2 Peter 1:5 – And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge;
Teachings about faith are fundamental in Christianity. The emphasis on faith in modern Christianity is enormous. Albeit, the scripture still expects us to add something to our faith.
Peter, the author of our reference text, was the leader of the church and had the responsibility to guide the church about the Christian Faith. He did a good job by ensuring the faith handed over to him by the Master was well distributed across the continent through active discipleship. He thought among the disciples with much emphasis on living by faith as Jesus thought them.
However, the apostle Peter saw a need here that we must all see. He saw that having faith by believing in the Lord may not be all that is needed. He announced that the church should be diligent, make effort and work hard to add something else to their faith!
What is it that we need to add to our faith?
Is it not surprising that having a mountain-moving faith is not enough to please God? The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God. This means that faith is a must if we will live a life that is pleasing to God. However, the teaching from Peter in our text is that our faith needs to be supplemented with virtue.
Virtue is a word with many synonyms. It means goodness, character, integrity, dedication and understanding. Different versions of the Bible used these synonyms in passing across the message by the apostle Peter. The bottom line is, we do not just need to live by faith, we need to live a life of faith by expressing virtuous character, goodness and integrity.
In our world today, many people are full of faith but lack virtue. These are the people who fervently pray but lack good character and integrity. They declare by faith, they pursue by faith and confess by faith, yet, they refuse to trust God for truthfulness, honesty and faithfulness in their dealings. We cannot say they are not believers, they are only lacking virtue in their faith.
We all need to supplement our faith. Good character, honesty, and integrity are important virtues we must add to our faith. As we trust God for many things and declare them by faith, living a virtuous life would pave way for the manifestation of our faith. All the giants of faith declared in the book of Hebrews 11 needed to add virtue to their faith. It was the virtue in Abel’s faith that made God prefer his offering to that of Cain. Noah’s righteousness was not just because he believed in God, it was because he was a man of integrity. Abraham and his wife showcased their virtuous life when they sealed up their blessing on the day they welcome God into their home without knowing, through an act of benevolence and hospitality. They were a virtuous and caring couple and in their act of doing what they love doing, the answers to their prayers came.
Our faith will perform beyond our expectations if we could add virtues- goodness, love, caring, honesty and integrity. Adding these virtues to our faith will surely enhance our relationship with God and man.