“As His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
that pertain to life
“Life” includes not only eternal life but life as we now live it. God provides for our life now in time. This “life” is “divine,” not a life that merely comprises the issues of this life, like food, clothing, and shelter. This “life” is the vitality and animation of life with God while we live on earth.
The New Testament sometimes uses “life” as the life of God. He has absolute fullness of life, both the essence of life and the ethics that flow from that life. His life is noble, the highest and best life. Whatever truly lives does so because sin has not found its place in it. This is life in the absolute sense. It is more than nobility and power. It is life as God has it; it is life in the fullest sense.
God’s life is an abiding antithesis to death, a positive free from death living. In other words, this is a life of glory full of vitality. The idea is that we can be fulfilled beings with abundant lives. God’s life is the furthest thing from mere existence, but His vitality rules our entire life.
Jn 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
There is a corollary between life and holiness. We must have breath before behavior. We cannot live the Christian life without first having spiritual life with which to live it. We do not get life by goodness. Goodness comes from the life of God.
“Godliness” is piety. This term comes from two words: well and to worship. A godly person worships well. He directs his worship rightly. This person pays his worth to God. We owe this response to God.
Ancient Greeks used “godliness” for the function of polytheism (Greek and Roman religions had many gods). “Godliness” carries a technical meaning in the New Testament; it has the idea to function in God’s plan. It is our devotion to God based on His provisions for the Christian.
“Godliness” carries the opposite idea of religion. Religion relates more to outward acts of religious observance or ceremony. Godliness, on the other hand, cherishes the will of God. Godliness is a genuine and authentic spiritual relationship with God.
When we put “godliness” with the preposition “that” as in “that pertain to life and godliness,” we obtain the idea of living the whole Christian life before God. This idea includes both the Spirit-filled life and growth in the principles and application of the Christian life. In other words, “godliness” involves everything God expects of us in the Christian life. This expectation includes the entire structure of Christian living. God provided everything that pertains to living in time and eternity.
“Life” and “godliness” come from a genuine relationship with God.
When people come to Christ, they receive the highest life possible, eternal life. Eternal life allows us to live before God both in time and eternity. Eternal life is the highest state a creature can have. Eternal life begins at the moment of salvation, not death (Jn 5:24). Eternal death comes through the sin of Adam; we inherit that death. Eternal life comes through Christ; we inherit His life when we believe in His death as the means of our salvation (Ro 5:12f).
The power of God gives us new life (Col 2:12-13; Tit 3:4-5), and His power provides the ability to live godly lives (Php 2:12-13; 4:13).
Do you have a vital spiritual life? Is God real to you? There is no excuse for not living vitally before God because we have God’s power for “all things.”