Godliness Simply Means "God-Likness" - 2 Peter 1:5–7

Train yourself in Godliness

6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 2 Peter 1:6-7 (KJV)

Godliness simply means “God-likeness”. In the original Greek, this word meant, “to worship well.” It described the man who was right in his relationship with God and with his fellowman. Perhaps the words reverence and piety come closer to defining this term. It is that quality of character that makes a person distinctive. He seeks to do the will of God and, as he does, he seeks the welfare of others.

We must never get the idea that godliness is an impractical thing, because it is intensely practical. The godly person does not take an easy path simply to avoid either pain or trial. He does what is right because it is right and because it is the will of God.

Brotherly kindness (Philadelphia in the Greek) is a virtue that Peter must have acquired the hard way, for the disciples of our Lord often debated and disagreed with one another. We should practice an “unfeigned [sincere] love of the brethren” (1 Peter 1:22) and not just pretend that we love them. “Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love” (Romans 12:10).

The fact that we love our brothers and sisters in Christ is one evidence that we have been born of God (1 John 5:1–2). But there is more to Christian growth than brotherly love; we must also develop the sacrificial love that our Lord displayed when He went to the cross. The kind of love (“charity”) spoken of in 2 Peter 1:7 is agape love, the kind of love that God shows toward lost sinners. This is the love that is described in 1 Corinthians 13, the love that the Holy Spirit produces in our hearts as we walk in the Spirit (Romans 5:5; Gal. 5:22).

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