Being fertile, productive and fruitful

 

2 Peter 1:5-11
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins. Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble; for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

In the above verses we see eight items listed that Peter says will prevent us from being barren or unfruitful, i.e. will make us fertile, productive and fruitful in our Christian lives. He then goes on to say that to not have these eight things in our lives is to be shortsighted and even blind and to have forgotten that God has forgiven and cleansed us of our sins. He further says that to live in the abundance of God’s Kingdom, we should practice these eight things.

I think this sounds like a list we should give some quality consideration to, don’t you? Let’s look closer at these eight items:

1- Faith
The Greek word is PISTIS:  faith, belief, trust, confidence; fidelity, faithfulness.

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Romans 10:17
So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Acts 16:31
So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Matthew 21:21-22
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.”

2- Virtue
The Greek word is ARETE: goodness, a gracious act, virtue, uprightness.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Psalm 41:12
As for me, You uphold me in my integrity, And set me before Your face forever.

Proverbs 11:3
The integrity of the upright will guide them, But the perversity of the unfaithful will destroy them.

Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.

3- Knowledge
The Greek word is GNOSIS: knowledge, doctrine, wisdom.

Proverbs 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Proverbs 2:6
For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;

John 17:3
And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

James 1:5-8
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

4- Self-control
The Greek word is EGKRATEIA: self-mastery, self-restraint, self-control, continence.

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

Proverbs 16:32
He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, And he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city.

Proverbs 25:28
Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls.

5- Perseverance
The Greek word is HYPOMONE: endurance, steadfastness, patient waiting for.

Hebrews 12:1-2
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Romans 5:1-5
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Colossians 1:9-14
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Hebrews 6:10-12
For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

6- Godliness
The Greek word is EUSEBEIA: piety (towards God), godliness, devotion, godliness.

1 Timothy 4:8
For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither, And whatever he does shall prosper.

2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Romans 12:1-2
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

7- Brotherly kindness
The Greek word is PHILADELPHIA: brotherly love, love of Christian brethren.

Romans 12:10
Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

Ephesians 4:31-32
Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

Colossians 3:12-13
Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do

8- Love
The Greek word is AGAPE:  love, benevolence, good will, esteem; plur: love-feasts.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.

1 John 4:7-9
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.

1 Thessalonians 4:9
But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another;

John 13:34-35
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

As we meditate on the eight items above, let’s not forget that as born-again believers we have the Spirit of Jesus living in us. We therefore have the nature of Christ in our spirits and the fruit of His Spirit is within us, we just have to release it!

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

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