2 Peter 1:2-4 – Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Today we take yet another step forward in the process leading to the possession of the “divine nature.” So far, we’ve realized we must give “all diligence” to grow faith, and then add to faith virtue, and knowledge, and in that order. Today we make the next step and add to our knowledge temperance. The word “temperance” is the Greek word, “engkratia,” meaning “self control (especially continence): – temperance.” (from Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). This points to an element of character that prevents one from going too far off-track in any direction; to being tempered, as one would temper a master sword; of being rigid, but not too rigid; of being flexible, but not too flexible; of being honed to a sharp edge, and being able to keep that edge, even in inhospitable environs.
By this time, we should be recognizing that that point-by-point addition of each element we introduce is truly an orderly progression. Without faith you cannot please God. Without virtue (manliness) there will be weakness and lack of courage to use that faith. Without knowledge there will be no clear truth upon which to base one’s actions. And today, we see that without temperance, there would not be the balance needed to keep things moving forward properly.
The Word of God is called the “sword of the Spirit.” With that in mind, think of the tempering of a master sword blade. The blade needs to be rigid and strong enough to allow a keenly sharp edge to be taken and kept with use. At the same time there needs to be enough flexibility in the blade so it is not brittle and stiff, easily broken under stress. To achieve such a blade requires the touch of a master sword maker who knows how to skillfully blend those characteristics. To be a master sword maker, one must understand the use of different degrees of hardness in the iron used, the proper use of fire and levels of heat, the proper use of oil and water, and the proper understanding of blending all that under the smith’s hammer to make a blade that meets the desired qualities of rigidity and flexibility, while being able to hold a keenly sharp edge. In the matter of tempering one’s self, there must be knowledge of the Scriptures, as well as the ability to clearly hear the voice of Holy Spirit. When that is blended, temperance will result.
Manna for Today – 2 Peter 1:1-15; Proverbs 4:20-23; Joshua 1:6-9; Deuteronomy 28:1-14; 3 John 2; Jeremiah 29:11