Is there just one proper gospel-centered rationale for holiness? Should we, in speaking about sanctification, avoid threats and warnings and coming judgment and focus simply on our acceptance in Christ? How many motivations does the Bible have for godliness?
I see at least twenty. In the three chapters of 2 Peter alone.
1. We pursue holiness so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4).
2. We make every effort to grow in godliness because God has already set us free from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Pet. 1:4).
3. We grow in grace so we will not be ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2 Pet. 1:8).
4. We pursue Christlike character so we will not be blind, having forgotten that we were cleansed from our former sins (2 Pet. 1:9).
5. We work hard at holiness in order to make our calling and election sure, so that we will not fall (2 Pet. 1:10).
6. We practice these godly qualities so there will be richly provided for us an entrance into the eternal kingdom (2 Pet. 1:11).
7. We pursue godliness because Jesus is coming back again in great power, and we know this to be true because of the glory revealed on the Mount of Transfiguration and because of the prophecy of Scripture (2 Pet. 1:16-21).
8. We walk in obedience to Christ because those who wander into sensuality are condemned and will be destroyed (2 Pet. 2:3).
9. We are serious about holiness because we believe God knows how to judge the wicked and save the righteous (2 Pet. 2:4-10).
10. We turn from ungodliness because those who revel in sin are ugly blots and blemishes, irrational animals, unsteady souls, and accursed children (2 Pet. 2:10-16).
11. We pursue holiness because sin never delivers on its promises (2 Pet. 2:17).
12. We pursue holiness because those who live in their sin again are like those returning to slavery, returning to mire, and returning to vomit (2 Pet. 2:19-21).
13. We must remember to be holy because in the last days scoffers will come following their own sinful desires (2 Pet. 3:3).
14. We make every effort to be godly because the world will not always continue as it does now; the heavens and the earth are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly (2 Pet. 3:4-7).
15. We must take Christlikeness seriously right now because we do not know when the Lord will return (2 Pet. 3:10).
16. We pursue holiness because all our works will be exposed on the last day (2 Pet. 3:10).
17. We pursue holiness because whatever we live for in this life will be burned up and dissolved (2 Pet. 3:11).
18. We strive to walk in obedience and repentance because in so doing we may hasten the coming of the day of God (2 Pet. 3:12).
19. We living in righteousness now because we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness will dwell forever (2 Pet. 3:13).
20. We pursue godliness so that Christ might be glorified both now and to the day of eternity (2 Pet. 3:18).