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Online Bible Verses - 2nd Peter 1:5-8 God's Order of Operation

Updated on May 10, 2012

“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. 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.”

2nd Peter 1:5-8:

See that faith comes first, then all good things follow.

In mathematics we have laws pertaining to order of operation. An example:

[ (5 – 2)^2 * 2^3 ]/2

= [ 3^2 * 2^3 ]/2

= [9 * 8]/2 = 72/2 = 36

If we do not follow the laws, we will not arrive at the proper solution. We will obtain an apparent solution, but it will be incorrect. Someone please check my math and make sure I did it right.

The same logic applies to one’s relationship with God. Here order of operation is critical. That order, according to scripture as follows:

God calls man --> man chooses, as per his own free will, to respond openly --> God infuses man with His spirit, he is a new creation. He has been cured of a terminal illness --> Man fulfills his earthly purpose, doing God’s work. He is capable of doing good, once realizing and accepting that nothing good was to found in him in and of himself only. God defines good, as He alone is good.

Note the order first assigns goodness to God, and we can know God because He is good and offers us the opportunity. He is graceful.

Order of operation is very important here, and we must ask ourselves: will we and can we ever discipline ourselves to be good? And, if so, how do we define good?

Or, perhaps, the order laid out in scripture shows us the way to arrive at the correct solution. We cannot be good. God is good, however, and is willing to impart goodness to us. We become good only because He looks at us in the same way we look at our kids, even when they are bad. He will take us as we are. He can, in effect, make us good via pardon and the work He undertakes within us.

That’s good news.


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    • lucabrasi profile image

      lucabrasi 5 years ago from Greensboro, NC

      Agreed Angela. Only God is good when His definition is the standard. My "effectively good" descriptor does not cut it, suggesting we might aspire to good. I know better. Today is a good day though! PTL.

    • angela_michelle profile image

      Angela Michelle Schultz 5 years ago from United States

      Truth is, we can never be good. From the moment Eve took a bit from the fruit of good and evil, we were separated from God. The moment we were separated from God, we no longer could be purely good, because God is good. If we are separated from Him, than we could never attain true goodness. Still, I get your point. :)

      By the way, your math was correct!