5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.— 2 Peter 1:5-7 NIV
We have accepted Christ as our Savior, what now? We are now new creatures in Christ Jesus and the new creature needs different food. Our fleshly desires will want us to continue in the old ways consuming the same old garbage, but these ways will not satisfy the new spiritual man. There will be a hunger and a thirst that we have not known before and that hunger and thirst can only be satisfied by the goodness of the Word of God. We need to add some spiritual food to our daily diet. Here in these verses, Peter has made us a short list of what is to be included. The list ends with love, which holds all the others together and without love, the diet would be incomplete and ineffective. We have been saved by grace through faith, now we need to add goodness and the knowledge of God. This is done by studying and meditating on the Word of God. It also includes prayer and conversations with other Christians. God has called each of us to a work that He planned for us long ago. But, first we need some training because God will never send us where He has not prepared us to go. We are sent to make disciples, but first, we must become disciples.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. — Romans 1:16 NIV
This verse must become alive in us and be the force that drives us to be a disciple. It can only be accomplished through “the power of God”.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
12 When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do.” 13 Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” — Matt. 9:12, 13 NLT
This statement by Jesus is in answer to the Pharisees who were complaining about Jesus and His disciples eating with sinners. Jesus had just called Matthew to come and follow Him. Matthew had invited Jesus and His disciples to his home to have dinner with him and some other tax collecters and disreputable sinners. The Pharisess had referred to the group as scum (verse 11).
Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not accept Him and His teachings because they thought they were righteous already. With whom do we spend our time outside the church building? Do we, as the disciples of Jesus, spend all of our time with other Christians or do we seek the lost and minister to them? Do we have a missionary mentality or is it “We four and no more”? Jesus was sent to seek and to save the lost. Because He did that, He was rejected, offended, persecuted and eventually hung on a cross. He commanded us to do the same and gave us the authoirty to do just that. When we do that, we stand the chance of being rejected, offended and criticized for “eating with scum”? Suffering these things puts us in the same group with Jesus and God is pleased with us. Which is better, to live a lifestyle that pleases God and lay up eternal rewards or to live a lifestyle that pleases men gainng worldly rewards but losing our own souls?
20 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you.
21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. — 1 Peter 2:20,21 NLT