up what you know through more studies on the word of God, attending seminars and teachings. You have to move further by reading books of other people who had walked in faith
3.      Self-control – This is often restricted to mean resisting the temptation to sin but there is another very important area. The temptation to waste time; the temptation to do nothing. Most of us are witnesses to the fact that our flesh wants to sleep while we should be awake, rest at home when we should be on the street, idle our time away when we should be writing a book. It is in such situation we should control our self by forcing our bodies to move forward and do something. We have to control our self by not allowing the day pass by without giving an account of what we did with it. A life without self-control is a life without direction, and a life without direction is a life without purpose. A directionless life is double minded and that one should not think he will receive anything from God
4.      Where other versions used patience, NIV said perseverance. Perseverance is moving forward in the face of adversity. You don’t have to celebrate limitations and use them as an excuse to be stagnant. It is ok you have faith, but like we said earlier, the faith has to be a fighting faith. You have to keep pushing because you have faith that God will meet you on the battlefield. In 1sam14, Saul had faith and declared a fast as he prepared to confront the enemy, Jonathan and his armor bearer had faith and attacked the enemy. Saul’s faith led to confusion but Jonathan’s faith led him to victory through God’s assistance. It is obvious which of the two that God approved
5.      Godliness is another term restricted in our understanding. It is not only avoidance of sin but doing things the way God does them. Jesus says that heaven is never idle; my father is always at work. God blesses good and bad. God succeeds and God is a God of advancement and prosperity. There is no grumbling and complaining in God. God has focus and follows it to a logical end. Godliness is doing it God’s way.
6.      Brotherly kindness – We have to accept the fact that some believers may make mistakes and even hurt our feelings. The brotherly kindness will enable us to forgive and move on. It will enable us not to take advantage of one another. It will enable us to work for the good of the whole Christian family. Make efforts to add it to faith so other people’s weakness will not terminate your spiritual life
7.      Love – When we do things without love for God and our fellow man, the Bible says we gain nothing.
Note, what this scripture says, there is no end to adding these virtues; we need them in ever increasing measure. We need to keep adding them. If we are active by always developing our faith by putting these bulwarks it will keep us from being barren or fruitless. Once, we stop adding, fruitlessness and death sets in. you see such believers living without purpose and start asking questions about issues that have been settled in the heavens.
The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop in this way are shortsighted or blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their old sins. 2Pet1:8-9 NLT

Excerpts from my new book, Four Dimensions of Faith

Emma your brother @PNUR