5Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, 6and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, 7and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, …
5And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.
Christians can find themselves discouraged or depressed in their faith, noticing that attempts to grow in knowledge are met with fatigue or busyness. Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains in this sermon on 2 Peter 1:5-7 how this is not just a coincidence. Symptoms of spiritual depression are subtle and come creeping into the Christian life. Times like this remind the child of God of their life before Christ, one filled with uncertainty, shallowness, and misery. Causes for this spiritual depression come from having the wrong view of faith and sheer lack of diligence. Christians must safeguard their time with the Lord, be diligent to grow deeper in faith and in the knowledge of the Lord, and supplement faith with virtue. Faith grows when the pressures of the world are confronted with the truth of God’s Word. When this is done with patience and diligence, the Christian will not be as prone to fall away, and will begin to grow and enjoy the Christian life with abundance.
- The sermon addresses the topic of spiritual depression and a lack of fruitfulness in the Christian life.
- The passage from 2 Peter 1:5-7 is used to analyze the causes and remedies for this condition.
- The first cause identified is having a wrong view of faith - seeing faith as something magical that requires no effort or discipline. Faith requires diligent effort and discipline.
- The second cause is laziness, indolence and a lack of discipline. Life requires discipline and effort to overcome these tendencies.
- The remedies prescribed are:
- Give diligence and make every effort to live a disciplined Christian life. Discipline is essential.
- Supplement your faith with virtue (moral energy), knowledge (insight and understanding), temperance (self-control), patience (endurance), godliness (right attitude to God), brotherly kindness and charity (love).
- Remember what you have in Christ - you are partakers of the divine nature and have escaped the corruption of the world. This should motivate you.
- Diligence in the Christian life leads to assurance, joy, avoiding falls, and an abundant entrance into heaven.
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.