“For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:8, AV)
When I lived with my grandmother in the country, we had some chickens, she had this idea to get a couple ducks. The only problem was that we did not have a duck pond. So, we decided to make one. I took a shovel and dug a three-foot-deep hole. We lined the little hole with membrane and filled it with water. The two ducks loved their little water place and we thought it was pretty nice. However, it did not take long for the water hole to start exuding the most disgusting odor. It flat stunk and no one wanted to even get close to it. The water became stagnant with a definite rancid smell.
I tried to drain the waterhole by punching through the membrane with a metal rod. However, when I did so, the water did not run out. The muck at the bottom of the bottom essentially plugged the hole I punched in it. So, I kept punching holes in it and working on it until the water drained. Yet the odor did not leave. We then filled in the hole with dirt, which partially mitigated the odor.
Why did the little duck pond stink? It was because there was no flow of water through it. In nature ponds that have a flow of water in and out stay fresh. Yet, little ponds that have no flow of water or only have water flowing in with no outflow get stagnant. It is the same with the Christian life.
Many professing Christians end up with stagnant lives. I know of some who profess Christ that have made Christianity an intellectual exercise apart from any practical response. They take in the knowledge of Christ, but do not display that they know Christ. In other words, there is no observable fruit. I am not getting into the argument as to whether they are truly saved or not. The Lord knows this. However, I do wonder.
Peter wrote of several qualities that true Christians are to add to their faith. Here he tells us that if these qualities are present and super abound in the believer that the believer will not be stagnant in their Christian life. The word translated as “barren,” argous, refers to being lazy (Strong G692). The believer who has the aforementioned qualities abounding in their lives will not be lazy and fruitless in their Christian lives. Their lives will accomplish something according to their precise and correct knowledge of Christ. Knowledge alone means nothing apart from the practical outflow in the life of the believer.
The outflow of fruitfulness in the true believer is a direct result of the presence and abounding of the qualities of virtue, knowledge, self-control, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love (that is agape). Thus, if these qualities are missing in the believer, there is something seriously amiss.
(More on this in the next devotion.)