“And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8)
When you hear ‘progressive’ you are liable to think of the Democrat Party and liberalism. Progressivism IS dangerous when you are heading the wrong direction, but progress is not only desirable, it is indispensable in the Christian life. Without it, you could justly say that that person’s spiritual life is dead.
As a church music director, I’ve become acquainted with what makes music go. The music must change to make the melodies that you and I know and love to sing. The change in music that gives you the feeling of victory as in, “And Can It Be That I Should Gain,” or for the solemn feeling of reverence as in “Nearer My God To Thee,” is called ‘chord progression.’ Without it, music lacks emotion, and is dull and lifeless. Songs with no progression are enjoyed by nobody. You might call those hymns, songs with chord depression.
Here’s a test of this theory: try singing “Up From The Grave He Arose” on the same note- with no change in the tone of your voice. Awful thrilling isn’t it? Or maybe just plain awful is the best way to describe it.
So you know that you must move. You must move in the right order. And you must move in the right direction. Faith first, then virtue, then knowledge, then temperance, THEN patience. Godliness is the next progression that makes a Christian’s life a melodic song of praise.
Godliness, the Bible states, is “Profitable for all things”. Wisdom is profitable to direct, good friends are profitable (Onesimous), but the BEST and most valuable quality you can add to your Christian life after patience is being Godly. How vital it is to have the mind, heart, and hands of Christ! How few and far between are the saints who have gone to the next level, and taken this step.
You don’t become godly by being lofty, or boastful in your service or attitude to God. Godliness the sum of faith+virtue+knowledge+temperance+patience. It is the summation of a Christian’s progress.
John Bunyan called his dream, Pilgrim’s Progress. It is a story of a believer’s march to Zion. That is how every story should be- a movement towards God. Are you marching for Zion?