Milestones to Salvation, Part 5

January 18, 2007

“But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.” (2 Peter 1:5-9).

The Bible says, “May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.” (2 Thessalonians 3:5). If the Spirit directs our hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance, we will surely reach the milestone of godliness.

Godliness is the realm of God. The Bible says, “for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.'” (1 Peter 1:16). Therefore, we have to take off our sandals that we have put on in the dirty world, as it is written, “Then the Lord said to him, ‘Take off your sandals; the place where you are standing is holy ground.'” (Acts 7:33).

From here, we don’t belong to the world, and we become the men of God and obtain our citizenship in heaven. It is written, “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 3:20).

This shows that godliness is the most valuable milestone to those who work out their salvation. It is written, “Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16).

The Bible says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8). “Holding promise for both the present life and the life to come” means “having the seal of God.” It is written, “Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ‘The Lord knows those who are his,’ and, ‘Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.'” (2 Timothy 2:19). God’s people stand firm on the solid foundation of God and will never be shaken. Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, confess the name of the Lord and live godly turning away from wickedness.

It is written, “It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age.” (Titus 2:12). And also, “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.” (Hebrews 12:28).

Therefore, the milestone of godliness is extremely valuable. This is like being preliminarily accepted for salvation. However, if anyone deceives himself considering himself religious, his religion is all worthless, as it is written, “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.” (James 1:26).

After all, God’s judgment is to punish all ungodly things. It is written, “By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:7). And also, “Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:11-13).

Therefore, godliness is the form of Christ and the appearance of God’s children. The children of light, who please God with Christ, appear from here. It is written, “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth).” (Ephesians 5:8-9). Thank you, Lord.

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