1:1-11 Faith unites the weak believer to Christ, as really as it does the strong one, and purifies the heart of one as truly as of another; and every sincere believer is by his faith justified in the sight of God. Faith worketh godliness, and produces effects which no other grace in the soul can do. In Christ all fulness dwells, and pardon, peace, grace, and knowledge, and new principles, are thus given through the Holy Spirit. The promises to those who are partakers of a Divine nature, will cause us to inquire whether we are really renewed in the spirit of our minds; let us turn all these promises into prayers for the transforming and purifying grace of the Holy Spirit. The believer must add knowledge to his virtue, increasing acquaintance with the whole truth and will of God. We must add temperance to knowledge; moderation about worldly things; and add to temperance, patience, or cheerful submission to the will of God. Tribulation worketh patience, whereby we bear all calamities and crosses with silence and submission. To patience we must add godliness: this includes the holy affections and dispositions found in the true worshipper of God; with tender affection to all fellow Christians, who are children of the same Father, servants of the same Master, members of the same family, travellers to the same country, heirs of the same inheritance. Wherefore let Christians labour to attain assurance of their calling, and of their election, by believing and well-doing; and thus carefully to endeavour, is a firm argument of the grace and mercy of God, upholding them so that they shall not utterly fall. Those who are diligent in the work of religion, shall have a triumphant entrance into that everlasting kingdom where Christ reigns, and they shall reign with him for ever and ever; and it is in the practice of every good work that we are to expect entrance to heaven.
5. And beside this—rather, "And for this very reason," namely, "seeing that His divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain to life and godliness" (2Pe 1:3).
giving—literally, "introducing," side by side with God's gift, on your part "diligence." Compare an instance, 2Pe 1:10; 2Pe 3:14; 2Co 7:11.
add—literally, "minister additionally," or, abundantly (compare Greek, 2Co 9:10); said properly of the one who supplied all the equipments of a chorus. So accordingly, "there will be ministered abundantly unto you an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Saviour" (2Pe 1:11).
to—Greek, "in"; "in the possession of your faith, minister virtue. Their faith (answering to "knowledge of Him," 2Pe 1:3) is presupposed as the gift of God (2Pe 1:3; Eph 2:8), and is not required to be ministered by us; in its exercise, virtue is to be, moreover, ministered. Each grace being assumed, becomes the stepping stone to the succeeding grace: and the latter in turn qualifies and completes the former. Faith leads the band; love brings up the rear [Bengel]. The fruits of faith specified are seven, the perfect number.
virtue—moral excellency; manly, strenuous energy, answering to the virtue (energetic excellency) of God.
and to—Greek, "in"; "and in (the exercise of) your virtue knowledge," namely, practical discrimination of good and evil; intelligent appreciation of what is the will of God in each detail of practice.