Peter continues this list of qualities to pursue,
“making every effort to add to your faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness.”2 Peter 1:5-6
Today’s thought is Godliness.
Peter’s experience denying Christ taught him that he cannot boast of his own godliness. Jesus restored him and told him to “feed my sheep” and “wait for the Holy Spirit” and “you will be my witnesses in all Jerusalem, and Judea, and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Peter knew he denied Christ, but after the Holy Spirit came upon him he was made new, given power, and willing to stand in the public arena with all the threats of the Romans and of the Religious leaders who crucified Jesus. He stood up on the Day of Pentecost and three thousand people were “saved.”
There is a power to witness that is coupled with godliness. It is not something we attain by our own good works. In face, Paul admonishes us to
“have nothing to do with people” who have “a form of godliness but deny its power.”2 Timothy 3:5
Soon after Pentecost Peter was walking through the Beautiful Gate of Jerusalem and there was a paralytic begging. But Peter, full of the Holy Spirit, fixed eyes on that man and said,
“Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”Acts 3:6 NIV
The man got up and walked and leaped and rejoiced. Everyone was amazed at Peter. So he said,
“Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”Acts 3:12 NIV
Godliness is not something we attain by our personal disciplines and effort. Instead, godliness is a gift. Those who know Godliness know God’s purifying power in the fire. They have left behind all the striving and those things that are useless. Their hearts have become softened in the presence of God. Paul exhorts his young disciple, Timothy, to understand the value of the gift of godliness, which is not the same as physical training.
“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.”1 Timothy 4:8 NIV
Those who have been purified join in the hymn with full hearts, “I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back.” The Latin phrase, Coram Deo, means to “stand before the audience of One.” Those who have been purified in the fire can declare, “I know in whom I believe and I will stand on that day.”
God desires that our relationship with Him is full devotion regardless of sacrifice. Another hymn declares, “Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back, no turning back.”