"...the knowledge of GOD..."
leads us (or shows us)
"...all things that pertain to life and godliness..."
within these things are
"...exceeding great and precious promises..."
the fulfillment of which makes us
"...partakers of the divine nature."
It should be noted here that the divine nature - of GOD -
is put in our hearts--------------
and manifested in our lives------ i.e. being made in the image of CHRIST
the promises of GOD (faith in)
the exercise of my (mans") will power
It would appear to me that if He makes me promises I must trust that word of promise and in so doing I escape judgment - find myself declared righteous, according to the blood of JESUS CHRIST - and realize the indwelling of His Spirit; i.e. partaking of divine nature...
But I must know the promises and therefore must find knowledge of GOD. I dare say it is an experiential knowledge: That is to say, I read and study His Word and watch as that word becomes alive - real in my life and the life around me.
It is not academic knowledge, it is real life knowledge being understood as GOD understands it: And that understanding for man is found in what GOD has said (i.e. revealed) of Himself in and/or through His written Word - Which I would declare to be the revelation of Himself on paper - the written word. I think what I am trying to say is that certainly knowing the facts of GODS' Word is important but if that knowledge does not becoming understanding it is mere academics and of no real value...But when one experiences the facts it becomes more than academic knowledge it becomes understanding (and even wisdom may spring forth).
An example of this is in the response GOD had to Abraham when he willingly laid Issac on the alter to sacrifice him to GOD; and the LORDS' reply to that action was "...for now I know that you fear GOD seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son." Genesis 22.. GOD knew ahead of time what Abraham would do when commanded by the ALMIGHTY to sacrifice this his promised son - However when Abraham did it GOD experienced the fear of Him Abraham had. Hence, the word knowledge, or knowing becomes an experiential knowing.
all a question of faith - It is based on faith - it is revealed only through faith -
Belief is absolutely essential!!
AND to that faith GOD would see added
brotherly kindness >+
AND does He do the conforming, or when He says "Besides all this add to your faith...", is He expecting me (us) to be the potter and exercise our will and power to conform ourselves to this image, or with theses characteristics??
A text that comes to mind is in Galatians 5 where it speaks of "the fruith" of the _Spirit being
etc. etc. etc.
POINT B> We also know according to James 1 that patience is a result of our faith being tried: AND who tries our faith? Is it we ourselves? No, not us!! Who put Job to the test? And what of Job did GOD say in James 5? "...consider the patience of Job"
So it seems as though of the six characteristics we are admonished to add to our faith at least three of them are added by means other than our efforts - will power - They seem to be molded into my live by means outside of myself. Even the faith we begin with is a fruit of the Spirit and seemingly not something I muster up inside of me.
So how do I understand this imperative - this commandment, to "...add to your..."; or any other commandment in the OT or NT? If GOD tells me to do something and then shows me elsewhere in scripture that it is not me that does it then when I read a commandment (an imperative) what am I to understand that GOD is saying to me?
Consider the statement of Romans 9, "So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of GOD that shows mercy." Please take note of the context of this statement, it is conjunction with a dissertation that speaks to the fact that GOD is "the potter" and we are "the clay".
My conclusive questions are then, 1. Is He telling me to do ____?
2. Is He telling me 'this is how life works?'
I think when I read a commandment, that it is either 1. or 2.. It may be neither. But certainly there is cause to raise these 2 questions: For undoubtedly when you read and study GODS' Word you are confronted with an abundance of commandment, and you will find those commandments get fulfilled in some way; and very often that way is other than an act of my strength in exercising my will power.
THE BIG QUESTION!
Do I make it happen?
Do I have the (a) responsibility?
Is GOD expecting me to make myself be____?
In other words we are asking, Where oh GOD does your sovereignty and my will meet?
A question to ponder for awhile and deal with at a latter time.
Do you have any thoughts?
SO, these things, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, love
all being added to my faith, are abounding in my life: That is to say,
I am very moral, have a lot of self - control and endurance; I am godly and quite kind to my brother; and, GODS' love fills my heart:::
This abundance makes my knowledge of my LORD JESUS CHRIST, fruitful knowledge. I have not a mere academic knowledge that can shout doctrine and theology, and quote verses; I have a fruitful and non barren knowledge. A knowledge that has or does benefit someone.
It is almost as if the virtue, the knowledge, the temperance ... the love are fertilizer that stimulates the fruit bearing life within or without. In either case the knowledge of my LORD will not be barren but rather fruitful if these things abound in me.
AND this brings me right back to virtually the same question which we just addressed, 'How do these things become abundant in my life? GOD'S not only talking about having these characteristics in my life, but having an abundance of these characteristics. And quite frankly when I look at this list of traits it looks to big a task for me to ADD these all in abundance to my life.
I took this statement concerning the fruitfulness of the knowledge of CHRIST (vs. 8) and understand it to say that gaining much knowledge will produce this fruit then there is hope in my heart for these characteristics to enter into me and to become abundant in me. For I believe the more I study GODS" written word for the purpose of knowing Him intimately then the more of His heart He will reveal to me (Prov. 2:1-15), and I will find myself becoming more like Him (1 John 3:2). If GOD is virtuous, knowledgeble, self controlled, patient, godly, kind and loving then I would be being conformed to His image (the image of CHRIST); Hence my knowledge of JESUS CHRIST is experiential and has become fruitful.
THIS IS what I think happens and THIS IS what I think (believe) He is teaching in this passage. The knowing of GOD, being personal, being intimate, and being experiential knowledge will undoubtedly lead to a filling of my heart ans soul with Him, or of Him, which will innately result in a fruitfulness that is abundant with His virtue, knowledge, self control, endurance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
This is not and understanding that has come from just this passage of scripture in 2nd Peter 1, but rather this understanding is based on the immediate context in light of how it weaves into the whole picture of GODS" Word.