At some point in time all of us have made resolutions, especially around New Years. But the haunting fact is that most of have never been able to fulfill those resolutions. More often than not we forget about them, later regretting the wasted opportunity we were given.
In 2 Peter 1:5-15 we can find five times where Peter talked about "these things" that would, if remembered, would keep one from falling (1:10). More than that, one who remembers "these things" will grow in fruit and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ (1:8). One who forgets "these things" has no concept of the future, nor do they have any respect for the sacrifice necessary to purge their sins (1:8).
Each one of these 8 things build upon the other and form a complete structure, beginning with faith and ending with a love for all, including one's enemies.
1. Faith – conviction that something is true
a. Romans 3:28 KJV - "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." Gal. 3:11 – The just shall live by faith.
b. 2 Corinthians 5:7 KJV - "(For we walk by faith, not by sight:)"
c. 1 Timothy 4:1 KJV - "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
2. Virtue – moral goodness; a course of thought, feeling and action that involves modesty and purity
a. Philippians 4:8 (true, honest, just, pure, lovely, good report; if there be any virtue, think on these things)
b. 1 Peter 2:9 KJV - "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:"
3. Knowledge – general knowledge of the Christian religion, a deeper more perfect knowledge, especially of things lawful and unlawful.
a. Romans 11:33 KJV - "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!"
b. Romans 15:14 KJV - "And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another."
c. 1 Corinthians 8:1 KJV - "Now as touching things offered unto idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth."
4. Temperance – self-control (Thayer’s – the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual apptites)
a. Acts 24:25 KJV - "And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come , Felix trembled , and answered , Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee."
5. Patience – steadfastness, constancy, endurance
a. James 1:3-4 KJV - "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."
b. James 5:11 KJV - "Behold , we count them happy which endure . Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy."
6. Godliness – reverence, respect, piety towards God
a. 1 Timothy 6:6 KJV - "But godliness with contentment is great gain."
b. 1 Timothy 4:7-8 KJV - "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come."
7. Brotherly Kindness – (philidelphia) brotherly love
a. Romans 12:10 KJV - "Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;"
b. 1 Thessalonians 4:9 KJV - "But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another."
8. Charity – (agape)
a. John 13:35 KJV - "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
b. Romans 5:8 KJV - "But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
c. 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 KJV - "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity."
d. Matthew 5:44, 46 KJV - "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ... For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?"