I thought I had the perfect opening paragraph today. But now that I’m at the keyboard, I’m thinking about Superman and the Six Million Dollar Man, so we’ll go with them.
You know them: Superman, the man of steel, faster than a speeding bullet, leaping tall buildings; and the 70s version, the astronaut rebuilt with bionic arms and legs and eye. Those super-dudes had every amazing capability needed to save the day when battling the bad guy.
By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life.
So, can you see yourself as a godly superman today? I wonder — can you even believe this verse in 2 Peter?
Paul wrote this to the Romans:
For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.
Living in triumph over sin and death, having everything we need to live a godly life — now that does sound like a rich, abundant, triumphant life. But how do we do that?
Ummm … we don’t. We can’t. Christ can! He does!
This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.
I admit, for many years I had a tough time understanding and believing that God does really give us everything we need to live a godly life. If that was true, how come there were so many “ungodly” things still popping up? I knew how far I was from the “godly” mark.
But the Spirit has been slowly teaching me and changing the way I see my life.
What’s necessary for me to live a godly life? Two things, and only God can give them.
One was a new heart. God loved us and called us to be His children before we even had a heart for Him. Before we even wanted to have a heart for Him. We were dead to Him. But He gave us new life, a life in the Spirit, birthed by the Spirit.
The second thing I needed was the power. Even a million-dollar bionic will could not give me the power to live a godly life. Only the Spirit of Christ, living in me, can do that.
I guess, when you think about it, what God did was create an entirely new me. A new heart for Him, a whole new life, imbued with His power, created by and for Him!
The verse from Peter doesn’t say we are going to live a perfect life; as a matter of fact, if you read the context, he’s offering prayers for the church, that they will grow in grace and peace and knowledge. They, like us, still had some growing to do. But God’s promise is that we will share in His divine nature, and escape the corruption of human desires, and the Spirit is daily changing us to be like Him.
Pretty amazing. The Spirit of Christ living in me gives me a new heart, life, and power. It’s God working in us that lives out the life He wants.
We could list other things, too, that we need and God supplies on a daily basis — armor to fight and defend against the enemy, encouragement and counsel of others, guidance of the Scriptures.
But Christ supplied the two things I needed most to live a godly life, and now He can live out His rich and abundant life in me.
Scripture: 2 Peter 1:3; Romans 5:17; Colossians 1:26-27 (NLT)