Notice the order of the things that Peter tells us in 2Peter1.5-8 that we need to supplement our faith with in order to both understand the Bible and be productive for the Kingdom.
The order is listed as; virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. Peter tells us that we must have five of these qualities before we can even have affection and then only brotherly affection at that. Then and only then can we go on to true love for each other. Peter then warns us that without the complete list we are hindering even our ability to study the Bible and of course without the ability to study we are unable to be fruitful.
2Peter1.5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 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.
After we come to the Lord, we are expected to change our way of life (virtue), then we are led by the spirit to understand (knowledge), then with knowledge we gain the ability over sin (self-control), we then become firm in our faith (steadfastness), then firm in our faith we demonstrate that we are like Christ (Godliness), then and only then will we have a desire to care for others (brotherly affection), and finally we are able to fulfill the great commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
The word "ineffective" refers to our ability to both do Bible study and understand the Bible as we study; hindering our ability to know and further our fellowship with the Lord. Therefore we are also unable to be effective and fruitful for the Kingdom.
Published on Thursday, March 6, 2014 @ 4:24 AM CDT