Adding on Your Part
“Yes, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue...” - 2 Peter 1.5
This sentence introduces what are often called the Christian graces (faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, brotherly kindness, love). The preceding verse reminds us God has granted us precious and exceedingly great promises, allowing us to become partakers of the divine nature. God did amazing things for our salvation. But He did not say we played no role in the redemptive process.
Peter says “adding on your part...” Other versions translate the phrase “make every effort,” or “giving all diligence.” Peter reminds us we share some responsibility in this process - that we must “make our calling and election sure.” The whole point of God’s plan of redemption was to cleanse us from our sins so that we might “present our bodies a living sacrifice, wholly acceptable to God” (Rom. 12.1). God has always expected his children to serve Him.
I once read a biography of that giant of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther. Luther struggled throughout his early years believing he was just not good enough to be saved. He believed in purgatory, the Catholic doctrine of an intermediary state after death where the souls of the faithful go to suffer for sins on earth before going to heaven. As hard as he tried, Luther feared the long period of time he expected to spend there. He put too much emphasis on works and too little on God’s grace. He later flipped completely, believing works played no role in our redemption. The truth lies somewhere in between.
Peter tells us God has been unbelievably gracious. He has forgiven, and will continue to forgive, our sins. But His relationship with us is also based on our willingness to commit to living for Him. Thus, He says these Christian graces should be characteristics of our daily lives for “thus shall be supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (1.11). As the apostle John puts it, we must walk in the light while continuing to confess we are sinners. Then the blood of Jesus will cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1.6-9).
We cannot live a life righteous enough to earn salvation. That is why we need grace, and lots of it. But if our daily life is not transformed, we will fail to be identified as one of the elect.
Make sure you are striving daily to be “adding on your part.”
He expects nothing less.