We cannot become good to the degree God is good. Yet, we are called on to incorporate goodness into our character (2 Pet. 1:5). How, then may we achieve goodness?
First, we must decide to do so and make every effort (2 Pet. 1:5). The word for making every effort is also used by Paul in 2 Tim. 2:15: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved.” Becoming the person God wants us to be takes effort, hard work. Peter stresses the human side of the equation. We must strive for moral excellence.
Next, we must allow the Spirit of God to work in us to this end. In his section on the fruit of the Spirit, Paul uses a term similar to Peter’s word for goodness. “But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). Paul stresses the divine side of the equation. The virtues named by Peter and Paul cannot be developed by human effort alone. That is why Paul calls his list the fruit of the Spirit. We must ask God to help us grow spiritually. We must give the Spirit room to work in our lives. Make use of his teaching and be aware of his presence. Awareness that God’s Spirit lives within us is incentive to be morally pure (1 Cor. 6:19-20; 1 Thess. 4:8). 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