Summary: Part 1 of a 2-part series on Godliness with Contentment. Godliness 1) penetrates every area of life...2) promises life at its best...3) is produced through exercise.

Godliness Is Profitable Unto All Things

Chuck Sligh

November 24, 2013

TEXT: 1 Timothy 6:6 – “But godliness with contentment is great gain. ”


There is a pairing of spiritual traits in this verse: godliness and contentment Now, if you have godliness, but not contentment, you have only HALF of the equation. On the other hand, if you have contentment, but not godliness—again, you’re missing something.

God wants us to pair those things in our lives for some reason. Next Sunday evening I want to talk about the subject of contentment. But today I want to talk about the first half of the equation: GODLINESS.

To do that, I’d like for us to go to another passage in 1 Timothy: chapter 4, verses 7-8. But before we read that, first let’s define “godliness.”

Godliness can be simply defined as “God-likeness.” That is to say, when you became a believer in Jesus Christ, it’s God’s plan that you become like God in His moral attributes.

Now Jesus is the visible manifestation of God on earth, so in order to conform yourself to God, you should conform yourself to Jesus Christ. In Romans 8:29 we read that this is exactly God’s plan for us from eternity past: “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son…”

So to be conformed to the image of Christ means to become LIKE JESUS CHRIST. Godliness is “Jesus-likeness,” and, since Jesus Christ is God, it’s “God-likeness.” God wants you to be like His Son in your attitudes, in your philosophy of life, in your words, and in your behavior.

Godliness is the opposite of worldliness. As a believer, you’ll either be conformed to JESUS CHRIST in your life and be GODLY, or you’ll be conformed to the world and be worldly. Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

By the “world,” Paul means the attitudes, philosophy, words and behavior of those who are part of this world system controlled by Satan whom Paul refers to in 2 Corinthians 4:4 as “the god of this world.” Now there is only one true God, but Satan is served in this world by worldlings as if he were a god who controls their attitudes, philosophies, words and behavior. This is in contrast to believers whom the Bible says their citizenship is in heaven

So to summarize, godliness is “God-likeness” or “Christ-likeness” in the life of the believer who is striving to obey God, understand His Word, and be like Christ. The world would have you believe that the life of godliness is a sad, boring existence.

You’d think that if you become a committed Christian, somehow you’ll miss out on life.

NOTHING could be FURTHER from the truth!

Let’s go now to 1 Timothy 4:7-8 and see what Paul says about this kind of life—the life of godliness – “But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

Note the following three truths about this text:


Exercise has its benefits — 1 Timothy 4:8a — “For bodily exercise profiteth little....”

It doesn’t say “bodily exercise profiteth nothing.”

No, there are undoubtedly benefits in bodily exercise. When I see grown men chasing a ball from one end of a football field to the other, I do wonder if there really is any profit or value to it. But scientists assure us that there are indeed some benefits to sports and exercise.

Have you ever thought of the absurdity of grown men (like myself, I might add) bouncing a brown ball up and down, up and down a court trying to shoot it into a little red hoop with string net attached at the bottom? Again, I wonder, “What’s the point?” But again, health experts recognize that there are many benefits to bodily exercise. The Bible doesn’t deny that. It just says that it “profiteth little.”

In the Greek, this would literally sound this way, “for bodily exercise for a little is profitable,” indicating that its value is of limited duration. That is, it’s good only in THIS life.

Illus. – A survey by the A.C. Nielsen Company shows that top in the list of popular sports in the U.S. is swimming. Some 103 million people supposedly regularly swim. Other sports in the top five listing are: bicycling, fishing, camping and bowling. About 13 MILLION people tried WATERSKIING at least once last year and spent 100 million dollars in the process. Some 1 MILLION SCUBA DIVERS spent $500 each for gear and 3 million snorkelers spent about $35 each for equipment, which, if you do the math, comes to $105 million.

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