But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
These passages show us many of the gifts given to us by the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts and in our lives. These gifts and changes to our character are part of the process of spiritual growth brought about by the Holy Spirit, after we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. This process of change carried out by God in us is called “sanctification.” The process of sanctification starts with our salvation and continues until we see Jesus face to face. It’s the process whereby the Holy Spirit works in us changing our hearts and minds for Christ. Prior to our salvation, we were dead in our trespasses and sins, our spirit was dead and unable to understand the things of God. However, with our salvation, we received a new spirit, one that is alive to God and the things of God. With our salvation, we receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, who then works with our new spirit to make us a new creation in Christ Jesus our Lord.
And in the passages above God’s word lays out some of the gifts we receive as a result of the Holy Spirit’s work of sanctification in us. And because of all the gifts which God has given to us, starting with our salvation and these blessings brought about by the Holy Spirit’s work with us. God transforms us and changes our hearts and minds. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we are transformed into children of God, fit for service in the kingdom of God. Therefore, we cannot be indifferent to God and those around us. Such abundance of gifts given to us by God’s divine grace calls for our total dedication, love and praise of the Lord. Therefore, we gain knowledge of Christ through submission to His Lordship, through the study of his word, the Bible and through obedience to the promptings and direction of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to give our lives to Christ and it’s this submission to Jesus, which in turn prepares us for God’s service and makes us fruitful in God’s kingdom work. Why? Because it prepares our hearts and minds and builds in us a love for God and for those around us. In addition, it equips us for the good works the Lord has planned for us, works we perform with joy out of our love for Jesus.