For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge 2 Peter 1:5
In this sentence, Peter urges everyone not to make an ordinary effort but to excel by making every effort to add to your faith. Your faith is not in question because you already know who to rely upon and who will help you the most in trials. To you, God is not a fable invented by men because you have a personal relationship with the creator of everything you can perceive with your human senses.
The reality is that God has given everyone a measure of faith. Whether you are on good terms with God or not, there is a reason why everyone seeks Godís help in times of desperation. Beyond a shadow of a doubt in times of desperation people will do things that they would not do otherwise. Without hope, they turn to God because the existence and foreknowledge of God is embedded deep within the soul of every man to seek help from the God of heaven who is able to meet their need.
Faith comes from hearing the good news of the gospel and through faith God draws you to Jesus and to a saving grace of God. Then after you have declared Jesus, as Lord your faith in God must grow with use. By using your faith to seek God you will begin to connect with him, being built up in truth and becoming more convinced to trust him at his word.
Faith has something in common with lumber; lumber is nothing more than building materials while it is in the stack. The lumber itself doesnít do anything, but if you were to arrange the lumber in an organized manned you could build a structure to live in. True faith transfers your beliefs and knowledge into deeds. In relation to God knowing what God has promised to do wonít do anything more than the stack of lumber will do. Faith is what you do with Godís promises. James said it this way, faith without works is dead. In other words, you can believe the promises of God, but where is your trust in him unless you put his principles to use in your daily life. The truth is that you have put your hands to work and apply what you believe in to have a favorable outcome in faith. A carpenter has faith in the plans of the house, but he has to arrange the lumber and drive nails to receive the benefit of his knowledge.
In the same way, the outward signs of your faith occur with the exercise of your beliefs. Faith needs to be exercised like those who walk a picket line. Those who observe you know that you are taking a stand for or against something, because of the signs that you are carrying. It is said that actions speak louder than words, therefore, God will see your faith by the signs you carry, gain his approval and response.
Knowing the outcome of the jobs you do makes the job go faster because of your knowledge. At times the things you do for God have an unknown outcome, but your trust in him makes the difference. Life change constantly and experience comes in handy for the jobs you never have done before. However, experience isnít always possible, even when reading and studying God's word you can develop a plan of action. From Godís word, you gain the knowledge to move mountains of this world when God strengthens you with his truth. God is always available to give you the wisdom you need.
You need a benefit to exercise faith. Paul wrote that without love he was only making noise and even if he could move mountains by faith he was nothing. Faith is almost always combined with love and the gospel message. God instructed Joshua to do everything written in the book of law. Therefore, adding the qualities Peter talks about in the verses that follows is a participation in the divine qualities of God. James advised us to practice Godís word because by doing Godís will, you will develop your trust in God because you used his principles of truth.
Peter is saying that God wants you to do something more with your faith than being saved. Being saved is only the first step in accepting God as your father and cleans the slate that once separated you from God.
But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusationóif you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. Colossians 1:22-23
Paul spoke of continuing in your faith, as you need to grow in your faith. You made a commitment of faith at the moment of salvation in words similar to; ďsave me and I will serve you the rest of my life.Ē That decision changed your relationship with God and every decision you make changes the options you have for the next decision. At this point, your relationship changed from a stranger to the son or daughter of the almighty. Continuing in the faith is now a matter of keeping your word by obeying the person (God the father) who adopted you as his child. God is raising you as his child with the hope that you will adopt his character and the basic truth that he lives by. God disciplines those he loves by training his children in the way they should live knowing that in the days and years that follow they will not depart from Godís teaching.
Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. Hebrews 6:1-2
The issue of salvation should be placed in your past, in other words, itís a done deal. Once you were born again you become a child of God and enter his kingdom as a child.
Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3
Letís consider how you enter the Kingdom of God as an adult of the world. Being 41 years old when you were born again does not make you an expert on the kingdom of God. When you were born into the spiritual realm you have the same knowledge as when you were born into the physical world. Because everything is completely new you, you know nothing of the realm you were born into, but you began to learn as you began to grow. Continuing in the faith is similar to advancing from milk to eating solid food. There is a growth process expected with time and sooner or later you should expect the child to become less dependent on the parents for training.
The writer of Hebrews is saying to put the basic knowledge of God to work; you have graduated from school and itís time to reap the benefits from that knowledge. He is also saying it is time to become mature by putting the milk bottle behind you, grow up and begin to eat solid food. As Jesus said, my meat is to do the will of God.
Anyone, who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:13-14
Becoming mature in Christ is more than sitting in the pews for twenty years and doing what other Christians do. Mature Christianís take a personal interest in knowing God and doing things to please him. He makes himself accountable to his Father for his actions and seeks the place of being right in the eyes of everyone else. The Christian who truly loves God is not out to harm anyone, but seeks the wellbeing of those he or she encounters every day. Their goal is to demonstrate the love of God to the world.
The faith of a Christian is always growing because his or her faith is at the center of their life. When the conditions are right, Christianís take a step of faith into a ministry they feel called to do. They feel being led or are moved by an impression that God has appointed them to full time of ministry in one area of life. It is a step of faith to leave the security of a good paying job to do work for the Lord not knowing where or when their livelihood will come from. That step of faith will make you place your trust in the Lord for your livelihood complete.
Adding to your faith is a lifetime of experiences that grows into total dependence on God. During your lifetime you will experience the person that your faith is based in and learn that Jesus Christ will never fail you even when you fail him. Jesus Christ knows what you are going through because he has been there and been in situations similar to yours. You keep going because your faith tells you the best is yet to come.
The first sight of the job God has given you to do may seem impossible to you. Start doing that job with the knowledge that Godís area of expertise is the impossible and that you can do all things through Jesus Christ, who strengthens you. God enables you to do the work he has appointed to you to do and he will be at your side to do the jobs you canít do. God stretches your abilities to increase your potential but he also gives you the reasons with the courage to do more for him. Remember this; you will never attempt to do anything you donít think is possible, it is God who does the impossible.
God will lead the way for you to wear many hats that will diversify and adding new skills to your ministry. God thinks on a larger scale than men do and the jobs God gives will also reflect that thinking. The need to add to your faith is demanding, because as you grow in Christ you are given more responsibilities and causing your ministry to grow.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, Ephesians 3:20
You have to release the power of God that lives in you when you have jobs that are too big for you, because nothing is too big for God to handle. God knows what you cannot do, but who gets the credit when the impossible happens and who is praised on high? Isnít that one of the goals you are working for? You see, ultimately your faith a means of giving honor and praise to God.