And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity (2Peter 1:5-7).
What does it mean to add all of these to our faith? Like links in a chain they lead to one another. Peter wrote that God has called us to (or in the Greek, “by” or “through”) glory and virtue (vs.3). He also wrote that we have become partakers of His divine nature (vs.4). Therefore, if we believe, we ought to add virtue to our faith. This means, “Be excellent.” God is excellent, and we partake of His nature, so we must add this element of His nature to our faith walk.
I like to think of it as bringing it out. We can’t add anything, really. But we have all things in Christ. Many don’t believe they have it, so they never bring it out.
By faith, walk in virtue (excellence). Then add knowledge: the knowledge of grace. Renew the mind with the understanding that we are completely saved and completely righteous in Jesus. It is a spiritual reality, although in the flesh we are far from perfect.
To the knowledge of our righteousness in Christ, add temperance, or self-control. Knowing your freedom, keep your flesh under control. Don’t let liberty become license.
Then add patience, because self-control may mean fighting some temptation. Therefore add godliness– which means reverence or looking to God. Look to God for the strength to meet the situation at hand. Look to God to meet your needs.
As God helps you, add brotherly kindness. You have been helped, so now help others. God has been kind to you, so be kind to your neighbor.
Finally, add charity. This sounds like brotherly kindness, but the Greek word is agape. It means love. Don’t be godly and kind in a religious spirit. Be filled with love.
I believe all of these links are in each born-again believer. The problem is that they are kept stifled by unbelief. The need is to believe and let them abound.
For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins (2Pet.1:8-9).