A Life of Godliness – 2 Peter 1:3-4

Discussions of 2 Peter tend to focus on the authenticity of the book and the possibility the book is pseudonymous. As interesting as these issues are, they distract readers from the rich theology of this often ignored letter of the New Testament.

First, the believer has all that is needed to live a life of godliness (v. 3). The two words translated by the ESV as “life and godliness” can be understood as a single idea, a “godly life” (NIV2011). If God has called us to be for his own glory and excellence, then it is important to realize that he has already granted to the one he has called everything he needs to succeed in that godly life.

MathIn some basic math classes a student is allowed to make a 3×5 card of information they might need to pass the test (basic formulas or methods for solving problems). Image a crafty student who prints out the entire math book in micro print and then brings a magnifying glass to class. He would be very prepared. Another student might just being a 3×5 card with nothing on it. But the most prepared student would be the one who had a card prepared by the professor with all the answers already on it.

By way of analogy, that is what God has done for us. He called us to live a holy life, but he also granted us all we need to actually be holy. He does not expect us to develop our own methods and rely on our own strength, but to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit which he has already given us at salvation.

The word “granted” is used several times in this passage and is a word usually associated with a royal or divine gift (Esther 8:1, for example). The highest authority in the universe has called us (at salvation) and given to us a task (godliness), and then he has given us a royal grant to enable us to complete that task.

The reason we have all we need is that God has granted to us all the knowledge of him we need. This may hint at what Peter’s opponents have taught to his audience, that the “real Christian” must be introduced to the deep things of God, the secret mysteries or advanced doctrines held back only for the ones who are deeply spiritual.

Second, God has granted to the believer precious and great promises (v. 4). What are these promises? The result of the promises that the believer has become a partaker in the divine nature. The believer can participate in this divine nature because they have already escaped the corruption of this world.

Is this true? Has God provided all we need to live a godly life? What might be included in this “grant” according to 2 Peter?

 

5 thoughts on “A Life of Godliness – 2 Peter 1:3-4

  1. I believe that God does grant us everything that we need to live a holy and Godly life and it can be seen in the example of Jesus. Being fully human, Jesus was open to the same temptations to sin that we are and yet He was able to withstand the devil. I think in HIs provisions God will always give a way out of temptation. Jesus is the perfect example of all of this. I believe that God’s strength is continually at hand and that we can always call on it. I think it can be mixed up because we do have a sinful nature, something we cannot avoid, but living a Godly life has nothing to do with that. Rather I think it means striving to do our best and put that reliance on God. “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” God’s provision is not that our sinful human nature will cease, although it will eventually, but rather that His strength is always there for us.

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    • I agree with your points that God grants us everything that we need to live a holy and godly life. Looking at the example of Jesus helps us see a lot. I always think that it would be interesting to watch Jesus grow up and live. I think of different people in my life who are examples and when I was younger I looked up to for how to live a godly life. But what if I was actually able to watch Jesus grow up and live a life without sin? I believe that as Christians we can live a godly life. There are temptations that come our way and sins that we commit that we need to ask for forgiveness for. Every sin that we commit we must ask forgiveness for. We are to pray against temptations that come our way (Luke 22:40). God will always be there for us and I believe that we can live a godly life. Great post!

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  2. 2 Peter 1:3 clearing states that God has provided us with everything we could ever need to live a Godly life, we must trust the infallible word of God. God isn’t out there to set up standards that are too high for us to reach, and God is quite aware of our humanness and our inability to completely detach ourselves from the ability to sin. But, Christ does call us to a pure life and for that reason we must strive to represent Christ to the best of our ability. Christ also doesn’t expect us to be able to refrain from sinning when we are not Christians, it is only with the indwelling of the holy spirit that we are even capable of right living. 2 Peter 1:5-8 provides tangible examples to us of how we might achieve all that we could need in life. Virtues like steadfastness, love, faith, and countless others can only lead to good things in life. It is rare that people persecute you for right living; God embodied all of these traits and for that reason for us to live a Godly life we too must try and embody them.

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  3. Personally, I think it is true that God has provided all we need to live a godly life. However, I believe as humans we are going to try to place earthly passions into what makes the godliest life, and that is not what God wants. The Bible has everything that will help a Christian live a life that is godly, it even provides examples of what happened when someone screwed up. I think that eternal life can be included in the grant that God promises for his believers. We can hold true to this promise because we accepted God into our lives and are living accordingly to his plan of a godly life.

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