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. 2 Peter 1:5-7 (ESV)
Our apostle Peter encouraged us undergird our cheerful and hopeful endurance (steadfastness) with godliness. The Greek word for godliness that Peter used in this passage means piety or holiness.
The writer of Hebrews told us to run the race with endurance (steadfastness). He also told us how to run; laying aside every weight and sin. In pursuing godliness we must lay aside sin to live a life of holiness; to be God-like. Where there is no godliness, there is no endurance (steadfastness). The race cannot be finished if the runner is weighted down with encumbrances.
Paul wrote to Timothy, Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. (1 Timothy 4:7-8 ESV) Physical fitness is a billion plus dollar industry around the world. And it is certainly not improper to eat properly and exercise to keep bodies in maximum working order. However, it is much more important to train ourselves in godliness. The training of our bodies is only good for this life, but training for godliness is good for this life and the next.
We train for godliness by spending time in worship, prayer, bible study and mortifying sin. Being a part of a Christian community is also vital in training for godliness. We dare not train alone. We need godly brothers and sisters to hold us accountable and encourage us. One meaning of the word train that Paul used in 1 Timothy 4:7 is to practice naked. No fig leaves in training for godliness. We must be honest and transparent with God and trusted saints about the areas in our lives where training is needed the most.
The elements or first principles of this world are passing away. They will be changed at the coming of Christ (2 Peter 3:10). Peter wrote, Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness. (2 Peter 3:11 ESV) This could be one reason that Paul urged Timothy to flee the love of money and other worldly evils and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness and gentleness (1 Timothy 6:11). All of the things that slow us down in our race for godliness will be dissolved.
We have not been left powerless in our quest for godliness. We have no excuse. By his power God has gratuitously given us everything we need to be partakers of the divine nature; be God-like. Peter wrote, His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence. (2 Peter 1:3 ESV) It is through the proper acquaintance and knowledge of God that we attain to the godliness that is required of us. Without a proper knowledge of him we cannot be like him. And the knowledge of God is not a mystery. Everything we need know about him and be properly acquainted with him is written in the Bible. Indeed, we lack nothing in supplementing our steadfastness with godliness.
Are you training for godliness?
Scriptures for meditation:
1 Timothy 6:6