2 Peter & Jude

by Eileen Poh

Day 3

Read 2 Peter 1:5-7

If someone were to ask you, ″What does a godly life look like?″, how would you reply?

Peter ends the list with love, which holds all the other attributes together

In 2 Peter 1:5-7, Peter paints a picture of a godly life with eight attributes: faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. We are not automatically endowed with these virtues when we became Christians. Rather, we must ″make every effort to add″ (2 Peter 1:5) these virtues to our lives, though not strictly in the order listed in verses 5-7. (Peter is using a literary form common in his day for listing virtues or vices, which are not intended to be understood in the order they appear.)

Note that Peter begins his list with faith and ends with love (vv. 5, 7). We received faith when we first believed in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour (v. 1). As we walk in our Christian life, we must continue in faith.

Goodness is an attribute of God (vv. 3, 5). Peter borrows the word from the Greek world, where the word means ″virtue″ or ″moral excellence″.

We must add knowledge, which is the knowledge of God and of Jesus (vv. 2, 5), by reading and meditating on His Word daily. With this knowledge, we can discern God's will and align ourselves to obey Him.

We need to grow in self-control (v. 6) because it will keep us from giving in to temptations we face in our world.

Then we must have perseverance (v. 6), or steadfastness, to enable us to bear up under difficult situations.

Godliness (v. 6) is ″a very practical awareness of God in every aspect of life″.2

Christians must also have mutual affection for one another (v. 7), treating each other like members of one's family.

Peter ends the list with love, which holds all the other attributes together (see also Colossians 3:14).

This list may seem like a very tall order. But the good news is that we do not have to live a godly life by our own strength. Have you noticed the words, ″For this very reason″, at the beginning of 2 Peter 1:5? Peter wants to emphasise an important truth here, and that is: the attributes in verses 5-7 are linked to the preceding verses–God has already given us everything we need for a godly life (vv. 3-4).

2 Michael Green, 2 Peter & Jude (Leicester: IVP, 1987), p.79.

Think through:

How would you know if you were living a godly life?

Which attributes in 2 Peter 1:5-7 are particularly challenging for you? Which ones do you have to ″make every effort to add″ (v. 5) in order to live a godly life?




About Author

Eileen Poh was a lawyer for some years before doing full-time theological studies. Her doctoral thesis (at King’s College London) examines the social relationships between Christians and non-Christians in Asia Minor in the second half of the first century AD. Eileen lectures in Biblical Studies at Discipleship Training Centre, Singapore. She is married to Philip Satterthwaite.

Author of Journey Through Series:

Our Daily Bread Journey Through® Series is a publication of Our Daily Bread Ministries.

We exist to help make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all.

Rights and Permissions  |  Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy