Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48 NKJV
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue(excellence) knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance(endurance), to perseverance godliness…
II Peter 1:5-6 NKJV
The next building block of character unto the ultimate goal of perfection is that of godliness. Godliness is built upon the qualities of endurance and self-control because these two are needed for the good establishment of godliness in your life as a Christian.
Godly and Ungodly
The godly ones in Scripture are usually set against their direct opposite – the ungodly. In order to get more understanding of being godly, let us have a look at what it means to be not godly.
The Apostle Peter gives us a good view of what being ungodly looks like:
And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness , bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample(example) unto those that after should live ungodly.
2 Peter 2: 5-6 KJV
From this passage of Scripture, Peter points out the ungodly as those who do not please God and disobey His commandments. Many of us have a fair idea of the kind of lifestyle that the ungodly people in the days of Noah lived before they were taken away by the flood. Their lifestyle was far from pleasant from God’s perspective (Genesis 6:5).
The same goes for those who dwelled in the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. One of the notable unpleasant deeds was that of homosexuality (Genesis 19: 4-7).
Ungodly and Sinners
The prospect of being ungodly extends beyond unlawful and unpleasant deeds to that of identity in a much bigger picture. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah were termed ungodly. This is what Scripture also says about them:
But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
They were also known as sinners. This is the bigger picture. Ungodly people are not pleasing to God. This is the same for all without faith (Hebrews 11:6). Every unbeliever is one without faith and is hence termed ungodly.
Paul affirms this in the Book of Romans:
For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
We were all ungodly until we were justified by faith in Jesus Christ(Romans 4:5). This made us godly by identity for we became righteous in the sight of God.
Godliness and Christians
As believers in Christ, there is more to godliness than just being justified by faith. Our opening passage stated by the apostle Peter refers to godliness as a building block built upon faith, excellence, knowledge, self-control and endurance. Understanding that it is Faith in Jesus Christ that makes you a Christian.
This means that for us believers, all these qualities must be in place before godliness can really be seen in your lives. Godliness means so much more especially to believers in Christ.
What then is godliness to believers?
The word godliness is translated from the Original Greek text eusebeia which means devotion to God.
To be godly means to be devoted to God; completely dedicated to fulfill His Will. This takes self-control and endurance to pull it off. This is because being completely devoted to God is not easy. There are so many things against us when we take this path in Christ. Temptations from the world, various kinds of enemies of the faith and difficult trials that we all face to purify, mature and conform us unto the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.
With all these happening in our lives, we are expected to endure, remain strong and completely devoted to God; dedicated to His Will.
Godliness refers to devotion to God. Being devoted to God goes beyond being born-again. It goes all the way to continually obeying His commandments, His Will for your life and trusting Him no matter what comes your way; good or bad.
At this stage you have come to the terms that your life is not yours but completely offered in service and devotion to the Lord. This will need good establishment of the other qualities that we have already dealt with.
This may look difficult to attain but I want to let you know that you are not alone. Everything you need to achieve this has been given you by the Lord. 2 Peter 1:3 states:
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue.
His divine power through His Spirit indwelling you has provided you with all things that pertained to godliness.
In our next session, we will delve deeper into the various aspects of godliness.
Grace is ever-sufficient and always available for you. Seek to attain godliness unto perfection in Christ.