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The Bible talks about dead faith, which we can also refer to as empty faith, or useless faith. It is that kind of faith that is as good as being non-existent because it is not accomplishing what God wants or desires of it. “…. faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead” (James 2:17). Many of us have only this kind of faith, but God wants us to have faith that is fruitful. Our faith is not accompanied by action because our faith is not complete. There are some things that, when added to something else, make it better just like the condiments we add to hamburger. Our faith is more like food without salt. It is bland, tasteless and does not satisfy our desire and God’s purpose for us. It stands to reason then that our faith lacks action or deeds or fruit because it is missing some vital ingredients or shall we say condiments or faith enhancer.
Apostle Peter says there are certain things we need to add to our faith for our faith to be effective and productive. What are these faith enhancers? “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.” – 2 Peter 1:5-7. Our faith does not seem to be able to achieve much on its own. In fact, James said that faith without deed is useless (James 2:20). The question is, what deeds can we accomplish without these faith enhancers?
So that we do not get things twisted, we need to restate that faith is key; faith is the foundation we must build on. All these faith enhancers will also not get us anywhere without faith. All the faith enhancers listed by Apostle Peter are not available apart from faith. So, we must remember that apart from faith there is no goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. However, our faith is lame without the faith enhancers. Take for example our desire to love our neighbors or help the poor. Our faith by itself is worthless in this instance without goodness, mutual affection, and love. The faith enhancers help us to accompany our faith with deeds.
One thing to also keep in mind is that unlike food enhancers, you can never over enhance your faith. Too much salt for example will mess up the taste of the food. But the more our faith is enhanced by godly virtue the more productive it becomes. Apostle Peter said, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”- 2 Peter 1:8. My brothers and sisters, we must have faith, even if it is the size of a mustard seed, but we must put our faith to work by adding godly virtues in increasing measure. As we grow in godly virtue so also our faith becomes more productive. According to Dr. David Jeremiah in his book “Everything You Need”, God has given us, the faithful, everything we need for our life’s journey. What He gave us are our faith enhancers, we must aspire to have them in increasing measures because along with our faith, our journey of life becomes a lot easier. May His grace abound for us always and may we continually grow in godly virtue in Jesus’ name.
March 07, 2021 – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya