Summary: What does godly look like? Like our Father.

Godliness: Looking like our Father

Are you godly?

If your are about to say, “No, Pastor,” it may be that you base that answer on a mistaken notion about what it means to be godly.

● Many confuse godliness with being religious.

● Others believe that godliness is only for those who are well into their years.

● Some others are convinced that godliness was only possible in another time.

● Some think godliness is reserved for those who are involved in professional church work.

Jerry Bridges writes, “Godliness is no optional spiritual luxury for a few quaint Christians of a bygone era or for some group of supersaints of today.” (Discipleship Journal : Issue 18. 1999 Colorado Springs: The Navigators/NavPress.)

Peter says that godliness should a primary characteristic of every true Christian.

In 1 Timothy 4:8 we read: For 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.

Just as physical training shapes our bodies and increases our general health, so godliness shapes our spirit and leads us to better spiritual health. The difference, implied is the passage we just read, is that no matter how well we train our physical bodies, eventually we age and die and the training is lost. But, if we become godly, we gain possession of something that survives our death and reaches into eternity!

So what is this quality that is eternally valuable?

A person who is godly is devoted to God:

not to the work of God, not to acting like God, but to the very Person of God.

In the book of Genesis, we meet a man named Enoch and when we put together two passages about him we gain an important pointer about godliness.

First we are told that the distinguishing mark of Enoch was that he ‘walked with God.’ Second, we are told in Hebrews 11 that he ‘pleased God.’ Interestingly, we know nothing of what Enoch did with his life. The commendation of God is for Enoch’s devotion, that he knew God personally.

Ill. - I am frequently told, “Jerry, I see your Dad in you.” I take that as a compliment. My physical appearance has come to resemble his. But, the comment is often directed at things I do and say. I assure you it is not conscious imitation. There is something more to it. Dad’s DNA resides in me and so does much of his spiritual DNA. There was a transfer from him to me, one by birth, one by relationship.

Key Q - Do friends and family members see the likeness of your Heavenly Father in you?

If we would be godly, devoted to our Heavenly Father, we must experience several things.

1. We must be BORN into the family! Spiritual transformation is the first step towards godliness.

A religious elder named Nicodemus went one night to talk with Jesus. He was finding that keeping the religious rules wasn’t making him godly. As he queried Jesus about real spirituality, Jesus made a strange statement... “Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” {John 3:4}

“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!” In reply {John 3:5-8}

Jesus answered,

“I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

There is a natural birth, that marks the beginning of life here. That birth, in the figurative language of Jesus, is the birth of water. Becoming like our Father in Heaven, requires a second birth, one that happens when the Spirit of God plants a seed of life in our hearts which we accept by faith. When we are born of the Spirit, the characteristics of God are set in us and we begin to live them.

2. We learn to share the heart of our Heavenly Father when we live with Him.

Godliness is better caught than taught!

Transference of values is the secret of good parenting. It requires modeling of the kinds of values you want your child to have and spending enough time with them to let them see those values at work in you.

If we desire to be godly, we will learn to let Him be with us, to open our lives to the flow of the Holy Spirit, through regular time of prayer, by interacting with Scriptural truth, and responding to His invitation.

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