Grow Up in Spiritual Life & Godliness – Pt 1 – 2 Peter 1:3-11

27 June, 2021

Book: 2 Peter

Grow Up in Spiritual Life & Godliness - Pt 1 - 2 Peter 1:3-11

Grow Up in Spiritual Life & Godliness



  • A human baby, conceived, immediately begins to grow!
  • They’re born, cute, cuddly, adorable until they become hungry!
  • Every Newborn Babe makes their hunger for food known, tiny little lungs & throat and voice can produce blood-curdling, ear-piercing, shrieks that may be interpreted as Feed Me!!… why?
  • So that they may: grow…
  • Except for God, Gen. Speaking: Life means Change or Growth
  • When there’s No Growth, it’s because there’s no Genuine Life
  • The text open before us today, addresses this problem


  • Peter, the Lord Jesus’ closest human friend, who witnessed the Lord Jesus’ Transfiguration & Crucifixion & Resurrection & His Ascension, is writing his second letter to the same recipients,
  • He writes to remind them of God’s Grace in Christ, that will transform them to live obedient, mature, godly lives…
  • To Live that Sp. life Requires them
    • to know: Grace of God, and
    • To Make Every Effort to grow, to build, onto their faith with Godly Christian Qualities
  • Peter used the same baby illustration in 1 Peter 2:2–3, where he said:Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation3 if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.”


  • So, the problem we all have, that requires the grace of God in: text is: Danger of Spiritual Complacency – a Failure to Grow –
  • Coming to Faith in Christ, but Failing to Grow Up in our Faith.
  • Peter will argue, that that is potential proof of No life at all.
  • The failure to grow, in spiritual matters, carries the great and sad likelihood of the Absence of Real Spiritual Life.
  • Real Genuine Spiritual Life does not stay stagnant, ungrowing
  • It’s a heartbreaking tragedy to see: baby: not growing-develop
  • But, Brothers and sisters, it’s an equal, but far greater tragedy to see men-women in the church, supposedly walking with Christ for 10-20-30 years, yet as immature in Spiritual Life and Godliness, as the day they supposedly began…
  • Growing in our walk with Christ allows the watching saints & sinners to see the Glory of God’s Grace reflected in our lives-behaviour.


  • So, Peter’s pen records the H.Spirit’s teaching and instruction so that we who have indeed: “tasted that the Lord is good” may begin – continue – to Grow in Spiritual Life and Godliness


The Logic of the text:

  • 1-2, introduce Peter, his Qualifications, & Greetings
    • Peter is servant – a bondslave – and an apostle of Christ
    • To those who have obtained faith of equal standing
  • 3-4, H. Spirit, thru Peter, gives us the Grounds, the Reason for His 1st major command, in vs.5
  • vss 3-4, we’re given three great truths to assure us that
  • God has given all we need for growth: Spiritual Life & Godliness
  • Based on those truths, He commands us, in vs.5: “to supply all diligence, to supplement our faith w/ virtue, etc.
  • To paraph. Peter: Grow-Up in Spiritual Life and Godliness.
  • And that indeed is the message for us, for today…

{Slide Change}

But, First I want us 2C, God Gave Us All Things for Life & Godliness.

  • God has given us the Means to Life & Godliness
  • Notice vs.3, “Because all things regarding life and godliness have-been-granted to us, by God’s divine power, through the knowledge of the One who 1has-called us by His own glory and excellence…” (nja-version)
  • Peter states it as a clear fact of scripture, God has given us all things regarding Life-Godliness
    • Life: Dzoe – True Life, Godly Life, Essence of Life
    • Godliness: reverence, devotion, Godly-Fear, Holiness
  • God has given us Everything we need to be spiritually alive, and live that life in reverential, godly, fear of the Lord… But How?
  • The means by which we have received God’s Gracious Gift is
    • “through the knowledge of the One who has called us”
  • H.Spirit & Peter is writing of the full, intimate, experiential knowledge of Christ – far more than casual aquaint. – betrothal
  • We who’ve been Regener. Born again, have come to know Christ
  • We know Him as we’ve turned away fr. sin & towards Him: Faith
  • We know Him thru Read-Meditat: His 66-vol. love letter: Bible
  • We know Him as we respond to His words words in Prayer
  • We know Him as we respond in obedient action, conforming our lives to His Life…
  • We know Him as we walk day-day w/ Him, hearing & responding
  • God has given us everything that pertains to Life-Godliness thru the Full, Intimate-Experiential Knowledge of Christ


2) God has given us the Vision of Life & Godliness        {Slide Change}

  • Notice again vs.3, Because all things regarding life and godliness have-been-granted to us, by God’s divine power, through the knowledge of the One, who has-called us by His own glory and excellence…”
  • We have been Called to repent and believe, by God, in the person of Christ, thru the working of His Holy Spirit in us.
  • We were called “by” hearing the message and seeing Christ’s own glory and excellence
  • We saw the Glory of God displayed thru Christ’s Incarnation
  • We saw the Glory of Christ’s own Excellence-Virtue, in his own unique life lived here amongst us,
  • We saw: glory of Christ’s sinless, perfect, obedience to God
  • We saw: glory of God’s Only Begotten Son: full of Grace-Truth
  • We saw the Glory of God displayed in the Cross of Christ
    • God triumphing over sin and evil,
    • Christ crushing the Satan’s Head,
    • Christ delivering us from God’s wrath,
    • Christ setting us free from sin and death’s curse –
    • all thru the glory & excellence of Christ’s death: Cross
  • Having seen Christ’s Perfect sinless, godly, faithful life, we are confronted by our own sinfulness, our own failure before God
  • But In hearing: message, we’ve been Called-Comm Mark.1:15-17
    • Repent of Sin!
    • Believe the Gospel – to believe in Christ!
    • Follow Christ – to be like Him!
  • We’ve been Called by: Display of Christ’s Own Glory-Excellence
  • We’ve been shown: Vision of true Sp. life & Godliness looks like

{gospel call}

{Slide Change}

3) God has given us the Hope of Life & Godliness

  • We have: Means to Sp. Life & Godliness: Knowledge of Christ
  • We have: Vision of Sp. Life & Godliness: Christ’s Glory & Excell.
  • Both of these are only possible as exercise of God’s Divine Pwr.
    • It is God’s Power by which Christ took on Humanity
    • It is God’s Power at work in Christ to endure the cross
    • It is God’s Power at work to raise Christ from the dead
    • It is God’s Regenerating power to make us alive in Christ
    • It is God’s Divine Power to keep promises, past & future
  • Notice again vss.3-4 lit-para., “…because all things regarding life and godliness have been granted to us, by God’s divine power, through the intimate-experiential-knowledge of the One, who has-called us, by His own glory and moral-excellence, 4) through which, His precious and very great promises have-been-given to us, in order that through these you might fellowship in divine nature, having escaped from corruption in the world, because of sinful desire…”
  • Notice he says: “thru which” so, in other words: thru the glory & excellence of Christ He’s given us precious promises – Hope!
  • By saying thru Christ’s glory & excellence, he is saying that in Christ, all the promises of God are yes and amen!
  • Christ is the focal point of the fulfilment of God’s Promises!
  • The vs. has two ideas implied in in it:
  • God has already given us fulfilment of some Promises – Past
  • God Has Kept His Promises…
    • Christ would come as the Suffering servant
    • Christ would be Born, in Beth. of a virgin, He was
    • Christ would be despised-rejected by men – He was!
    • His back would be ploughed w/ many stripes – It was
    • Christ would pierced in hands-feet – He was!
    • Christ would be buried in borrowed, rich tomb – He was!
    • He would raised from the dead – He was!
    • Forgiveness of sin, thru Him – There is!
    • Healing thru His Stripes – There is!
    • Reconcil’n, Joy & Comfort in Christ – There is!
  • God will Also give us fulfilment of further future promises
    • Christ will return to reign in Power & Glory: He Will!
    • A New Heavens & New Earth…which we will occupy
    • Glorified, resurrected bodies, like Christ’s… – we will
  • God has promised us Eternity of Enjoyment in the Unbroken Unchanging presence & fellowship & worship around Christ…
  • We have been given, by God, Tremendous Hope, in Christ, of the Culmination of Spiritual Life and Godliness….Eternal Life!


  • Notice the Purpose in vs.4) “in order that through these promises we might become partakers of the divine nature…” or perhaps better to trans: “we might fellowship in divine nature”
  • He does Not mean, we become, develop divine nature – gods
    • There are some today, teaching that (Francis Chan)
  • Peter has in mind that the outcome of these Precious Promises
  • is that we will become like God, experiencing Immortality and Incorruptibility: 2Cor.5,
    • we will no longer sin,
    • we will no longer know sorrow, sickness, sadness,
    • we will no longer age, decline and decay,
    • And, we will know unending Joy in Life in God’s Presence
    • But, We will Not Become gods-goddesses
  • Not only that, this fellowshipping in Divine nature, includes the reality of the Indwelling H. Spirit, filling, empowering & enabling us to live the Spiritual Life, in Godliness… Right Now, throughout the journey until we reach Heaven’s shores…
  • What a Tremendous Hope that God has given to us as the Culmination of the Sp. Life Lived in Godliness and Holiness
  • What a Great encouragement,
  • What an amazing, glorious, gracious, loving kind God we know
  • What a Great Encouragement
  • He has given to us, all things regarding Sp. Life and Godliness
  • He has Given us the Means to Life and Godliness –
    • And that means is To Truly, Intimately Know Christ!
  • He has Given us the Vision of Life & Godliness –
    • And that Vision is of the Glory and Excellence of Christ!
  • He has Given is the Hope of Life & Godliness –
    • Promises kept by Christ 4 Ultimate Unimaginable Good!
  • But you know what….
  • That’s not his main point!
  • His main point, the command that brings this to bear in our lives is Vss. 5-11 (and im ¾ thru my time and message)
  • All of vss 3-4, is the grounds, foundation, reason He can command what he does in Vss.5-11


Second Main Point: God Commands Us to Grow In Life and Godliness

  • Notice vs.5, lit-para. “…and for this (reason and purpose), applying all diligence, build, undergird, accompany your faith with moral-excellence, and moral-excellence with knowledge-discernment-understanding , and K-D-U with self-restraint, and self-restraint with endurance, and endurance with reverent-devoted-godly-life, and R-D-G-L, with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with self-less-love.
  • Because of all that God has given us in vss.3-4
  • There is a command that must be obeyed.
  • One great problem of reformed faith is the danger that we begin to think that our sanctification is entirely God’s responsibility, we do nothing, but sit back and enjoy the ride…
  • Our Sanctification, our growth in Godliness, is the work of God in us, to move us to Obey, and, it is our Obedient Co-operation, to get off our backsides, and
    • “applying all diligence”,
    • “making every effort”,
    • “working very hard”
  • We build onto our faith with these other Christian Virtues.
  • Faith does not abide alone.  We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves, does not remain alone
  • James makes the powerful point that faith must be accompanied… it must be undergirded… it must be built onto by the works of faith, or that faith is dead!
  • Jesus said, if anyone would come after me, he must 1) deny himself, 2) take up his cross and 3) Follow Me! –
  • Obey Jesus, Live as Jesus Lived, Walk as Jesus walked…
  • That is what we were talking about when I began this message
  • Genuine Spiritual Life means Growth!
  • Growth is realised as we build onto our faith with virtue, etc.
  • Brother and sister in Christ, are you Growing?
  • Brother and sister in Christ, are you Bearing Fruit in your life?
  • Is your life becoming more like Christ?
  • Are your responses becoming more like His?
  • If your answer is: Yes, I can see that – its very slow, very gradual, but it is there – then Praise God, Keep Going!
  • If not, do not despair, hear the word of God, listen to what it says – God has given you everything you need for all of Spiritual Life and Godliness
  • How are you/I going to know what Faith, Virtue, Knowledge, Steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection and love look like?
  • Christ is the perfect example of Faith –
    • He is the Bible’s greatest display of faith in action,
    • He submitted Himself to His Father’s will, to die on the cross, trusting the Father to raise Him again – Faith
  • Christ is the perfect example of Virtue – Moral Excellence
    • Consider Christ’s Life-Words to know what Virtue is
  • Christ is the perfect embodiment of Knowledge, Wisdom,
    • Understanding & Discernment.  Knowing Him, we will be able to build onto our virtue with knowledge
  • And so on, I could continue through all these Christian Qualities & Show you: Christ is the Example-Epitome of all


  • But, He is the God-Man, truly God & Truly Man – easier for Him
  • You-I are just sinful wretches, saved by God’s Grace –
    • How can we possibly do what He did?


Listen very carefully {pause}

  • Yes, He is God-Man, God incarnate, God in Flesh and Blood
  • Yes, We are fallen men-women, who’re Saved by grace, And we Have God the H. Spirit in Us! (no, we’re not gods!)
  • We have fellowship with divine nature, indwelling us, to enable us to live the Spiritual Life of Godliness
  • How much do we sell God short, when we describe the Christian life as too hard to live?  Too difficult?, so we let ourselves off the hook, and so oh well, im only human, yes you are, but the Spirit of God, who indwells us, is anything but human!
  • Peter writing under God the H. Spirit’s inspiration declares, asserts, that God has given us everything we need to live this life – then He commands us to Make Every Effort to supplement, supply, build onto, add to our faith, these Christian virtues.
  • The question is not: Is that Possible?
  • The question is: will we obey?
  • The question is: will we submit to God, to make every effort to build onto our saving faith in God with moral excellence, etc?
  • Brothers and sisters
    • Meditate on verses 3-4, unpack more than I could for yourselves, to dig deeper to know-understand more of what Peter means there….
    • Do that in the sure knowledge that that is the grounds, the reason the basis for His Imperative command in vs.5!
  • Next Week, we’ll come back and pick up these verses, 5-11.





2 Peter 3:18 (ESV) — 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.