Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in in your moral excellence, knowledge.
Now for this very reason refers back to the previous verses regarding God’s divine power in providing for believers everything they need for the execution of the Christian Way of Life. It is for this reason that Peter encourages believers to add to their faith a number of things on the way to spiritual maturity.
Applying is the Greek word “pareisphero,” which means to bring in besides or to bring in addition to. The Greek word for diligence is “spoude” meaning with earnestness, zeal, or haste. When you put these words together they mean to make every effort. Peter is telling his readers to make every effort, and do it hastily, to reach spiritual maturity. False prophets will be Peter’s subject and these believers will need all the discernment available to them through Bible doctrine in their souls to recognize these deceivers and avoid them.
Supply is the Greek word “epichoregeo,” which means to add to. Faith is the Greek word “pistis,” which refers to that which is believed, Bible doctrine. With the doctrine you have in your soul you are to add moral excellence. Remember excellence is a reference to Christian virtue. However, virtue is not simply moral excellence. Virtue is strength of character which includes morality but is so much more. Virtue includes things such as bravery, capability, worthiness, courage and high ethical standards.
The Greek word for knowledge is “gnosis” meaning to perceive academically. When a believer understands Bible doctrine academically and then applies faith to that knowledge, it becomes “epignosis” knowledge. “Epignosis” knowledgeis spiritual knowledge which the Holy Spirit uses to help us build an edification complex in our souls. No believer can orient, function, or even enter into the full meaning of the Christian life apart from the Edification Complex of the Soul.
And in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness.
Self-control is the Greek word “enrateia” meaning the inner power of the Holy Spirit to control your will or self-discipline. Bible doctrine produces an orderly inner life. Self-discipline is the means by which you get most out of life. It means mental concentration, for example. It means a sense of responsibility, removal of any type of laziness that may exist in the life, a consistent study life. Self-discipline is the basis for concentration on the teaching of God’s Word. In every area there is a place for self-discipline. We might call this type of life a well-balanced Christian life.
Perseverance is the Greek word “hupomone,” which means patient endurance in the soul. It refers to the utilization of the Faith-Rest Technique in the most trying circumstances of life, or into the most prosperous circumstances of life. Both are challenges to the Christian life. The Christian Way of Life is designed not to depend upon the varying circumstances of life. Therefore, perseverance means the proper utilization of doctrine for pressure and the proper utilization of doctrine for prosperity, so that neither pressure nor prosperity becomes the basis of determining your happiness in life, doctrine does.
Godliness is spirituality. The Greek word for godliness is “eusebeia,” which means executing the Christian life under the filling of the Holy Spirit. You can never divorce Bible doctrine from the Holy Spirit or the Holy Spirit from Bible doctrine. Any doctrine that you understand is through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Godliness (God-likeness) is what the Holy Spirit can produce if allowed to do so.
And in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love.
The Greek word for brotherly kindness is “philadelphos,” which is a combination of two words; philos, meaning love and “adelfos” meaning brother. This phrase refers to capacity for all categories of love, especially love for other believers, all based on Bible doctrine.
The Greek word for love is “agape,” which is impersonal love. “Agape” love is a relaxed mental attitude which means freedom from mental attitude sins. It refers to a relaxed mental attitude in the human race and it is used sometimes in connection with God because God has a relaxed mental attitude due to the doctrine of propitiation (Christ satisfied the righteousness and justice of God on the Cross). So it refers to mental attitude relaxation. This is the kind of love that is commanded toward all believers, it is not a personal love at all. It means that you do not have any mental attitude sins toward any believer.
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The word qualities is not in the original manuscripts of Scripture, but was added to make it read smoother in English. These [qualities] are the ones that Peter has just listed. The Greek word for useless is “argos” meaning unproductive, idle, barren, yielding no return because of inactivity. Having these qualities is useless without application. The Greek word for unfruitful is “akarpos,” which means not producing a harvest; in the case of the believer it means lack of divine production. This will not be the case if the qualities Peter listed are part of a believer’s life and are always increasing (spiritual growth). Once again, the true knowledge of Jesus Christ is academic knowledge converted into spiritual knowledge by means of faith. Peter is bringing his readers to the point of realizing that Bible doctrine is more valuable than anything in life.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins.
Once again in this verse we have a word and a phrase that were not in the best original manuscripts: “qualities” and “his purification from his former sins.” The translators added this phrase in an attempt to clarify the verse. However, the verse does not need clarification if properly translated and considered within the context.
The Greek word for lacks is “pareimi,” which means not to be present. In other words, Peter was saying that these qualities have to be present in the life of a believer or they will be blind and short-sighted, having entered into forgetfulness. The Greek word for blind is “tuphlos” meaning unable to see. Metaphorically “tuphlos” means spiritually blind. You cannot be spiritually blind and execute the Christian life. And blindness comes from lack of Bible doctrine in your soul.
The Greek word for short-sighted is “muopazo,” which means to close or to shut the eyes. So it means to be nearsighted or short-sighted and connotes disorientation to the Christian Way of Life. Having forgotten a believer has entered into reversionism. The farther you move away from God and His Word, the more forgetful you become regarding the doctrine you have learned in the past. If you have not learned any doctrine, then you have simply moved away from the Gospel message you heard and believed at salvation.
Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.
The Greek word for diligence is “spoudazo,” which means to make an all-out effort. Calling is a reference to the doctrine of salvation having been given eternal life the moment you believed in Christ. Choosing is a reference to the doctrine of election, which is used here for the plan of God. Make certain means to make it a reality in your life. Stumble means to miss a step. If you make your experience align with your position in Christ by the execution of the Christian Way of Life, you will not miss a step on your way to spiritual maturity. Practice these things means that a believer is consistently taking in Bible doctrine and properly applying it to every area of their life.
Election is the plan of God for believers only, whereby God chooses or selects certain things to be true. The Greek word for election is “eklektos” and means picked out, selected, or chosen for privilege. The question that must be answered in order to clearly understand this doctrine is “What are these things that God chooses for the believer?” Please notice that it is not God choosing a person for salvation as some teach; rather it is God choosing certain things to be true of the believer. An unbeliever must still use his volition to choose to believe in Christ or to reject Christ. (Ephesians 1:4)
The false doctrine that says God chooses some to be saved and others to be lost is called “limited atonement.” What is taught is that Christ’s atonement on the Cross was for only those who God had selected ahead time to believe. What the Bible teaches is “unlimited atonement” - that any person may come to Christ by faith. God is not willing that anyone should perish but that all should come to know Christ as Savior. (II Peter 3:9) At salvation, God has decreed (chosen or elected) certain things to be true for those who have believed.
The first election by God took place in eternity past when the plan was formulated for the redemption of mankind. Jesus Christ volunteered to become the Savior and was elected to privilege by God at that time. It is the inheritance of Christ that believers share with Him because of their unique relationship as Royal Family of God. Jesus Christ was chosen by God for a service. That service was for Him to become a human being, live a sinless life and pay the penalty for sin by His death on the Cross. As a result of Christ’s accomplishment, He now sits at the place of extreme privilege and honor - “the right hand of God.”
God is completely satisfied with the work of Christ and He (Christ) has been given His rightful place of royalty in Heaven. As Royal Family of God, every Church Age believer has been elected to these same special privileges by God. These privileges begin at salvation and continue throughout all eternity.(I Peter 1:2; 2:4-10)
Church Age believers have been chosen by God for a service. This service is to be Royal Family of God and Royal Ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ. Every person who believes in Christ during this dispensation becomes Royal Family of God and a Royal Ambassador for Christ. As royalty, it is the responsibility of each believer to fulfill his election by the execution of the Christian Way of Life. (II Thessalonians 2:13-14)
The Christian Way of Life involves a life of discipline in order to learn God’s grace system for success. There is no shortcut when it comes to learning Bible doctrine and applying it to daily experience. Even Jesus had to learn Bible doctrine by studying and He also had to use His volition to apply it. At the age of twelve, He confounded the Hebrew scholars with His knowledge of God’s Word and later when tempted by Satan, He applied what He had learned in order to overcome the legitimate, but flawed offers of Satan. (Luke 2:41-52, 4:1-13)
For in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.
The Greek word for abundantly supplied is “epichoregeo,” which means to provide or add to abundantly. Entrance into the eternal kingdom of Jesus Christ begins at salvation and continues for all eternity. If you practice all the things that Peter has outlined as part of the Christian Way of Life, everything you need for your advance to spiritual maturity will be supplied abundantly for you. This includes spiritual blessings, as well as material blessings.