5 “For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.“ (2 Peter 1:5–7 ESV).
The Holy Spirit commands believers, through the Apostle Peter, to supplement, or add, to their saving faith. This supplementation is not contributing to their justification but rather it is a necessary component of each believer’s sanctification. Sanctification is the believer’s growth in holiness.
Believers are to add to their faith virtue or godly character and moral excellence. To virtue, believers in Christ are to add knowledge. To knowledge, believers in Christ are to add self-control. To self-control believers in Christ are to add steadfastness. To steadfastness, believers in Christ are to add godliness.
What exactly is godliness? Godliness (εὐσέβεια; eusebeia) means to not only have biblical beliefs but to also practice those biblical beliefs devoutly. It is putting one’s faith in Christ into the practice and experiences of everyday living.
Unfortunately, it seems many professing believers in Christ do not see the need or responsibility for godliness. The growing perspective appears to be “I can do anything I want and other people, including God, have no right to judge me.”
I Timothy 4:8 says, “While bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.”
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “Godliness, Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 4:8, brings eternal benefits. We have been given everything that we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3), and as we make an effort to supplement our faith with virtue, love, self-control, and a host of other virtues, we will grow in our full assurance of salvation and even find ourselves with a greater reward in the life to come (vv. 4–11; see also Matt. 25:14–30). All of this is possible only through the grace of God who is the one who granted us the ability to have faith in the first place (Eph. 2:8–9).
Dr. Sproul concludes by also saying, “Godliness and holiness, mature saints will tell you, are virtues that reinforce themselves. As we grow in holiness we become more aware of our own sin and, consequently, our own need for His empowering to defeat sin and become even more holy. Where does the development of a life that pleases God rank in your scale of priorities? What can you do this very day to expand your knowledge and practice of that which pleases God?”
Soli deo Gloria!