Summary: Spiritual Growth is important! In this series we’ll use 2 Peter 1 as a blueprint for the areas we are called to continually add to our faith as we grow spiritually. This week: Godliness
Growing by Addition
2 Peter 1:5-7 (NIV)
For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
I want to thank Jordan for his message on Perseverance last week. It’s important that we remember that we are called to “endure” in this lifetime because God is stronger than anything we will face.
Jordan also made an important point that I want to repeat, because it becomes especially true in regards to our next subject of growth, Godliness. The simple fact that perseverance is not just enduring tough times, but it’s also the persistence in doing what is Good and God’s Will. We must never give up!
In this series, we’ve taken the approach of stages or levels of growth as a means of examining each one closer on a weekly basis. But spiritual growth does not necessarily work in stages like this. It is all areas working and strengthening one another; adding to your faith in increasing measure together!
Well today’s focus is truly a life transformer. Godliness, if truly sought out and applied, will turn you upside down. It will change
- the way you perceive things
- your purpose and motivation
- how you take action
- where you go
It is truly the complete removal of self, and setting apart your life for God.
I know what you’re thinking, “Godliness sounds like it could be Goodness.” Let me tell you, it’s not. This is not a typo that has been printed twice. It was a deliberate writing of two different areas of spiritual growth.
In man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.
(Easton Bible Dictionary)
Now look at the contrast:
An attitude and style of life that acknowledges God’s claims on human life and seeks to live in accordance with God’s will.
(Holman Bible Dictionary)
So in Goodness we have the choosing of what is right in our life, whereas in Godliness we have the complete dedication of our lives to God.
1. Process of Sanctification
Here’s a nice big Christian “buzzword”, Sanctification. But this word has a very powerful meaning that comes from a necessary action. Let’s go back to it’s roots for a moment:
In the Old Testament, the root word is kadash (ka-dash) which means “to cut or separate.”
- Holy Priests
Exodus 28:41 (NLT)
Clothe your brother, Aaron, and his sons with these garments, and then anoint and ordain them. Consecrate them so they can serve as my priests.
- Holy Altar
Exodus 30:10 (NLT)
“Once a year Aaron must purify the altar by smearing its horns with blood from the offering made to purify the people from their sin. This will be a regular, annual event from generation to generation, for this is the Lord’s most holy altar.”
-The Holy Land
Leviticus 27:21 (NLT)
When the field is released in the Year of Jubilee, it will be holy, a field specially set apart for the Lord. It will become the property of the priests.
The words “sanctify,” “saint,” “hallow,” and “holy’ all come from the same Greek root hagizo or hagiazo (ha-geed-zo).
In the New Testament sense, the word means “to place in a relation to God answering to His holiness.”
2 Timothy 2:21 (NLT)
If you keep yourself pure, you will be a special utensil for honorable use. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work.
In either case, sanctification has to do with separation, and this separation is because of something else. The sanctified person or thing has been chosen first and then separated.
Justification (Our Salvation) puts us into a right relationship with God; sanctification exhibits the fruit of that relationship - that is, a life separated from a sinful world and dedicated unto God.
Today when we say we want to add to our faith Godliness, we are saying we want to cut off completely from our sin nature and dedicate ours lives wholly to God. (Life Changing!)
2. Required: Divine Intervention
*Special thanks to Scott Kircher for the inspiration of the next two main points!
If we want to add to our faith Godliness, we’re going to need help from God.
2 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)
His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.