- We have been studying the progressive pattern for the development of Christian character (2 Peter 1:5-6). According to this plan, godliness follows patience. Exercising patience in the endurance of “fiery trials” will help bring about this development of godliness. Godliness is different from worldliness, and is only attainable through a strong desire to please God.
- Explain what godliness means to you.
- Using the following Scriptures, list some of the criteria of godliness that we can measure our lives by.
- Acts 24:16
- Ephesians 6:18
- James 1:27
- James 3:17
- 2 Peter 3:11
- A person who is worldly is more concerned about things of this world than about spiritual or eternal things. The concerns of a godly person are the opposite. Give a biblical example of one godly person and one worldly person.
- Physical fitness and exercise are major concerns in our day. However, 1 Timothy 4:7 instructs us to exercise ourselves unto godliness. What are some of the ways this can be done?
- Today’s text gives instructions to five different ages and classes of individuals. Name the five. What conclusion can we draw from this?
- According to 2 Peter 1:4, Christians are to have a certain nature. What is it? When we have that nature, what do we escape?
- What criterion should we use to discern whether something is worldly or godly?
- “Profit” is an important word in business circles. Referring to our key verse, explain what you think is meant by the phrase “Godliness is profitable unto all things . . .” Be specific!
The Apostle Peter, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, has given us a formula. We read: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity.” It is promised that “if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:5-8). With a promise such as this, we would do well to dig deep into the full meanings of these qualities. We, as Christians, must add them to our spiritual character so we can fulfill Christ’s charge to us to bring forth fruit.
It is possible that Peter presented these attributes in an intended progression. Taking these attributes as a basis for our quarter, we have included several others which are important to the development of Christian character.
As you study each of these lessons, be aware of how these attributes overlap and build on each other.