by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
"And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge." (2 Peter 1:5)
The importance of diligence is urged by Peter as basic in the development of the seven other virtues listed by him--that is, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, charity--as vital additions to our faith. Diligence is seldom considered as a particular Christian attribute, but it is essential if we really desire to develop the other Christian virtues in our lives. They do not come by wishing or hoping. Peter also exhorts us to "give diligence to make your calling and election sure" (v. 10), and then to "be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless" (3:14).
Essentially the same Greek word is also translated "study" and "labor" and "endeavor." Paul commands, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). He beseeches us always to be "endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace" (Ephesians 4:3). We are even told to "labour therefore to enter into that rest" (Hebrews 4:11).
There are many other such exhortations in which Christian diligence is urged or shown in reference to other Christian virtues. There is one key verse, however, in which diligence itself is commanded as a Christian duty: "Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord" (Romans 12:11). Here the word "business" is the same as "diligence." That is, each Christian is commanded to "be diligent in diligence!"
Christian salvation is received solely by grace through faith. The Christian life, however, demands diligence. Can we not, as today's verse commands, give all diligence in our service to the Lord who gave His life for us? HMM