Godliness - every believers calling
Read the passage 1 Timothy 6:3-21, and Hebrews 12:1-29
What is Godliness?
Godliness (eusebeia) - eu - 'well', and sebomai - 'to
worship'. Worshipping God correctly - "good worship" or a lifestyle
that is totally God centered. Godliness is:
- Knowing who God is through Jesus Christ
- Understanding why He is
- Having a personal relationship with Christ through
The doctrine of Godliness is based on a mystery - that is 'The
Mystery of Godliness'. Although a mystery, Godliness is part of the backbone
of all Christian teaching, an 'understanding' of which is made known to us
through our relationship with Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:16 speaks about The Mystery of Godliness: "But
if I tarry long, that you may know how you ought to behave yourself in the house
of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the
truth. And without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness; God
was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached
unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory" 1 Timothy 3:16
Grammatical Correction - Bengel, the author of the
Gnomon of the New Testament remarks that not until the 16th Century
were the words "pillar and ground of truth" ever referred to the church of
God, but always to the doctrine which follows. The passage would be better
punctuated as follows: a full-stop after '...of the living God', and capital
'...The pillar and ground of truth...' In other words, the pillar and ground
of truth is not the church, but is actually the mystery of godliness. This
actually makes better sense. The mystery of godliness is everything to do with
Christ and Him being God and Saviour to all people - His birth, His life, His
ministry, His death, His resurrection, and His ascension. The mystery of
godliness covers Jesus' incarnation to His ascension.
- Knowing God - Who is He? "God manifest in the flesh,
Justified in the Spirit". Jesus was man -– and God. In this text, Jesus was
veiled in the flesh rather than revealed in the flesh. The flesh was the form
which God took for manifestation. It was His humanity that impressed people
and not His divinity. Even His disciples who walked with Him for three years
had doubts about His divinity. That which impressed them the most was that
which was most apparent - his humanity. He lived among men as a man, which
makes His example to us all the more attainable.
What makes it even more amazing is that the Spirit of God
justified Him in advance as the Son of God and the Messiah of people by
prophecy. There are 333 distinct predictions about our Lord and Saviour found
between Genesis and Malachi: outlining the facts about His life, when and
where He would be born, and the details of His death, resurrection and
ascension. And when Jesus came, the Spirit justified Him by works, such works
- as men have never seen before. His miracles were not simply miracles of
power and wisdom, but of true love! He ministered unselfishly to the needs and
longings of people. On top of this, Paul recorded that Jesus was "declared
to be the Son of God with power" by the resurrection of the dead. Romans 1:4.
It is apt that in John 3:16 (note the same verse number as the
Timothy reading), that God's gift to human-kind was Jesus, and that "whosoever
believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life".
- The reason for God - Why He is? It was necessary for
Jesus Christ to be seen - and for witnesses to announce what they saw! This
was no ordinary crusade, or travelling preacher! He had been put to death -–
crucified under a common but effective Roman crucifixion. And - after
He was crucified, after he gave up the Ghost and was buried in a tomb
-– in fact, three days after, He was seen -– this was actual proof
of His resurrection. Without the resurrection, there can be no salvation
-– the fact of the resurrection is that which sets Jesus apart from
Mohammed, Buddah and all those 'revered men' of human history. They are
all resting in their graves...but Jesus is alive, for He is (God).
- The whereabouts of God in relation to us personally - Where
is He? If a person accepts Jesus into their heart, then Jesus will live in
their hearts and they will gain eternal life. "If any man love Me he will
keep My words, and My Father will love Him, and we will come unto him, and
make our abode with him" John 14:23. Should any person not receive
Jesus into their hearts, their names will not be found in the Book of Life and
they will be cast into the lake of fire. See Revelation 20:15. Those
that believe on Christ have eternal life. "And this is the record, that God
has given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that has the Son
has life: and he that has not the Son of God has not life" 1 John 5:11-12.
When Jesus came down in the incarnation, He brought God
down to man. But when He ascended, He took man up to God. Jesus now sits at
the right hand of the Father. He is "the blessed and only Potentate, the
King of kings, and Lord of lords" 1 Timothy 6:15. Potentate
(Dunastes) - possessor of power or authority; absolute ruler. Also read Psalm 24:1-10
- 'Jesus, the King of glory'.
Practicing Godliness - will ensure believers are
prepared to meet their Saviour at any time, for we do not know the time nor the
hour. Practicing Godliness guarantees the promises of life now and eternally.
"Exercise yourself unto Godliness...but Godliness is profitable unto all
things, having promise of the life that is now, and of that which is to come"
1 Timothy 4:7-8. "Godliness with contentment is great gain" 1 Timothy 6:6.
Being content means being fully satisfied with what the Lord has
provided for us. Don't look any further than Christ. God "will supply all
your need according to His riches in glory by Jesus Christ" Philippians 4:19
'Shall supply' (pleroo) - cause you to be content. But we must
allow Him to work in our lives first, and trust "in the living God, who gives
us richly all things to enjoy" 1 Timothy 6:17.
Practical Steps to practicing Godliness:
- Lay aside every weight, and the sin that does so easily beset
us - Hebrews 12:1.
- Look to Jesus only - Hebrews 12:2
- Do not despise the chastening of the Lord - Hebrews 12:5
- Make straight the paths for your feet - Hebrews 12:13
- Look diligently in case you might fall from the grace of the
Lord - Hebrews 12:15
- Serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear - Hebrews 12:28