“Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…“
Perspective on God’s plan for creation motivates us to live godly lives. Verses eleven to sixteen are an exhortation to live a life pleasing to God in the light of eternity.
Peter now draws a practical conclusion to verse ten.
since all these things will be dissolved
Referring back to the heavens, the elements, the earth and all the works of the earth, Peter says that all these things will be dissolved. This is the termination of the universe as we know it. God has ultimately doomed this creation. He has written it off. The day of the Lord will come. At that time everything terrestrial and everything celestial will dissolve. How much of this world’s population believe that this is going to happen? Precious few. Very few politicians or scientists believe it. Sadly, even some preachers don’t believe it.
The words “dissolved” here and the word “melt” in verse ten are the same Greek word. The word literally means loosed. The universe will fly apart and dissolve. Judgment of this world will come. But the door of grace is still ajar. “Whoever will” may come. Flee to the outstretched arms of Jesus.
what manner of persons ought you to be
The phrase “what manner” is not a question but an exclamation. The word “manner” means what kind or sort of person am I supposed to be. “Think about the kind of person you should be since God is going to dissolve the universe.”
The word “ought” carries the idea of necessity. There is often a big difference between what we are and what we should be. We need to realize our position in Christ. When we get to glory, our walk and our position will be identical. Meanwhile, our walk should be progressively closer to our position in Christ.
in holy conduct
This section sets forth a fourfold walk for the believer in view of the prophetic events described earlier.
First, we should live our lives “in holy conduct.” This phrase qualifies the exclamation of the previous phrase. Two characteristics should characterize people who live their “manner” of life in light of the dissolution of the universe. First, they live their lives in “holy conduct.” The word “holy” means they separate their lives unto God. They live devoted to God, not to themselves. “Conduct” means manner of life. This word comes from two Greek words: good and to be devout. Manner of life is made up of actions. We should devote our manner of life to God.
When a young man becomes engaged, he sets aside all other girls. He devotes himself to his fiancée. If he marries her, he exclusively devotes himself to his wife excluding any familiar relationship with another woman. He leaves all his past girlfriends in the past. That is the charge we take when we get married. Similarly God wants us to exclusively devote ourselves to Him.
Secondly, people who live in light of the dissolution of the universe live godly lives. “Godliness” is devotion towards God. These people devote themselves to God. This word occurs 15 times in the New Testament.
Our conduct is visible and horizontal but “godliness” vertical. This is what we are before God. We bear a family resemblance to God. Just as sons often resemble their fathers, our Heavenly Father expects us to resemble Him and His values (Ephesians 5:1). When we become children of God we should resemble our Father. We should talk like Him, think like Him and act like Him (Matthew 5:48). If we step out of phase with the Father we become critical, cantankerous and miserable. This mean streak does not come from our Heavenly Father.
We should live our lives for the exclusive pleasure of the Lord Jesus.
Godly Christians look for a whole new future with new heavens and earth. They live a different kind of life than their non-Christian neighbors. They live their lives for the exclusive pleasure of Jesus Christ. They change their behavior, interests, habits and company. True Christianity makes an impact on the life and behavior of how we live.