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Friday, March 8, 2013

7 Characteristics of Highly Effective Christians: Thoughts on 2 Peter 1

Whenever there is a list of things the Bible says we should be, do or have, I love having a visual reminder. 

Other lists could include The Fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23), The Armour of God (Eph 6), Things we should Think On (Phil 4:8) etc…

In this passage, Peter gives us 7 things we must add to our faith – which is the foundation of all Christian virtues.  In turn, this faith is founded in the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Whose Deity is reiterated again here in verse 1)) and in the exceedingly great and precious promises of His Word!

It takes our personal diligence and discipline to cultivate these characteristics but, of course, it is all “by His divine power..”  and grace. As Weirsbe says “ Where there is life, there must be growth”.  Move forward or slide backward.

The characteristics have been associated with people of the Bible and read similarly to this :

  • The courage (virtue) of David or Ruth,
  •  the knowledge of Solomon,
  •  the self-control of Joseph,
  •  the perseverance of Job, 
  • the godliness of Daniel or Mary, 
  • the brotherly kindness (philadelphia) of Jonathan 
  • and the love ( agape) of Christ.

Peter places great importance on them saying:

“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” Verses 9-10

A few other notes: 

The word “add” means supply or minister and comes from the idea of a chorus leader in the Greek culture.

In Greek context, the word “virtue” is more specific to courage or the” fulfilment of one’s intended purpose”

William MacDonald  Believer’s Bible Commentary, Dr. Warren Weirsbe Bible Commentary, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance, Vines Expository Dictionary of Greek Words, Barnes Commentary.