Goodness, part I
In 2 Peter chapter 1, the apostle urges us to grow in our relationship to the Lord by adding several elements of Christian character. These are to be added simultaneously. We will not become perfect, but we will keep becoming more like the Lord every day. This process will keep us from being ineffective in our service to God, and it will make our calling and election sure (2 Pet. 1:8-11). Faith is the foundation. Peter urges us to add goodness to our faith (2 Pet. 1:5).
The Greek word goodness appears only four times in the New Testament, but it is used effectively. As Peter begins his plea that we make our salvation sure, he assures us that God has given us “everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness” (2 Pet. 1:3). This use of goodness refers to God’s unparalleled excellence of character. God is the essence of goodness; our relative goodness comes from him. Using a similar term, Jesus tells us that “There is only One who is good” (Matt. 19:17). This statement mildly rebuked a young man who had asked what good thing he must do to have eternal life. We cannot merit salvation by our good deeds. But since Peter urges us to add goodness to our faith, we must strive for moral excellence and virtue. Stay tuned…
To be a child of God is the greatest privilege we have, but we also have responsibility. May God bless us all as we work with his Spirit to develop the character the Father expects of his children. TC