“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance….” (From II Peter 1:5-6a).
Looking at things that support and strengthen our faith, we come to the next thing to increase the quality of our faith: temperance. By faith we receive salvation. Then, that faith must grow and become stronger and stronger. To make that happen grace provides “virtue.” This type of virtue supports our faith, strengthens it, anchors it. Faith is in a Person; it is in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We have been granted a life-long relationship with Him! As we come to really know Him, experientially, we come to trust Him more and more. In other words, our faith grows more and more as we relate to Him and discover that He is absolutely trustworthy and can be relied on completely. To this strengthening faith, we add “temperance, as He enables or supports us to be able to do. Temperance is self-control. That never means that we control ourselves; it means that the Holy Spirit controls our “self.” Temperance is part of the fruit of the Spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is….temperance….” (From Galatians 5:22-23). As we yield to the Spirit’s promptings and obey and apply what He shows us in God’s Word, our “self” is being controlled. We apply and obey because we are motivated by love for our Lord and gratitude for His amazing grace. Another way to put it is that our “self” dies out, to be replaced by His will for us. Through our increasing strength of faith, grace flows, disciplining us to deny ungodliness and to live Godly. (See Titus 2:11-12). “For Freedom, Christ Has Set Us Free!” In the hymn by this title, we have these thoughts: “We’re clothed in Christ and we belong; now no one waits outside. In Him we find our common song; old ways no more divide. “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” He died for us, new life to give– and new identity. Now, Spirit-filled, may we be led from ways that would destroy. May we your people turn instead to lives of love and joy. May we find peace that makes us whole and patience everywhere. God, give us kindness, self-control, and hearts and hands that share.” (Author unknown). Selah! Faith may start to grow slowly, but faith that doesn’t grow at all is not Biblical faith! Ron
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