2Peter 1:5-11

Sunday Morning Bible Study

March 25, 2001


When Peter wrote his second letter it was just prior to his death in Rome at the hands of Emperor Nero.  Peter is aware that he is going to die soon.  (1:14). He has a great concern that his readers stay strong in the Lord, even after he’s gone.

This man has walked with Jesus for over thirty years now.  So when he’s going to talk about what it takes to be spiritually strong, I want to pay attention.

It’s kind of like your doctor telling you to eat a healthy diet in order to have a healthy life.


Ten Important Dieting Facts

1. If you eat something, but no one else sees you  eat it,  it has no calories.

2. When drinking a diet soda while eating a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are canceled by the diet soda.

3. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count as long as you don't eat more than they do.

4. Foods used for medicinal purposes never count  (e.g., hot chocolate, toast, Sara Lee cheesecake.

5. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner.

6. Movie-related foods do not have calories because they are part of the entertainment package and not part of one's personal fuel. e.g. milk duds, buttered popcorn, junior mints and Tootsie Rolls.

7. Cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking the cookie causes calorie leakage.

8. Late-night snacks have no calories. The refrigerator light is not strong enough for the calories to see their way into the calorie counter.

9. If you are in the process of preparing something, food licked off knives and spoons have no calories. e.g. peanut butter on a knife, ice cream on a spoon.

10. Food of the same color have the same number of calories. Examples are spinach and pistachio ice cream, mushrooms and white chocolate.  Chocolate is a universal color and may be substituted for any other.

If I went on a diet based on these ideas, do you think I’d lose any weight?  If I want to lose real weight, I need to go on a real diet.  In the same way, if I want to grow as a Christian, I need to be serious about having the right things in my spiritual diet.

:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith 

beside this – better, “for this very cause

diligencespoude – earnestness, diligence; earnestness in accomplishing. Keep going.

givingpareisphero – to bring in besides; to contribute besides to something

add toepichoregeo – to supply, furnish, to lavish upon. One of the things that the Greeks added to human culture was their plays and dramas.  The choregeo was the play’s producer, the wealthy patron who paid for all the expenses to keep the production going. It was a thing of pride for these patrons to lavishly supply these choruses with whatever they needed.  Peter is telling his readers that they need to act as the choregeo and lavishly supply these things to their life. I guess it’s kind of like the “corporate sponsors” of today.  The corporate sponsor loves to see his car in the winners circle and pays big money so his team is taken care of.


You play a part in your own growth.

Peter tells us we should be diligent.  He tells us that we ought to supply this list of ingredients to our life.



It all starts with faith.  Your relationship with God starts the moment you choose to believe that Jesus died on the cross for you.
But it can’t stop there.

:5 add to your faith virtue;



virtuearete – a virtuous course of thought, feeling and action; moral goodness; the supreme Greek word for virtue in every sense of the term. Courage. One who stands in the face of opposition.  One who doesn’t run from the battle.

Peter has just said,

(2 Pet 1:3 KJV)  According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:
God has called us to have “virtue”, “courage”.

God doesn’t want us to have a faith in Him that runs or cowers at every challenge.

David had faith in God.  And his faith gave him courage.

(1 Sam 17:45-49 KJV)  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. {46} This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. {47} And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands. {48} And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. {49} And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
While the other Israelites might say that they believed in God, it was David who was willing to go out to battle Goliath.

God wants your faith to be nourished with courage.

:5  and to virtue knowledge;



knowledgegnosis – knowledge signifies in general intelligence, understanding; the general knowledge of Christian religion; the deeper more perfect and enlarged knowledge of this religion, such as belongs to the more advanced

It’s one thing to be “courageous”, but we need to be courageous about the right things.  That’s how our “virtue” is to be affected by “knowledge”.

We grow in our knowledge of God as we are staying in God’s Word.


Toward the end of the nation of Judah, a young boy named Josiah became king.  He was raised by Hilkiah the high priest and taught to love the Lord.  As the boy grew, he began to take interest in the things of the Lord and one day as Josiah was having some work done on the temple, the people found an amazing thing, God’s Word!  For years it had not been used.  After Josiah read it and began to realize what was in it, he had it read to the people:
(2 Ki 23:1-7 KJV)  And the king sent, and they gathered unto him all the elders of Judah and of Jerusalem. {2} And the king went up into the house of the LORD, and all the men of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem with him, and the priests, and the prophets, and all the people, both small and great: and he read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant which was found in the house of the LORD. {3} And the king stood by a pillar, and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD, and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statutes with all their heart and all their soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people stood to the covenant. {4} And the king commanded Hilkiah the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the door, to bring forth out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels that were made for Baal, and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them unto Bethel. {5} And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven. {6} And he brought out the grove from the house of the LORD, without Jerusalem, unto the brook Kidron, and burned it at the brook Kidron, and stamped it small to powder, and cast the powder thereof upon the graves of the children of the people. {7} And he brake down the houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the grove.
There were a lot of things wrong with the nation.  They had allowed a lot of junk into their lives that didn’t belong there.  But when they turned on the light of God’s Word, they were able to see what needed to be cleaned up.

:6 And to knowledge temperance



temperanceegkrateia (“in” + “strength”) – self-control (the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, esp. his sensual appetites).  Holding your passions and desires in your hand.  To get a “grip” on yourself.

Solomon said that this was a quality that made a man great:

(Prov 16:32 KJV)  He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.

Paul says this is a result of the Holy Spirit working in your life –

(Gal 5:22-23 KJV)  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, {23} Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
To have self-control we need the power of the Holy Spirit.
But the hard part of self-control is that it is a working together between the Holy Spirit and me.  The Spirit empowers me, but I must be the one to stretch out my hand and take control of what I need to be doing.

Paul uses this word in relation to athletics:

(1 Cor 9:24-27 NLT)  Remember that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize. You also must run in such a way that you will win. {25} All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. {26} So I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I am not like a boxer who misses his punches. {27} I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

We enrich our knowledge with self-control.

There are times when a person has a lot of knowledge, but their life is a mess.  Part of growing in the Lord involves taking that knowledge and putting it to practical use.

:6  and to temperance patience;



patiencehupomone – steadfastness, constancy, endurance; the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings

We’ve talked a lot about this word over the last few months.  Endurance comes when we keep our eyes on Jesus.

(Heb 12:1-3 KJV)  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, {2} Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. {3} For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

I need to nurture my self-control with endurance and hang in there, keeping my eyes on Jesus.  Sometimes I can get into a difficult time and tell myself that I deserve a break, I deserve to “indulge” myself.  Not so.  Endure.

:6  and to patience godliness;



godlinesseusebeia (“well” + “worship”) – reverence, respect; piety towards God.  The word means literally “worship well”, it means to worship God correctly.  But a person who has “godliness” not only acts correctly towards God, but also treats people correctly as well. Because you have a relationship with God, because you know how much He is worth, you do the things that are right, the things that God wants you to be doing.

Warren Wiersbe writes,

“We must never get the idea that godliness is an impractical thing, because it is intensely practical. The godly person makes the kinds of decisions that are right and noble. He does not take an easy path simply to avoid either pain or trial. He does what is right because it is right and because it is the will of God.”

Summary:  An awareness of God that affects my actions.

We see a picture of this in the life of Zacchaeus:
(Luke 19:1-10 KJV)  And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho. {2} And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich. {3} And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature. {4} And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way. {5} And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house. {6} And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully. {7} And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner. {8} And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. {9} And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. {10} For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Zacchaeus was anxious to see Jesus.  When he found that Jesus wanted to spend time with Him, he responded  by “receiving Him joyfully” (v.6).  But Zacchaeus went beyond just having lunch with Jesus.  His life was different now.  He wanted to treat people differently as well.  His time with Jesus made him a different person.

I need to nourish my endurance with godliness.  I can get to thinking that endurance is just sitting in a corner gritting my teeth.  But I need to have a deeper endurance that turns around and serves the Lord and serves others.

:7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.


Loving Christians

brotherly kindnessphiladelphia – love of brothers or sisters, brotherly love; in the NT the love which Christians cherish for each other as brethren

Sometimes we can get caught up in what we might call “godliness” in doing things like reading our Bible, praying, going to church, singing songs, etc.

But our relationship with God needs to extend to those around us in church as well.  It has to involve other people.  And it starts with our brothers and sisters in Christ.



charityagape – brotherly love, affection, good will, love, benevolence

God doesn’t want us to stop at loving just other Christians, but the world around us.

This is God’s kind of unconditional love, a love characterized by giving (John 3:16), a love characterized by sacrifice.


: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.

be inhuparcho – to make a beginning; to come forth, be ready, be at hand

aboundpleonazo – to exist in abundance; to increase

We don’t need just a “little” of these ingredients.  We need to be growing in them.

barrenargos (“not” + “work”) – free from labour, at leisure; lazy, shunning the labour which one ought to perform

unfruitfulakarpos – metaph. without fruit, barren, not yielding what it ought to yield

knowledgeepignosis – precise and correct knowledge

Good things are going to happen in your life if you work at these ingredients.

:9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

lacketh – “not” + pareimi – to be by, be at hand, to have arrived, to be present; to be ready, in store, at command

cannot see afar offmuopazo (“to close” + “the eye”) – to see dimly, see only what is near; shortsighted

hath forgotten – “receive” + lethe – forgetfulness

purgedkatharismos – a cleansing, purification, a ritual purgation or washing

There are people who will initially get pretty excited about Jesus.  They love to find that Jesus forgives them.  But after awhile, things just aren’t the same.

They have not been giving themselves any correct spiritual food.

We can be fooled into thinking that being close to God is what happens when I have this emotional experience.

:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

give diligencespoudazo – to hasten, make haste; to exert one’s self, endeavour, give diligence

surebebaios – stable, fast, firm; metaph. sure, trusty

callingklesis – a calling, calling to; a call, invitation; of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God

electionekloge – the act of picking out, choosing; of the act of God’s free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons

fallptaio – to cause one to stumble or fall; to stumble; to err, make a mistake, to sin; to fall into misery, become wretched


The way to assurance

God doesn’t want you to be worried about whether or not you’re going to “make it” into heaven.  He wants you to be in a place where you have no doubts.
One of the ways you will find this assurance is if you put this “spiritual diet” into practice.

:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

abundantlyplousios – abundantly, richly

shall be ministeredepichoregeo – to supply, furnish, present; to be supplied, ministered to, assisted; from choregeo – to be a chorus leader, lead a chorus; to furnish the chorus at one’s own expense; to procure and supply all things necessary to fit out a chorus; to supply, furnish abundantly.  Same word was translated “add to” in verse 5.

As we work at putting the right things into our spiritual diet, we find that God will supply us with an awesome entrance into heaven.

an entranceeisodos (“into” + “way”) – an entrance; the place or way leading into a place (as a gate); the act of entering

everlastingaionios – without beginning and end, that which always has been and always will be


Grow or die

It seems that if we aren’t growing as a Christian, we’re dying as one.
A wife became quite concerned over her husband’s declining health. His color was very pale and lifeless and he had a terrible lack of energy for even the simplest of tasks. After much prodding and conjoling, she persuaded him to go to the doctor to find out what his problem might be.  The doctor examined him carefully and ran a full battery of tests to determine the exact natures of the man’s illness. After evaluating the test results, he called the woman into his office to give his prognosis.  Your husband is suffering from a rare form of anemia. Without proper treatment, he could be dead in a matter of just a few weeks,” he informed the very anxious wife. He went on to say, “However it can be successfully treated with the right care and diet. With the proper course of treatment, I am happy to report that you can expect full recovery.”  The wife was very relieved and asked what kind of action was necessary.  The doctor gave his prescription, “You will need to get up every morning and fix a complete breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc. Make sure that he has a home-cooked lunch each afternoon of fresh-baked bread and homemade soup. For dinner prepare a meal of fresh salad, old-fashioned meat and potatoes, fresh vegetables and perhaps homemade pie or cake for dessert. Because his immune system is so compromised, you will need to keep the house scrupulously clean. It will also be important to keep his stress level very low, so avoid any kind of confrontation or argument.”  The wife emerged from the doctor’s office and with tears rolling down her cheeks, she faced her husband.  The husband took one look at his wife and said very seriously, “The news is bad isn’t it? What did the doctor say?”  With a choked voice, the sobbing wife told her beloved husband, “The doctor says, you’re gonna die”.
Growth as a Christian shouldn’t be something we see as optional.  It’s something we spend the rest of our life doing.
It is kind of like riding a bicycle uphill.  If you stop pedalling, you’re going to go backwards.