Although I guess one of the most basic answers to the question how God gives us eternal life is here
II Peter 1:3-11 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.
8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.
10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
St Peter starts out talking about the "mystical power that reworks our spiritual DNA" ( I kind of liked this description) and goes on to show how we cooperate with this. Then goes on to encourage us that in the union of the two is life and growth, but that a rejection of this is a death and a fall.
I think here too we have both understandings of knowledge. In vs 1 we have knowledge as contemplation of, participation in Grace, which is God's part and in vs 5 we have knowledge as what we gain by our own efforts in reading the Gospels and other spiritual books. And in vs 8 the union of the two.
Faith is the foundation. Faith as submission and trust is our first response to God's presence and power, but we also see our need for moral goodness, for knowledge such as you suggest, for ascetic striving toward self control, for perseverance (the monastics often refer to stability- ie we don't run away from the hard things God gives us)
I admit I have often wondered here what is meant by godliness. How is this different from goodness?
(my pastor once talked about the Greek word used here when it says "increasing" measure saying it can be understood similar to compounding as in compound interest.)
Edited by Anna Stickles, 21 December 2009 - 02:38 PM.