2 Peter 1:8
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NASB)
What qualities or things is Peter talking about? I’m glad you asked. Verses 5 through 7 give the answer. “5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.”
All these things all point you to a true knowledge of Jesus. These qualities come only through knowing Jesus—a true knowledge. These qualities don’t come from gritting our teeth and say I’m going to have more faith. Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2) We can’t just try to be more patience or self-controlled. These are fruit of having an intimate relationship with Jesus.
That’s why Peter says we won’t be unfruitful in the knowledge of the Lord. Knowing Jesus is the way to abound in the qualities found in Jesus. Religion has made this a list of do’s and don’ts. We have to do these things when we don’t know what to do. Religion has made doing the primary thing to please God. We have to be godly if we want to please God, they say.
Faith is what pleases God. Faith is trusting in the finished work of Jesus. God has fully accepted us and is well-pleased with us already.
“But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:9) It starts when you forgot that Jesus took away your sins. That is part of the finished work of Jesus on the Cross. The sin-conscious folk never grow because they are always concerned about sinning. Put that behind you and stick close to Jesus.
Look to Jesus. When you see how He loved you so much He was willing to die for you, then you can express brotherly love and agape love (charity). You can’t be loving without knowing the love of Jesus. When you know Him in true knowledge you will be fruitful.