II Pet. 1:5-15
Since Christians have such a great need for spiritual growth toward maturity, Peter listed what are commonly referred to as the “Christian graces.” In order for one to grow as a Christian, he is admonished to diligently add these to his foundation of faith.
Virtue is defined as courage, strength and determination to do what is right.
Knowledge gives one the information needed to know God’s will and to know right from wrong. It gives the ability to recognize the difference between true and false teachers.
Christians have most of the same desires and appetites as those of the world. Peter stated the need for self-control or discipline in order to control one’s life and to avoid over-indulgence in those things that may be enjoyable or even necessary to sustain life.
Man has lived in a turbulent world since being driven from the Garden of Eden near the beginning of time. Perseverance (patience or endurance) is essential for man to overcome the hardships of life. Christians must labor toward their goal of eternal heaven with God without murmuring and complaining about the persecutions they face on the road to that home.
A godly person will exhibit humble respect and devotion in his reverence and submission to God’s commands.
Brotherly kindness recognizes with tender affection that all Christians are of the same spiritual family, the church. All are children of the same heavenly Father and heirs of the same heavenly inheritance.
Love is the cement that holds all of these “Christian graces” together as one grows toward Christian maturity. This love knows no boundaries of gender, race, economic status, social status or nationality. It binds all Christians together as one in Christ.
Peter stated that those who have all of those graces will be busy and fruitful in learning and serving Christ. Conversely those who lack these attributes are spiritually blind. They only see the pleasures of the world around them instead of the blessings of the heavenly home in the future.
According to Peter, one can be assured that his spiritual condition is acceptable to God if he is diligent in supplying the “Christian graces” to his life. He realized the obligation that he and other Christians have in reminding one another of the importance of godly living. As long as one lives, he needs to remember for himself and to remind others of Christian responsibilities lest they be forgotten.