BLOCKS OF CHARACTER: GODLINESS!"
preached by David P. Nolte
2 PETER 1:5-11
Seems like you can't turn on the TV without seeing some new and
absolutely revolutionary piece of
exercise equipment. Each one of them, of course, renders all others
obsolete. Each one claims that
with a minimal effort, and only 20 minutes a day, you can shape your
sagging putty into well etched
muscle. Nothing wrong with physical exercise, in moderation. Paul
acknowledges that, saying,
"physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all
things, holding promise for both
the present life and the life to come." 1 Timothy 4:8 (NIV).
Exercise in godliness far
physical exercise. Godliness is another building block of character.
But how does that play out in
life? What does it mean, and if we'd seek to be godly, what is the
- IF WE'D BE
GODLY WE MUST BE IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD:
- The word translated, "godliness" means "proper worship; giving
God His due;
seeking to please Him in every respect!" The New Living Translation
uses the phrase,
"knowing God better." Godliness is a right attitude toward, and a right
with, God Himself.
- Godliness involves:
- Reverence, awe; respect and holy fear because we recognize
- Psalm 5:7
"But I, by Your great mercy, will come into Your
house; in reverence will I bow down toward Your holy temple."
95:6 (NIV) "Come, let us bow down in worship, let us
before the Lord our Maker."
- Desire to glorify Him: He is worthy of it!
Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) "So whether you eat or
whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
- 1 Peter
"If anyone speaks, he should do it as one
speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it
with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be
praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for
ever and ever. Amen."
- Our songs, recreation, language, attitudes, associations:
- An obedient spirit:
- If He commands it, we do it!
- If He forbids, we don't do it!
- Giving God first place:
- In the use of our time
- In the use of our money
- In the use of our talents
- In all our decisions
- No one is godly who is irreverent, who fails to glorify God or
who is disobedient and
rebellious, and who puts anything ahead of God! No 2 ways about it!
- A couple was leaving church and the wife asked, "Did you see
that awful purple hat
Mrs. Abernathy was wearing?" He said, "No, I'm afraid I missed that."
"What did you think of that gorgeous orange dress Mrs. Lane had on?" He
didn't notice that, either." "Well, she asked, "did you happen to
notice the cardigan
sweater Mrs. Berry was wearing?" "Nope," he said. "Oh, for land's
retorted, "A lot of good it does you to go to church!" One is prone to
she went! Was it really out of proper reverence for God? Was her motive
to church godly?
- IF WE'D BE
MUST BE IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE
- This is not a reference to the geographical, physical world! It
refers to the secular
society, culture, the philosophical system which omits and opposes God!
- Godliness in reference to the world involves:
- Shunning the sinful values, desires and passions which are
stimulated by the
- Paul wrote to Timothy saying, "For the love of money is at
of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered
from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. But you,
Timothy, belong to God; so run from all these evil things, and follow
what is right and good. Pursue a godly life, along with faith, love,
perseverance, and gentleness." 1 Timothy
- He wrote further, "Run from anything that stimulates
youthful lust. Follow anything that makes you want to do right. Pursue
love and peace, and enjoy the companionship of those who call on the
Lord with pure hearts." 2 Timothy
- Refusal to accommodate to godless standards:
- Paul's counsel is, "Don't copy the behavior and customs of
but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you
think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will
know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is." Romans
- Writing to Titus, Paul reminded him, "For the grace of God
brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to
ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright
and godly lives in this present age," Titus 2:11-12
- An awareness of its temporality:
- John wrote in 1 John 2:17
(NIV) "The world and its desires
away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever."
- Peter reminds us, "But the day of the Lord will come as
as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terribl/e noise, and
everything in them will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything
on it will be exposed to judgment. Since everything around us is
going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living! You
should look forward to that day and hurry it along - the day when
God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the
flames. But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new
earth He has promised, a world where everyone is right with God." 2 Peter 3:10-13
(NLT). No "Left Behind" in that
- No one is godly who manifests the character of this world:
says, "People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of
money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents,
unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control,
not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of
than lovers of God - having a form of godliness but denying its power.
nothing to do with them."
says, "don't you know that friendship with the world is
hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world
becomes an enemy of God."
- John writes, "Stop loving this evil world and all that it
offers you, for when
you love the world, you show that you do not have the love of the
you. For the world offers only the lust for physical pleasure, the lust
everything we see, and pride in our possessions. These are not from the
Father. They are from this evil world." 1 John 2:15-16
- Aesop tells the story of the war between the birds and the
beasts. The bat tried to
belong to whichever group was winning. If the beasts prevailed, he laid
being a beast. If the birds prevailed, he lied that he was a bird. His
soon discovered and he was rejected by both groups, with the result
that he has to
hide himself, coming out only after dark. People who try to be of the
world and of
God are just like that bat and will truly be rejected by both sides.
WE'D BE GODLY WE MUST BE IN RIGHT RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS:
- Godliness means giving God His proper place
and pleasing Him;
it also means keeping
the world in proper perspective; but it also means recognizing our
our fellow man!
- Godliness in reference to others involves:
- Proper respect: Philippians 2:3-4 (NLT)
says, "Don't be selfish; don't live to
make a good impression on others. Be humble, thinking of others as
- Service: Jesus taught in Matthew 20:26 (NIV)
"whoever wants to become
great among you must be your servant,"
- Forgiveness: Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
urges, "be kind and
one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you."
- Apology when that is needed. "If you are standing before the
altar in the
Temple, offering a sacrifice to God, and you suddenly remember that
has something against you, leave your sacrifice there beside the altar.
be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to
- No one is godly, no matter how religious, who
has no regard or
concern for his fellow
man! John makes that clear, "If someone says, 'I love God,' but hates a
brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don't love people
we can see, how can
we love God, Whom we have not seen? And God Himself has commanded that
must love not only Him but our Christian brothers and sisters, too." 1 John 4:21
- I once met a girl in an evangelism class I taught. We were
talking about the need to
care for others and to share our faith with them. She put her hand up
and said, "Well,
as far as I'm concerned, if I'm saved, that's all that matters. If
others are lost, it's
their problem." Her general attitude toward others was arrogant and
a godly attitude.
Until we stand in humility before our God; put the
world in proper
perspective; love our fellow man,
all our religion is vain! Jesus calls us to yield our wills to His this
morning so that He can produce
a godly character which is pleasing to Him! That means we must cease to
live for the temporal; quit
striving after our own rights and wants; and we must begin in earnest
living in obedience to Jesus! It takes a changed heart. It takes full
surrender to His way and will.
Woman and church from
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