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Updated: Jul 23, 2023

The simplyRevised Podcast

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MAIN THEME: Understanding the significance of godliness in spiritual growth, urging readers to strive for a life deeply committed to following God's word and emulating His love, compassion, and righteousness.

Have you ever experienced something that, no matter how hard you tried, it seemed you just could not do it? You tried over and over, but it was just not working.

I enjoyed playing a lot of different sports when I was younger. As I got a little older, I picked up the game of golf. One of the most challenging games I have tried to learn is golf. I enjoy golf. I look forward to spending time with friends playing golf. But hitting that little white ball in a straight line is the most challenging thing I have tried to learn.

I would spend several hours a week practicing after work. I would play a round at least once a week. The results stayed fairly consistent for all of the effort, a slice off the fairway into the rough. I would top it or duff it into the water every time. No matter how hard I tried, I could not master the game of golf.

Golf may not be your sport. But can you relate? Something that you have tried and tried, but it was just not working no matter how hard you tried.

Sometimes, I think we experience this with our faith. We try, but it does not seem to be working for us as it does for others. Or at least we think.

In our series Increase, we are looking at a text from 2 Peter 1:5-9. In this passage, Peter lists several virtues we are to add to our faith. Peter is encouraging the church to grow in their faith. He speaks out against false teachers and incorrect teaching. Peter's prescription for not getting carried away in the wave of false teaching is growth and maturity in the Lord. I believe this is a lesson and a letter applicable to us today as we are exposed to different teachings and thoughts concerning Christ.

2 Peter 1:5–9

"But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

We have noticed goodness, knowledge, self-control, and perseverance. In this lesson, we will consider godliness. When I was younger, and to some extent still today, this is one of the words I struggled with. How was I supposed to be like God? Knowing me, is this even possible? Is it to be perfect? What is godliness? It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just can't get it, at least not like others. Let's explore some of these questions as we consider adding to our faith.

Understanding The Word

What does godliness mean?

Godliness is a character trait or moral quality that reflects reverence and devoutness towards God. It involves living a life deeply committed to following God's word and seeking to emulate His love, compassion, and righteousness.

Godliness is more than just an outward display of religious practices. It is a sincere devotion to God, leading to a transformed heart and a life that aligns with God's purposes. It implies living in such a way that God's presence and influence are evident in our thoughts, actions, and interactions.

Examples of Godliness

In the Scriptures, numerous individuals are described as demonstrating godliness through their actions, character, and devotion to God.

Abraham: Considered the father of faith, Abraham demonstrated godliness through his obedience to God's command to leave his homeland and follow God's lead to a new land (Genesis 12). He showed unwavering faith in God's promises, even when faced with challenging circumstances.

Moses: Moses exhibited godliness as a great leader of the Israelites. He faithfully followed God's instructions and delivered the Ten Commandments to the people, guiding them in their relationship with God (Exodus 19-20).

Job: In the Book of Job, Job's unwavering faith and trust in God, even in extreme suffering and loss, demonstrates a profound belief in God.

These are just a few examples, and throughout the Scriptures, many other individuals demonstrated godliness in various ways. Their stories should inspire us to strive for a closer relationship with the Father.

Show Us The Father

Considering the examples of godliness in the Scriptures, Jesus, as the Son of God, perfectly demonstrated godliness during His time on Earth. His teachings, compassion, selflessness, and sacrifice show us the Father and what it means to live for Him.

In the Gospel of John, Jesus talks about His soon departure with His disciples, and He foretells Peter's denial. Of course, this is troubling and confusing news. In John 14, Jesus seeks to comfort them. In this conversation, Phillip says to Jesus, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." (John 14:8). Notice the response of Jesus:

John 14:9–10

"Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works."

Jesus makes one of the most staggering and profound claims He ever made here in this text. The Father and Jesus are one. When you see Jesus, you are seeing the Father. How can you say, "Show us the Father"?

Jesus has walked with His disciples. They have shared meals and stories with each other by campfires. They have walked countless miles together. The disciples laughed with Jesus and heard teaching as they had never experienced before. They watched Him turn water into wine and heal the lame and the blind. They witnessed His compassion, love, sacrifice, and devotion. What is godliness? Follow the way of Jesus as we learn from Him and shape our actions and attitudes after Him.


At my best, I may play a round of golf in the low nineties or the high eighties. And, to be honest, I would have trouble repeating that the next day.

In our pursuit of godliness, will we be perfect? Not at all! There will be days when we top the ball or duff it right into the water hazard. Thankfully, Jesus understands us better than we know ourselves. As He tells the Apostle Paul in (2 Corinthians 12:9), "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

Growth and Grace

Peter tells us that we are to "add to our faith" (2 Peter 1:5). There is the process of growing and maturing in the Lord. Each day we should strive to become more like Him. Peter sets before us the expectation of growth in Christ:

2 Peter 1:9

"For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins."

Even though we may not be perfect as we follow in the steps of the Lord, there is the expectation of growth and maturity. As we do so, we rely on His grace and forgiveness, knowing He understands our weaknesses better than we do.

Questions & Response

a. What does "godliness" mean, and how does it go beyond mere religious practices to encompass a deep devotion and commitment to God?

b. How did individuals like Abraham, Moses, and Job demonstrate godliness in the Scriptures, and what lessons can we draw from their examples to inspire our own pursuit of godliness?

c. In the context of 2 Peter 1:5-9, how does Peter emphasize the importance of growth and maturity in faith, and what virtues are listed as essential elements to add to our faith for spiritual development?

Share on Social

"Godliness is more than just an outward display of religious practices. It is a sincere devotion to God, leading to a transformed heart and a life that aligns with God's purposes." #Godliness #Faith #Devotion

"As we strive to become more like Jesus each day, we rely on His grace and forgiveness, knowing He understands our weaknesses better than we do." #FollowJesus #Grace #Forgiveness

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Unless otherwise noted: Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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