Goodness - 2 Peter Series
Last week, brother Gillins introduced our new series on “making our call and election sure” from 2 Peter 1:10-11. He set up for us the context where Peter calls on us to add 7 things to our faith. In this article we will briefly discuss the first of these: goodness.
For starters, it is helpful to see what some other translations say here. The Greek word is aretē. NKJV and ESV says “virtue”. NASB says “moral excellence”. While the CSB and NIV says “goodness”. We will use goodness for the sake of this article.
Of all the places to start, why would Peter start here? This kind of goodness that Peter is talking about is lost on our world. This goodness is not superficial goodness, meaning goodness that is seen in opening the door for a stranger, or helping someone out with a flat tire. People from all places would call those things “good.” But the goodness being described here is a goodness that is rooted in biblical and godly truth.
While we live in such a dark and crooked world, it is imperative that we let God’s word shape our view of what is good and right. The world is constantly trying to redefine what is “good”. So for those who are trying to “make sure of their calling”, we must allow God’s word to shape what is good.
After all, this is what is emphasized in the very beginning. Notice that as God creates things in the Genesis account, He is the one determining what is “good” (Gen. 1:4,10,12,18,21,25). Genesis 1:31 says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed.” The only time this pattern is broken is when we get to chapter 3 and the serpent tempts Eve. You may recall that it says in Genesis 3:6, “The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” Just because this woman thought it was good, did not make it so! The devil had helped Eve redefine what was “good” and it was to her and her husband’s demise.
We must learn from this! The devil will try to redefine for us what is considered “good”. Take note of what the world considers “good”: homosexuality, fornication, divorce, transgenderism, gender reassignment, and the list goes on and on.
The point is simple: if we are not careful, those of us who have been called can begin to let the world shape what we call “good”. Instead, let us be diligent to let God’s word shape what is considered “good”. From there we can begin to bear the fruit of the Spirit, which includes this very word: goodness (Gal. 5:22-23).