Evidence of Christian Growth - Part 2

Bible Book: 2 Peter  1 : 5-7
Subject: Christian Growth; Disciples of Christ; Christian Living

2 Peter 1:5-7

Have you ever noticed how many people you know who are literally at the same place today as they were 5 years ago? I read this week that "good" leaders care about those who follow them, but "great" leaders get personally involved in helping solve their personal difficulties.

Example: Jesus going to heal Peter's mother-in-law; Paul's care of Onesimus. True leadership extends beyond formal relationships and official duties. Christian leaders care about the whole person.

Do you feel you are standing still in life, or maybe the "hurrier I go the behinder I get?" It's as if people unplug their clocks at a certain point in time and stay at that fixed moment the rest of their lives.

You are destined to grow, learn, and improve. The biggest room in our lives is always the room for self-improvement.

John Mason said, "If a man stands with his right foot on a hot stove and his left foot in a freezer,  some statistician would assert that, on the average, he is comfortable." Nothing could be further from the truth. God doesn't want us to live our lives with one foot in heaven and one foot in the world. He wants all of us. There is something significant that happens when we become wholly yielded to Him.

Billy Graham prayed as a young man, "God, let me do something, anything, for you."

Martin Luther sums up being fully yielded this way: "God created the world out of nothing, and as long as we are nothing, He can make something out of us."

You can trust the Lord too little, but you can never trust Him too much. Psalms 84:11, "For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly."

I. Godliness (Piety) 6

A. What It's Not

"unholy" (profane) - permitted to be trodden; it has an illuminating background. It was used for ground that was profane in contradiction to ground that was consecrated. Meant there was no sacred enclosure in his life where God could dwell. His body was not the temple of the Holy Spirit; irreligious. Translates outside the temple; not belonging to God.

Wescott sums up the word by saying that it describes the man whose mind recognizes nothing higher than earth, for whom there is nothing sacred, who has no reverence for the unseen. An unhallowed life is a life without any awareness of or interest in God. In its thoughts, aims, pleasures, it is completely earthbound. We have to have a care lest we drift into a frame of mind and heart which has no horizon beyond this world.

Greek word (BEBELOS) is a compound word meaning "to go" -"a threshold". Meant there was no sacred enclosure in his life where God could dwell.

Hebrews 10:29, "Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?"

B. What It Is 15

It is the nearest Greek word for religion; it is intensely practical character of the Christian religion

Means to be godly or devout. Godliness cannot be fabricated. We cannot pretend to be godly.

The quality of godliness comes from God Himself.

We receive it as we are dead to self and alive to God and as we allow the Spirit to live within us. The fruits of the Spirit are attributes of the character of God.

The more we are possessed by God (through surrender, we have all of Him, He desires all of us) the more we will act like Him and the more His character will be revealed in our lives.

It is more about impartation and not imitation.

This is the principle (virtue) that guided the reformer John Calvin's life (CORAM DEO), in the presence of God. A Christian practices godliness when he is fully conscious of God's presence in every circumstance.


1. Expresses A Worshipful Attitude In Relation To God

A godly person recognizes that God is worthy of worship, but also recognizes the need to be properly related to God. It means a God-likeness; it literally means to worship well - it is the quality of character that makes a person distinctive.

  • He sees godliness as intensely practical. He makes the right kind of decisions.
  • He does not look for the easy path simply to avoid pain or trial.
  • He does what is right because it is right and because it is the will of God. It conveys the idea that one who has it properly honors and adores God.

Psalms 4:3, "But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; the LORD will hear when I call to Him."

In Greek thought, the word "godliness" encompassed all the rituals related to worship and loyalty given to pagan gods; respect toward all that is divine. The early Christians sanctified the Greek definition of the word and directed them at the one true God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen to Paul's instruction to Timothy on this subject of godliness.

1 Timothy 4:8, "For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come."

Exercise profits a little

Godliness is profitable for all things

...Life that now is
...Life that is to come

2. Expresses A Worshipful Action In Relation To Others

GODWARD: Describes the nature of one's vertical relationship with God.

It involves not only a genuine fear of God but also a deep passion for Him.

Deuteronomy 10:12, "And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul."

Is this fear as unsettling as it seems or just a quiet reverence?

Psalms 38:1, "O LORD, do not rebuke me in Your wrath, nor chasten me in Your hot displeasure!" Someone may say that it is impossible to love someone that you fear.

1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

It is true that love overwhelms every fear; still, fear of God and love for Him are necessary aspects of godliness.

I believe that fear of God, together with sincere love for Him, results in godly obedience.

ILLUSTRATE: Janet and our relationship: Genuine Fear and Deep Passion. If I break our covenant, my attitude would probably be, "I had rather die than tell her."

MANWARD: Describes one's horizontal relationship with others.

1 John 4:21, "And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

Mark 12:30-31, "'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

The person of godliness seeks the will of God and the welfare of others.

II. Kindness 7

A. God's Love Demonsstrated

"brotherly kindness" - a love that seeks occasions to reveal kindness. A love by deliberate choice. The fact that we love each other is one evidence that we have been born of God.

John 13:35, "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

It is not one who happens upon a need, but sought an occasion to bless someone. A sincere, un- hypocritical love for others; unfeigned.

1 John 4:20, "If someone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?"

1 Peter 1:22, "Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart."

This is a virtue that Peter must have acquired the hard way, for the disciples of our Lord often debated and disagreed with one another.

Romans 12:10, "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

1 John 5:1-2, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments."

B. God's Love Defined

"love" - agape; love that the Holy Spirit produces. The kind of love God shows toward sinners.

Romans 5:8, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

It is not the fruit of the Christian, but the fruit of the Spirit.