“Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, …” (II Peter 1: 5)
Virtue or moral excellence is the manifestation of the “energy” of the Holy Spirit working in us, in response to our faith in Jesus Christ. Our response to this “energy” is to have “energy” in the outliving of our faith which will manifest itself as “change” in our behavior, resulting in increased moral excellence.
Now stop and read the first paragraph again before going on. Do you see this in your life?
“Change” takes “energy” or power. From whence does it come? Listen to what is on record and is just as true today as when it left Peter’s writing instrument 2000 years ago. “Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these, He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.” (II Peter 1: 3-4) He has given us “everything” we need for life and godliness through the true knowledge of God, which is found in scripture, and precious magnificent promises that are found in scripture also. Why did He do this? So His born again children could be partakers of His divine nature, which has been implanted in them, escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust or passionate cravings.
“Change” always takes “energy” or power. Our precious Lord Jesus told the disciples before His death, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:8) He sent His Spirit to come along side of us and to help us successfully live the victorious Christian life. He, the Holy Spirit of God, is constantly releasing His energy so we will desire the sweet will of God and, then as we say “yes” and move our will to obey, He releases His power to make the change a reality.
Peter begins this exhortation of II Peter, by asking that sanctifying grace and sanctifying peace be multiplied in the sphere of and by the full knowledge of our God, even Jesus, the Lord. Listen to Wuest’s explanation of this knowledge:
“The particular word for knowledge here, epignosis, speaks of experiential knowledge, that is knowledge gained by experience. This knowledge of Jesus Christ possessed by the believer therefore, is not a mere intellectual knowledge of the facts concerning Him acquired by a study of the Gospels, for instance, but a heart experience of what and who He is, gained by such a study, including a personal association with Him, by means of the Word and the ministry of the Holy Spirit. It is a person with Person knowledge through intimate fellowship.”
He has not left us as orphans. He is wanting to fellowship with us. Reflect on that for a moment. Out of this fellowship will flow two things: 1. sanctifying grace, the work of the Holy Spirit in the yielded believer producing Jesus’ personality traits. 2. Also out of this fellowship will flow sanctifying peace, the tranquility of heart which is the result of the Holy Spirit’s ministry in our life.
May His “energy” be evident in your life. May you be increasing in all the fruit of the Spirit as you fellowship with your Lord and Savior Jesus.