I’m sure you’ve heard from the pulpit you need to grow your faith, but after leaving the church realize you don’t understand how to accomplish it. Well, you need to know these 7 steps to grow your faith in God to help find the answer.
When studying 2 Peter 1:5-7; 10b-11 I found supplement meant to add to, to nurture, and to grow. The words supplement and grow interchange throughout this blog. You’ll see I use both to describe the steps to increase your faith in God.
Grow Your Faith with Moral Excellence
“Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence…” v. 5
What is moral excellence and where do I find it? Good question! Moral excellence defined in the dictionary is “the quality of doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.” That seems simple enough, right?
Wrong. I know. When it comes to how you feel about it, think about how Paul felt when he wrote in Romans 7:14-24 “I don’t understand why I make wrong choices, when I want to do the right thing!” No one, ever, became free of this struggle. Jesus Christ is the only Sinless One who always chose honesty over wickedness. But, for you, you struggle with supplementing your faith with moral excellence because of your humanity.
~ Don’t Stop There
Should you stop there and throw up your hands and say, “Uh, oh well…I can never do right” and go on sinning! No, that’s not the right answer. Grow your faith this way:
First, you need to thank God the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord (Romans 7:25).
Second, understand today you’re never condemned by God. As a child of God, you won’t face the sentence of eternal hell (Romans 8:1).
Finally, because you belong to God, the power of the life-giving Spirit frees you from the power of sin (Romans 8:2). You no longer need to follow the whims and ways of your sinful nature by using his sanctifying power. The Holy Spirit power resides in you to choose what is right and avoid what is wrong. That’s the answer.
Grow Your Faith with Knowledge
“…and moral excellence with knowledge…” v. 5
“Knowledge” in this verse is the Greek word epignosis. The word epi means upon; the word gnosis means to know. When you compound these two words together, they form the word meaning “to come upon” or “to happen upon some type of knowledge.” It carries the idea of “making a discovery.” To put this into perspective it might say, “…[supplement] moral excellence by discovering.”God’s Word is rich in treasure. When hunting through God’s Word, discovering knowledge within the pages is an immense blessing. Click To Tweet
God’s Word is rich in treasure. When hunting through God’s Word, discovering knowledge within the pages is an immense blessing. But, you can’t look for treasure in a closed book. Opening, and reading the Bible increases your knowledge. You’ll uncover gems, jewels, and nuggets of gold to assist the support of moral excellence which in turn helps grow your faith.
Grow Your Faith with Self-Control
“…and knowledge with self-control…” v. 6
Self-control is a natural part of the fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23) Because the Spirit lives within you, his fruit should be evident. I used to say, “The devil made me do it!” Oh, he did not! I did it to myself by forgetting self-control is a Holy Spirit package deal. You can hone in on self-discipline in your life and polish it using spiritual disciplines to support knowledge to grow your faith.
Grow Your Faith with Patient Endurance
“…and self-control with patient endurance…” v. 6
Patient endurance is another way to say “perseverance” – a steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.
I got lost here when trying to grow my faith because, for me, impatience is one of my character flaws. My patience improved a little over time, but to use perseverance to support self-control was not always an easy thing. I often ran ahead of God because waiting was too challenging. Over time I grew to learn not to push through with my will. I supported my self-control with perseverance (patience AND endurance.) I clung to verses like Hebrews 10:36 which say, “Patient endurance is what you need now so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
Don’t become impatient waiting on God and miss out on what He promised you. Supplement your faith with perseverance.
Grow Your Faith Using Godliness
“…and patient endurance with godliness…” v. 6
Godliness comes from the Greek word eusebia and is used all over the New Testament to express the idea of inner piety or spirituality.1 Godliness, or holiness is a state of mind and heart which includes two aspects, attitude, and obligation.
~ Attitude of Godliness
The sovereign God who formed you deserves your attitude of godliness. It is a position of humility, reverence, and respect. If you hold the childish opinion of equality with God, your pride takes the place of humility. Remember, even Jesus did not recognize himself as equal to God but humbled himself to become a servant of God (Philippians 2:6).
~ Obligation of Godliness
In the New Testament godliness is a product of following the truth.1 Holiness is always a result of obeying the truth. Your obligation is not to any style of living, but to a form of obeying, doing what is pleasing to God. You must be careful here, however, not to focus on the doing and forget about being. God first wants you to obey His request to sit quietly with Him.
Godliness is about humbly submitting to the truth by following the voice of the Holy Spirit. That’s where obligation meets attitude. In your state of holiness, patient endurance is supported to grow your faith.
Grow Your Faith with Brotherly Affection
“…and godliness with brotherly affection…” v. 7
Love other Christians. Simple, right? Not all my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are easy to appreciate. But, I must go back to the amazing fruit of the Spirit. Remember, another aspect of the fruit of the Spirit is love. Use it to supplement godliness, so your faith grows.
Grow Your Faith by Loving Everyone
“… and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” v. 7
When you kick-off your love walk by using godliness to love your brother and sister in Christ, the next step isn’t such an extraordinary leap. Love for everyone seems hyperbolic, but really, it’s not.Love for everyone only comes by relying on God to fill you with His love. He sends it at the moment you need it even before you’ve asked for it. Click To Tweet
Love for everyone only comes by relying on God to fill you with His love. He sends it at the moment you need it even before you’ve asked for it. I experienced this phenomenon several times during my ministry in Celebrate Recovery. Amazed, I always walked away from the encounters overwhelmed by the presence of the Spirit.
God prompts you to supplement love for everyone else by first loving your Christian family. Allowing Him to move you to the next level will grow your faith.
Final review of 2 Peter 1:5-7:
In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.
Finally, read the promises God grants to you in 2 Peter 1:10b-11 when you grow your faith:
Do these things, and you will never fall away. Then God will give you a grand entrance into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
No matter your faith status, you grow your faith by following Peter’s instruction promises you a grand entrance into heaven.
1Second Peter 1:6c – Godliness – Bible. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.bible.ca/ef/expository-2-peter-1-6c.htm