When you plant a seed, you expect it to do something – mainly grow. But you want more than just growth, you want it to look like what’s on the seed packet. Usually, what’s on the seed packet is a prime example of what the seed is meant to become. That takes work. Both the seed and the person who planted it must work together for the plant to succeed. If the planter doesn’t cultivate the seed by giving it what it needs, it shouldn’t be a surprise if the seed doesn’t turn out as expected. If the seed is a dud and does not respond to the nurturing it gets, we have the same problem.
In 2 Peter 1:5-7, Peter gives us the classic passage on what the Christian life should look like:
2 Peter 1:5-7
(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.
In verse 4, he tells us what God the Divine Planter gives us:
Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust (2 Peter 1:4).
Behind every one of God’s promises, is the power of God to fulfill them. He promises that if we follow His way, we will have success: “for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (v. 10). That’s a huge promise. Thankfully, we serve a huge God! But God will never do for us what He has intended for us to do. Our success in the Christian walk is a cooperative effort. God doesn’t give us His Word and say: “Do this. Oh, and by the way, you’re on your own, kid.” He also does not give us the promise of His grace and make us passive recipients: “Just add grace and stir.” Looking at Peter’s words in 2 Peter 1:5-7, it’s clear that we as believers have an active role in our growth.
“And beside this, giving all diligence…” In other words, “OK. You have the guarantee of God’s promises and the promise of His grace to do what’s expected, now get to work!” Think of a power tool, like a circular saw. When you plug it in, you have the power provided by your electric company to accomplish great things with that saw, but the saw isn’t going to get any work done just by you plugging it in. If you want to complete your projects, you’re going to have to pick up that saw and start cutting some wood! If you pick up that saw without plugging it in, you’ll get as much work done with it as you did by plugging it in and not picking it up. The power and the user must work together. Peter is telling us about our part in our Christian growth. “Diligence” is a sweaty word. One wise man I know says that if you get close to it, it smells like a gym locker room. It pictures people who are working out and working hard.
Peter says, in addition to the power we have from God’s promises that we are to “add to our faith.” This is not a linear concept where we do one thing and then add on the next. That word “add” is the Greek word epichoregeo. We get out word “choreographer” from it. A choreographer is one who gets all the people in a production to work together to create a perfectly coordinated performance. The idea of the word in the Greek is of someone who sponsors an acting troop and provides everything it needs to put on a successful play. Whether you’re talking about the choreographer or the sponsor, they are both people who give it all they have to make something successful.
Peter’s point is the same. God gave us His all when He sacrificed His Son to die for us. He continues to give us all the grace we need to succeed. Are you and I willing to give it all we have to be successful? �>��g