Supplements...what are they for? In the world of nutrition, supplements are generally used to add particular nutrients to our regular diet. People do this when their regular diet is low in necessary nutrients, or because their bodies require more of these nutrients in order to meet their higher physical requirements...think athletes or body builders.
Take protein supplements for example. An athlete or bodybuilder takes protein supplements to give their muscles extra nutrition to make the most out of their workouts. Yet, to only drink protein shakes would be a huge mistake. Our bodies need many more nutrients to be healthy and function properly. That is why protein shakes are called a supplement. Their purpose is to supplement a regular diet (foundational diet), to add more protein. So if one is trying to grow more muscle faster, they supplement their diets with protein.
2 Peter 1:1-11, uses the word "supplement" to describe 7 qualities that we should add to our daily diet, which is our faith. Our faith is the work of God and consists of our Knowledge of God (not just knowing him cognitively, but knowing him relationally), and trust in his very great promises to us. Peter says, that "His (God’s) divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence..."
God has given us the foundational faith, our daily diet. He has already GRANTED to us everything that we need, but Peter calls us to supplement this diet. Not because it is not enough, or that we can make it greater, rather it's the opposite. Without the regular diet, supplements are useless, and at times detrimental to our health. These 7 qualities Peter calls us to supplement our faith with, only have value because of the faith that we have been given. God is the one who has done the foundational work in each of these 7 qualities. Without his work, our work of adding these qualities would be impossible, for all of them require a transformed heart.
Here are the 7: Virtue, Knowledge (relational knowledge), self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love. To live out these qualities in the way that Peter is calling us to requires a true faith in God, that comes from an intimate relationship with him (knowledge) and trust in his very great promises for us. The greatest promise is the promise of eternal relationship with God, by the grace He grants us through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Why does Peter encourage believers to supplement their faith with these 7 qualities? If we do, he says that we will not fall. Peter doesn’t mean that we will not sin, but rather, that we will not fall away, or be drawn away by the world. He wants us to be rock solid, and unwavering in our faith, and able to persevere to the end.
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