And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge. 2 Peter 1:5.
“Add to your faith virtue.” There is no promise given to the one who is retrograding. The apostle, in his testimony, is aiming to excite the believers to advancement in grace and holiness. They already profess to be living the truth, they have a knowledge of the precious faith, they have been made partakers of the divine nature. But if they stop here they will lose the grace they have received….
Without giving “all diligence” to make step after step upward to God above the ladder, there is no gaining ground in peace and grace and the work of holiness. “Strive,” said Jesus, “to enter in at the strait gate.” Luke 13:24. The way of the believer is marked out by God above the ladder. All his endeavors will be in vain if he has not virtue of character, a practical knowledge of Christ through obedience to all His requirements. Those who have faith must be careful to show their faith by their works….
“Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge”—knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus, knowledge of the great plan of salvation. To be ignorant of God’s commandments and laws will not excuse a soul. He will not dare to plead around the throne of God, “I did not know the truth. I was ignorant.” The Lord has given His Word to be our guide, our instructor, and with this heavenly enlightening there is no excuse for ignorance….
Truth is an active, working principle, molding heart and life so that there is a constant upward movement…. In every step of climbing, the will is obtaining a new spring of action. The moral tone is becoming more like the mind and character of Christ. The progressive Christian has grace and love which passes knowledge, for divine insight into the character of Christ takes a deep hold upon his affections. The glory of God revealed above the ladder can only be appreciated by the progressive climber, who is ever attracted higher, to nobler aims which Christ reveals. All the faculties of mind and body must be enlisted.3Manuscript 13, 1884.