“The key to godliness is not more knowledge,” opined Woodrow Knoll, “but more obedience.”
Indeed, godliness issues itself in following Jesus, daily bearing His cross, and willingly submitting to His commands (Lk. 9:23). Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (Jn 14:15). The beloved John further amplified that fact when he wrote, “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1Jn. 5:3).
This week we’re writing about godliness. As we observed in yesterday’s post, the source of godliness is made known through God’s Word. It is not mystical, but practical.
Today, let’s consider some specific applications in connecting godliness to practical, every day living.
#1 Godliness is heard in speaking wholesome words.
In Paul’s letters to the evangelist Timothy, he instructed him regarding his duty to faithfully teach God’s Word. To minister in the Word. And to reprove, rebuke and exhort. In 1 Timothy 6:3-4 he admonished, “Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing.”
Wholesome words are sound words. Healthful words. It speaks to our attitude toward God and our reverence and respect for His revelation. Distorting the doctrine of Christ to fit one’s own opinion is not only unwholesome, but also ungodly.
Wholesome words that demonstrate godliness are words that lead to “godly edification” (1 Tim. 4:1). Words that divide, hurt, anger, cause friction and stir up strife are spiritually unhealthy, and opposed to godliness.
#2 Godliness is witnessed by our attitude toward money.
Paul says that “godliness with contentment is great gain.” (I Tim. 6:5). Greed coupled with an inordinate desire for riches is harmful and hurtful. Paul’s observation still holds true today. The lure of wealth at any price has ensnared people into “foolish and harmful lusts.”
Money itself is not evil. Nor does the attainment of success automatically result in ungodliness. But improper priorities, corrupt motives, and selfish indulgences will lead us away from the Lord and leave us spiritually bankrupt.
#3 Godliness is seen in the way women dress.
By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul issued this injunction to Christian women.
“…Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works” (1 Tim. 2:8-10)
I once heard a talk show host ask a group of women, “Do you dress for other women or for men?” There’s a third alternative. Dressing to please God and display a spirit of godliness.
There may some specific differences of opinion about what is modest and immodest. But there can be no disagreement, that modesty, discretion and respectable attire should be seen in a woman seeking godliness. I doubt this test would work if we’re influenced by Hollywood, the fashion industry and women of the world. But I believe a Christian woman can look in the mirror and know in her heart whether or not she’s attired modestly.
#4 Godliness is demonstrated in everything we do in life.
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,”(Tit. 2:11-12).
Godliness manifests itself in the movies we watch, the books we read, and the internet sites we visit. Our choices of entertainment, the friends we associate with, and the nature of our relationships all reflect either an attitude of godliness or ungodliness.
Jerry Bridges expressed the reality of our lifestyle when he wrote, “Every day that we’re not practicing Godliness, we’re being conformed to the world of ungodliness around us.” Godliness is a daily pursuit. In fact, it ultimately becomes not so much something you do, but the way you are.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
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