Did you know that you already have everything required to live a godly life? We often don’t think of this, but it is true. When you accepted Christ, you were given everything that you would ever need in order to live a godly life and fulfill His calling on your life.
For His divine power has given us everything required for life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. By these things He has given us very great and precious promises, so that through them you may share in the divine nature, escaping the corruption that is in the world because of evil desires. – 2 Peter 1:3-4
When a baby is born, they already contain everything that is necessary for them to become an adult; all that is required is that they grow. So it is in our walk with the Lord. We were given everything necessary to be a mature Christian, now it is just a matter of growing.
Before we get too far though, let us not overlook a very important detail. The things we need in order to be a mature Christian and live a godly life have a prerequisite: we must be born again. Christ said in John 3:6 that what ever is born of flesh is flesh and what ever is born of spirit is spirit. This points to the fact that man is not inherently good and that the qualities to live a godly life, as God designed and not man’s perception of a godly life, are only given to those who are saved through faith in Jesus Christ. This is what Peter says in verse 3: the gifts necessary for godly living come THROUGH the knowledge of Him who called us by His glory and goodness.
The next part I would like to look at is in verse 4. What are the great and precious promises that God has given us? To answer this question, I believe that a second must be asked. Through what, can we share in the divine nature and escape the corruption that is in the world? The answer becomes clear when you take a moment to think through the questions. God has given us great and precious promises through His word! Through reading, meditating and memorizing the Word of God, His nature is imparted to us. The Spirit uses the Word of God to impart the life and nature of God in us. Just as a baby shares in the nature of its parents, so a believer shares in the nature of God. At this point though, there must be a word of clarification: this does not mean that we become more ‘divine’ by these actions. We can never be ‘divine’ as Christ is divine. That is His title and His alone. (Acts 4:11-12) What this means though, is that He helps us become more like Him. (Romans 8:29; 2 Corinthians 7:1; Ephesians 4:24; Hebrews 12:10; 1 Peter 1:16) (At this point, this is my understanding of the ‘nature’ subject thus far. If any of my understanding changes, it will be posted. If you have a different view, please email me.)
So what does nature determine? There are 4 areas that our nature effects: 1) Appetite, 2) Behavior, 3) Environment, and 4) Association. As Warren Wiersbe put it:
If nature determines appetite and we have God’s nature within, then we ought to have an appetite for that which is pure and holy. Our behavior ought to be like that of the Father, and we ought to live in the kind of “spiritual environment” that is suited to our nature. We ought to associate with that which is true to our nature (see 2 Cor. 6:14). The only normal, fruit-bearing life for the child of God is a godly life.
This ‘divine nature’ is what allows us to escape the corruption of the world. If we continually feed the godly nature in us, we will have little interest in the entanglements of worldly pleasures. But the same principle applies with the worldly nature. If all we do is endulge in worldly pleasures, then that is the nature that will reign. A good analogy is this: if you have two dogs that are constantly at war with one another, the one that is fed the most will win. Let this passage serve as a reminder for us to take stock of our walk with the Lord in order to ensure that we are making every effort to live godly.
Romans 13 warns us of making provisions for worldly pleasures and 2 Peter 1:9 speaks of the past sins that the worldly nature will strive for. What does this mean? Godly living is not an overnight reward, but rather a process of cultivating what is already placed with in us. It is a daily discipline of cooperation with God and the application of spiritual diligence. It takes a lot of dedication and work because it is not natural for us to strive for the things of God.
We have been given what is required for godly living. All we have to due is nurture, cultivate and grow it. So I leave you with a few questions to ponder:
Am I making every effort to nurture, cultivate and grow my walk with the Lord?
- What does my Appetite indicate?
- What does my Behavior demonstrate?
- What does my Environment encourage?
- What do my Associations say about me?
- Do I make provision for the Flesh?
Have I forgotten the cleansing I received of my past sins?