“For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:8)
2 Peter 1:8 introduces a purpose clause directly related to the previous section of vs. 5-7. What is the purpose of the believer in Christ adding to their faith in Christ?
Peter indicated that if the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love are indeed our possession and are increasing, they will presently and actively keep (καθίστημι; kathistemi) or cause the believer in question from being ineffective or unfruitful.
To be ineffective (ἀργός; argos) means to be idle, lazy and useless. It is an individual who accomplishes nothing and is indifferent about it. To be unfruitful (ἄκαρπος; akarpos) means to be unproductive. Ineffectiveness and unfruitfulness are both used with respect to the believer’s knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes that, “The qualities of God that believers are to reflect are understood to be fruits resulting from knowing “our Lord Jesus Christ.” They are the inevitable result of faith, not things added to faith in order to achieve a right standing before God (Romans 3:21-26; James 2:14-26).”
Dr. John MacArthur adds that, “To be ineffective is to be inactive, indolent, and empty (cf. Titus 1:12; James 2:20–22). With these virtues increasing in one’s life (2 Pet. 1:5–7), a Christian will not be useless or ineffective. or unfruitful. I.e., unproductive (cf. Matt. 13:22; Eph. 5:11; 2 Thess. 3:14; Jude 12). When these Christian qualities are not present in a believer’s life (2 Pet. 1:5–7), he will be indistinguishable from an evildoer or a superficial believer. But when these qualities are increasing in a Christian’s life, there is the manifestation of the “divine nature” within the believer.”
Which of the seven virtues listed in 2 Peter 1:5-7 are strongest in your walk with Christ? What virtues are the weakest and need strengthening? Ask the Lord right at this moment to show you what qualities are lacking in your walk of faith and to give you the desire to be disciplined in adding to your faith.
May the Lord’s truth and grace be found here.
Soli deo Gloria!