Summary: Keep in mind that to do what is right to make us distinct is doable, adding godliness to steadfastness.

Have you ever tried swimming against the current? For those of us who tried, I believe we found it so difficult and we even felt like drowning. I think that’s the same drowning feeling when we talk about living a godly life in an ungodly world. Either we feel like giving in or giving up. Yet, the truth remains that God called us to live a godly life.

This morning, we continue“Our Pursuit for Our Growth” series. We are going through 2 Peter 1:5-7. “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.”[1] Today, we will look into adding godliness to steadfastness.Godly living may be difficult but we can still dare to be different. To do what is right to make us distinct is doable. Let us pray first…

My son Jessey pointed out to me the other day that this series on spiritual growth is becoming the longest series I have ever preached here in Makati Gospel Church. This is the 13th message so far on the series based on 2 Peter 1:3-11. As I think about it, I saw that the apostle Peter spent his last few days teaching on spiritual growth. He pointed out, “Because the stakes are so high, even though you’re up-to-date on all this truth and practice it inside and out, I’m not going to let up for a minute in calling you to attention before it. This is the post to which I’ve been assigned—keeping you alert with frequent reminders—and I’m sticking to it as long as I live. I know that I’m to die soon; the Master has made that quite clear to me. And so I am especially eager that you have all this down in black and white so that after I die, you’ll have it for ready reference.”[2] Now, God willing, I am not dying anytime soon. But, as Peter wrote, the stakes are so high and we all need to have all these down firmly in black and white.

So, far we saw in verses 3-4 the power for our pursuit for spiritual growth, in verses 8-11 the purpose for our pursuit and now in verses 5-7 we are going through the pursuit itself where we see the seven spiritual qualities that we need to develop in ourselves. The first four qualities, that is virtue, knowledge, self-control and perseverance, “pertain to one’s inner life and his relationship to God”[3] while brotherly affection and love “relate to others”[4] or our relationship with people. It is fitting that godliness is the transition between the qualities that has to do with our relationship with God and with our relationship with ourselves. It is because this quality “described the man who was right in his relationship with God and with his fellowman… He seeks to do the will of God and, as he does, he seeks the welfare of others.”[5] For this message, I studied the four instances where the word “godliness” appeared in 2 Peter[6] and drew three insights from those verses.

What does it mean that we are to be godly? In the Greek, to be godly means to be god-like or to be like God in character. If you’re name is“Eusebia” or “Eusebio,” that was actually taken from the Greek word for “godliness.” When this word was translated into Latin, we got the word“pious” or “piety.” Godliness “consists in thinking as God thinks, and willing as God wills.”[7]

I have to admit that at first when I heard the word “godly” or “pious” or “holy,” I think of glow-in-the-dark Christians or those who don’t speak or act normal, those whose eyes are always dreamy and who speak so softly. But that is so far from the real thing.

I like what Chuck Colson wrote: “When we think of holiness, great saints of the past spring to mind—or contemporary giants of the faith. But holiness is not the private preserve of an elite corps of martyrs, mystics, and Nobel prize winners. Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian.”[8] Read the last sentence again: “Holiness is the everyday business of every Christian.” Godliness is actually very practical.

Usually when we hear “holiness” we immediately think of “sexual purity.” But godliness really covers all aspects of life, not just the sexual areas. It is seeking to please God in all things. “[It] is a very practical awareness of God in every aspect of life.”[9] Simply put, to be godly is to DO what is right. According to the Bible Exposition Commentary, “The godly person makes the kinds of decisions that are right and noble. He does not take an easy path simply to avoid either pain or trial. He does what is right because it is right and because it is the will of God.”[10] It involves both our attitudes and our actions, both our desires and our decisions.

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