Peter tells us that we are to make every effort to supplement our faith. How do we do that and what is it we are to add to it? Again, the answer is to become Spirit-led. This breaks the chains of our fleshly desires and puts us into a mode of obedience to God that is by His strength and direction instead of our own. Again, this is only possible for the Spirit-led, but all who are partakers of the divine nature are able to do this because our sanctification is the will of God.
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; 3 seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. 2 Peter 1:2-4 (NASB)
Is it possible to know whether we are genuine partakers of the divine nature and not simply religious converts? Let us look at the Apostle Peter’s understanding of this. If anyone would understand that our own efforts to please God are a total waste of time, Peter would be the man. He declared to our Lord on the night of His arrest that he would rather die with Him than desert Him. However, we all know that Peter not only deserted our Lord that night, he denied Him three times. From that failure and his later restoration by our Lord after He was resurrected, we know that we cannot please God with our own efforts. Any work that we do that is outside of His Grace is just works of the flesh and totally worthless.
Peter was restored to fellowship and service by our Lord. That should be an encouragement to us all. Who hasn’t failed and stumbled horribly? How do we feel when we do that? It should break our hearts and also drive home the point that we cannot walk before the face of God in our own strength. If we try, we will be constantly fighting a losing battle with our flesh, which is still enslaved to this lost and dying world. The only solution is to become Spirit-led. It is through becoming Spirit-led that the evidence of our new nature becomes apparent and the assurance that we have escaped from the corruption that is in the world because our sinful desire becomes enhanced. (See 2 Peter 1:3-4 at the top of this post) Let us look at Peter’s counsel on what we will do if we are enslaved to the Spirit of God rather than to our own flesh.
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:5-11 (ESV)
Our faith was a gift from God at our regeneration (Ephesians 2:8-9). However, our sanctification is the will of God; therefore, we are to grow more and more humble as our pride is put to death. This makes us become Christlike. Only genuine Christians can overcome the world and deny their flesh. Everyone can make temporary decisions to do something or stop doing something, but that is only the fruit of will power and is not only temporal, but outside of the grace of God.