A splendid sum in addition!

(J.R. Miller)

"ADD . . .
  to your faith, virtue;
  to virtue, knowledge;
  to knowledge, self-control;
  to self-control, perseverance;
  to perseverance, godliness;
  to godliness, brotherly kindness; and
  to brotherly kindness, love." 2 Peter 1:5-7

Our verses present us with a splendid sum in addition! These graces are to be added one to another.

Faith comes first. But faith cannot stand-alone, so we add to our faith, virtue — that is, conformity of one's life and conduct to the highest moral and ethical principles.

Next we are to add knowledge. Knowledge, of course, of the true kind — wisdom for life, spiritual knowledge, knowledge of God, and of God's will as found in His Word.

Self-control comes next — this is the key of all noble life. No matter how strong we are, or how much we know — if we have not self-control, then something is lacking. He who can rule himself is strong — while he who lacks self-mastery, no matter what other gifts he may have, is pitiably weak.

Self-control produces another element — perseverance, perseverance in all Christian duties.

Another quality to be added to patience is Godliness — Godlikeness, Christlikeness.

Then comes brotherly kindness — affectionateness and forbearance to those among whom we mingle.

Last of all — love, the crowning gift and blessing!

These elements of character make up Christian maturity.

"For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:8