Training in Godliness Part 1
Training in Godliness, Part 1
Review: Paul pointed out the insincerity of false teachers, who wrongly taught about salvation and holiness.
After discrediting aestheticism, we might think that Paul would steer clear of any steps of godliness, but he doesn’t. He notes, God requires holiness, saying emphatically, “Be holy as I am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). Yet, we all realize that it is impossible to live as God and live rightly according to his law. See Romans 7:18
We are all plagued with this same issue; we cannot carry out God's demands. Thankfully, the good news of Jesus Christ enters our spiritual dilemma. See Romans 7:24-25a
Jesus, fully God and fully man, lived among us. In every thought, word, and action, he perfectly demonstrated the nature of God and lived the righteous standard of the law faultlessly. In other words, Jesus proved to be holy, godly, and righteous.
As we read the requirements of God and see them demonstrated perfectly by Jesus, we conclude as Paul that we are wretched people in need of deliverance. We need someone to rescue us from our lives of unrighteousness and ungodliness. Jesus is our rescuer and deliverer.
See Romans 6:3-4, 6, 11-12
Jesus, holy and righteous, laid his life down on the cross as the substitute for us, carrying our sin to the cross and bearing God’s holy wrath against us. He died in our stead. However, not only did he pay sin’s penalty, he provided newness of life that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.
Jesus Christ became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption. “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 ESV)
Paul had these truths in mind as he encouraged Timothy in his first epistle. 6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. (1 Timothy 4:6 ESV)
The “faith” and “good doctrine” referenced by Paul concerns our salvation, sanctification, and glorification, all of which Jesus provides.
We are saved, sanctified, and glorified through faith in Christ. Good doctrine puts all of the focus, empowerment, and fulfillment of these realities on Jesus. We don’t have to work for something spiritually that Jesus has already accomplished.
A “good servant” (minister) puts these things before the brothers. We must be known as people of the Bible.
When people hear us speak and watch us live, they should conclude that our diet and exercise are in God’s holy word.
Being a good and faithful servant requires the discipline to read, correctly interpret, and communicate the eternal truths of God’s word in the Bible.
You should expect me to be a critical thinker—critical in the sense of being intellectually disciplined and skilled to understand the truths of the Bible and communicate them. And, you should expect the same of yourselves.
What can you do to increase your diet of God’s word, the Bible?
7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. (1 Timothy 4:6-10 ESV)
Christian spiritual fitness training focuses on faith and doctrine.
Physical fitness concentrates on diet and exercise, and spiritual health focuses on biblical truth and godliness.
As your good diet fuels your workouts, so taking in God’s word fuels your godly ways.
Your biblical diet comes primarily in two ways: 1) our gathering together for biblical instruction and 2) our regular personal reading, studying, memorizing, meditating, and sharing the Bible.
Congregationally: See Hebrews 10:24-25
Personally: See Matthew 4:4, 2 Timothy 3:16, and Psalm 119:9, 11.
A steady and hardy diet of the Bible will fuel your training for godliness.