Maturing by Levels
5” But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” 2 Peter 1:5-9 NKJV
In the opening lines of Peter’s letter, just before these verses above, Peter is revealing the power of Jesus, His divine power which provides for all that we need in this life. Then Peter follows up that truth with these verses in which he begins to share how we are to mature in spiritual strength. Peter is helping us to understand that there is a step by step process in our growth. Jesus has provided for us everything we need and now it is up to us to learn to grow in Him.
It begins with diligence and then it builds layer by layer on top of that. The whole growth process begins with us and our diligence. Remember Peter has already established that the divine power of Jesus has already provided for everything that you could possibly face today in this life. We begin to understand the truth of this and learn how to lay hold of that which is established for us by our diligence to the Word of God, for it is in the Word that Jesus reveals Himself to us and the promises that are ours through Him. We must be diligent to know Him and know of His promises for us by our time spent every day with Him in His Word. This is the foundation upon which we are to build the successive layers of spiritual growth.
To be diligent we have to be decisive. We have to make the determination that time spent in the Word is going to be both productive and fulfilling for us. Once we make that decision then we continue in diligence by being in the Word every day. As you are diligent to be in the Word daily you advance to the next step which is virtue. Time in the Word develops His virtue, His qualities and characteristics in you. These pour out of you to the world you touch daily. People are drawn to you because of the virtues they see in you. It is the Christ they see in you that has been developed by your diligence. This does not just come, it is developed by your diligence.
Then once people are seeing these virtues in you they are drawn to the Christ in you and that is when people begin to seek you. They desire to be with you, they want what they see in you, which is Jesus. As they are with you they ask you about Jesus and the things of the Word. Now you have stepped to the next level of maturity because as they ask you about Jesus, the knowledge that is in you comes out. You have knowledge in you about Jesus and the Word that you did not even realize you had, but it is the Holy Spirit wisdom in you and it all started with your diligence to be in the Word.
In your diligence to the Word you will see the steps of spiritual maturity continue to grow through you layer by layer to full maturity and victory in Jesus. Take the first step today by making the decision to be diligent in the Word and experience the layers of maturity in Jesus.
J Todd Hostetler