FRUITFUL BECAUSE FAITHFUL
How can a Christ-follower be certain that they are growing spiritually? “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. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in … our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8 NLT)
Christ-followers begin with faith but that faith must lead to spiritual growth—unless it is dead faith. Faith leads to growth and growth leads to practical results of an abundant and an enriched life of service all the while moving closer to your grand entrance into the eternal kingdom. (v. 11)
Some of the most effective Christ-followers I have known are people without dramatic talents and special abilities, or even exciting personalities — still God has used them in a marvelous way. This is because they are becoming more and more like Jesus Christ. They have the kind of character and conduct that God can trust with his blessings. They are fruitful because they are faithful. They are effective because they are growing in their Christ-following experience. These beautiful qualities of character do exist within us because we possess the divine nature (v.4). We must cultivate them so that they increase and produce fruit in and through our lives.
If you forget what God has done for you you'll not be motivated by your character to share Christ with others. Because of the blood of Christ you have been cleansed and forgiven! God has opened your eyes! Don’t be nearsighted but rather sharpen your spiritual vision. The needs of those around you are too great for you to be walking around with your eyes closed! (v. 9)
If you are growing spiritually you will walk with confidence because you know you are secure in Christ. The person who claims to be a child of God but whose character and conduct give no evidence of spiritual growth is deceiving themselves and opening the door for judgment. Just because you are one of the chosen few is no excuse for spiritual immaturity or the lack of effort in you Christian life. Make every effort to be willing to cooperate with God to do the work he has chosen you to do. Don’t be spiritually lazy! You will not always be at the top of the mountain but you should always be climbing higher. (v. 10)