Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Fruitful Christian Living2 Peter 1:5-15
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control’ and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-8
In this epistle, Peter is writing to a group of believers that have received the knowledge of Jesus Christ, but now they need to be reminded on how to live it out. Peter in this chapter is writing out a list, but the list has an order, and each item is to be added in increasing measure. Reading this Chapter made me imagine that Peter is almost writing what looks like a recipe. Having just come out of the Christmas season, it is a time for baking cookies and cakes and making some special holiday dishes that we normally do not make. And when we need to make something, we are not familiar with making, we reach for a recipe to be reminded of all the ingredients. In our house we tried making a fruit cake for the first time. We experienced a fruit cake that we wanted to recreate, so we got the recipe and attempted to make it ourselves. A recipe gives a distinct order in which the ingredients go in. Each ingredient has its own measure, so you cannot just put any measure you want. Each item that is added in cannot be removed from the other once all the baking is done, and if one ingredient is missing it changes the entire taste and or texture of the cake. In our house we were trying to recreate a fruit cake experience by following a recipe.
Peter is describing how others can enjoy the experience of Christ through our lives. Through our lives, others will get a taste of who Christ is. Faith is the very first ingredient and the one that is oddly in the smallest measure, everything else is added in increasing measure. The last ingredient which has the highest measure is love. Peter is saying if you only have Godliness with no love, it can lead to self-righteousness. Goodness with no self-control can lead to hypocrisy. You produce a cake that no one wants to eat or worse it is so distasteful it needs to be spit out. Peter is talking to an elect group that have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ, but they are living in a Gentile world, so the temptation is to either reflect the world around you or, be so separate that you only interact with other Christians. It’s easy to become ineffective Christians.
Peter began the list of qualities with the phrase “make every effort,” which implies that we can try to follow the recipe, but still fall short of making the cake perfect, and that means we rely on the grace of God every day, to be in the world but not of the world.
Heavenly Father, help us to live a life that is pleasing to you. Help us to live a Christian life, that helps draw others to experience you in a more beautiful way. Help us to resist temptation and understand grace more and more. Amen.
Thought for the day
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”- John 15:
Epiphany Mar Thoma Church, New York