2 Peter 1:5–7 (NIV) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.

  1. How do we become people of goodness, godliness, love and the other things listed in this verse?
  2. Make every effort. Is Christian discipleship about trying hard?
  3. Can you live the abundant Christian life without effort?
  4. I have heard people say we are just to let go and let God have his way. Is this right?
  5. Is Christian living active or passive?
  6. Make every effort. That sounds like salvation by works. Thoughts?
  7. Is our justification about effort?
  8. Is our sanctification about effort?
  9. C. Ryle said, “Sanctification, again, is a thing which depends greatly on a diligent use of Scriptural means. When I speak of “means,” I have in view Bible-reading, private prayer, regular attendance on public worship, regular hearing of God’s Word, and regular reception of the Lord’s Supper. I lay it down as a simple matter of fact, that no one who is careless about such things must ever expect to make much progress in sanctification.”[1] Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?
  10. Here is another quote. This one from Jerry Bridges: “There is a price to godliness, and godliness is never on sale. It never comes cheaply or easily. The verb train, which Paul deliberately chose, implies persevering, painstaking, diligent effort.”[2] Again: Agree? Disagree? Thoughts?
  11. Try really hard to be a good Christian. Is that the message? Is there more to it than that?[3]
  12. How can we pray for each other this week?


[1] Ryle, J. C. 1889. Holiness: Its Nature, Hindrances, Difficulties and Roots. London: William Hunt and Company.

[2] Bridges, Jerry. 1983. The Practice of Godliness. Colorado Springs, CO: Navpress.

[3] We have seen also that holiness of life is not precisely a human achievement, however much it demands of human effort. It is a work of the Holy Spirit, who prompts and energizes the human effort as part of it. It is a supernaturalizing of our natural lives, a matter of becoming and so of being what we are as new creatures in Christ—a living out behaviorally of what God is working in us transformationally. We do not sanctify ourselves. — Packer, J. I. 2009. Rediscovering Holiness: Know the Fullness of Life with God. Second Edition. Ventura, CA: Regal.