Mile Markers for Spiritual Growth
Peter had determined to remind those he is writing, of the basics. So he began with the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ; and how that knowledge leads to spiritual growth. Now he continues with the mile markers, which come along the path to Spiritual Maturity. This is how you know you are going the right way.
2 Peter 1:5 “And beside this , giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge;”
Faith is the foundation of our spiritual life. We are justified by faith (Romans 5:1).
But our faith is also to grow. As Peter says here, it is to be added to.
2 Thessalonians 1:3 “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth:”
Virtue is to be added to faith. Virtue here is Artea or force. Virtue is the force of the Holy Spirit within you; the power of the Holy Spirit having freedom to influence and help.
Basically, by faith in God and His Word, we are to yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction and correction; and know the liberty that force within us gives us. To know that God knows all; and has chosen this way, at this time, is very liberating. It is to see the mile marker that says: He has guided me in the right way, and taken care of me so far; why should I fear what is coming next? My welfare is always before Him; why should I look for another way?
And when we have virtue, we get knowledge. This knowledge is the knowledge of what He will do for me.
What He has done in the Bible; great.
What He has and will do for me, personally; wonderful! This knowledge, stabilizes our hearts and minds in adversity, as well as good times.
Can you see us getting stronger in the Lord, by this path?
2 Peter 1:6 “And to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness;”
And to this knowledge, we grow into moderation. We’ve come to the place where we know God will take care of us; so we need not try and get more than He gives, or hate the fact others have “more” than we do.
And as we are temperate, we begin to exercise patience.
And this is how we possess our souls.
Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”
As we come to this mile marker, we realize how much of ourselves we know. How much of ourselves we can now master. And how much of ourselves we have yielded to the Holy Spirit.
To patience, godliness.
This mile marker comes as our character is taking the shape of the character of Christ.
He came to save us, we should seek the salvation of others.
This is where we “Let your light so shine before men, that they many see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
2 Peter 1:7 “And to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.(love).”
To godliness, the mile marker is brotherly kindness. How much do you love your “brother”?
1 John 1:10-11 “He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.
But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.”
And to brotherly kindness, charity or love.
1 John 4:16-17 “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgement: because as he is , so are we in this world.”
When we reach this mile marker in our journey toward Spiritual maturity, our affections are influenced by the Holy Spirit, and our thoughts are regulated by His good pleasure.
What liberty is this! To be free from the influences of the world’s anger and bitterness; and to follow Christ with joy.