“For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
For if these things
“These things” are the chorus of seven character qualities of the previous verses arising from one’s faith. Each time the words “these things” occur in verses 8 and 9, they refer to the seven faith-building blocks of Christian character.
When a Christian develops the seven sub-structures of his faith, he will be effective and productive. The necessary consequence of adding one characteristic to another is fruit and productivity.
These seven qualities will cause five effects found in verses eight and nine.
The words “are yours” imply possession and point out that the seven characteristics of the previous verses “belong” to Christians who grow in their faith. As these qualities increase in measure, so does a believer’s effectiveness in Christian living.
The word “are” here is not the common Greek word for “are.” The term in this verse is a strong word for “are.” This “are” means to be identical with, to be in a state, generally with the implication of a particular set of circumstances. It carries the idea to exist, especially concerning ownership. This term always involves a pre-existent state before the fact referred to and a continuance of the state after the fact. Thus in Philippians 2:6, the phrase “who being in the form of God” implies Christ’s pre-existent deity in eternity past, previous to His birth, and His continued deity afterward.
Further, the word “are” in “are yours” means that which is from the beginning. Something attaches itself to a person and thus belongs to him. The character qualities of verses five through seven are not erratic, here one day and gone tomorrow. All these qualities lie resident in the child of God, who appropriates them to experience.
Godly character belongs to those who grow.
God made us fit for heaven; we were fit for hell; now, we are suitable for heaven. But are we fit for heaven in our experience? The only One who can rearrange your life is the One who saved your soul. He does it in this order: first, He saves our souls, then constructs our lives under His making.
Co 1:12, “Giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.”
Do you have a solid spiritual heartbeat? Are you thrown sideways if someone criticizes you? Are you limping toward heaven? Are you marching your way to heaven?
1 Co 3:1-4, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? 4 For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, ‘I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?'”
1 Th 3:12, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you.”