5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness… (2 Peter 1:5–6, NKJV)
Moral courage and a knowledge of God’s word are not enough to produce a strong faith. You must also have the self-control to choose what is good and to refuse sin. Thus, the apostle gives instruction to increase your faith by adding self-control to knowledge. Temperance (self-control) is “the virtue of one who masters his desires and passions, especially his sensual appetites” (Thayer). It is the ability to govern oneself, including when one is tempted to sin. Instead of being drawn away by sinful desires you must exercise self-control in all things (1 Cor. 9:25). You control yourself. You were not born a sinner. You are not tempted to sin beyond your ability to resist. God gives you a way of escape so that you can endure and prevail in Christ (1 Cor. 10:13). Self-control is one such way of escape. When you are tempted, exercise self-control to escape sin’s allurement. When you do, your faith will grow stronger.