Summary: #5 In the scriptures there is the assumption that anyone who is born again of the Spirit of God, that that person has the very power of God to live a life of godliness. This is not a life that is some unproductive barren wasteland, but a life that is full
The Enlargement of Life
Living Perseverance revealed in Godliness.
Reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-7 + 4:1-18
2 Peter 1:1-11 (in particular 5-8)
[recap slides 1 – 10] [This Week Slide 11]
Life in Britain today, has an alarming degree of ungodliness. This is sad to say a reflection of what is also true in the church. There is a willingness to believe anything other than the words of our Lord and that of His prophets and apostles. This is reflected very much in peoples willingness to accept the desolate things, the barren ways of the world system in preference to the richness of living God’s way. This is quite possible because the Gospel has been presented as an irksome set of rules, instead of as a life of vitality in Jesus Christ. There is something of the Pharisee in the system and the person who wants to impose rules and regulations, rather than teach and live in the dynamic life flow of the Spirit.
Jesus in Luke 11:46, [Slide 12] spoke very strongly against such legalism, in fact He curses them; "Woe." That word is a curse, [Slide 13]a calling down of grief, heavy calamity, affliction, sorrow and misery. It is also a description of the person’s state or their state to come unless the curse is lifted, because the word holds the meaning of a person becoming [slide 14] pitiful and paltry. This is why we need to be careful in our choice of words, how many times has a child been cursed by a parent, the result is that that child’s life has been blighted and they have needed the deliverance of our God to set them free. Jesus cursed legalism and those who propagated when He said; "Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers." (Luke 11:46) You are more than willing to impose burdens upon others that you yourselves simply won’t bear, and someone tries to do the same to you, you either reject them or go elsewhere.
There is a call in the scripture for all to live lives of godliness. The world, the nation, the Church is in desperate need of an upsurge of godliness, and a massive one at that. It is true to say, that we really should say, Our world, Our nation and Our church, Us.
What does the scripture say about godliness? The Greek word that is translated godliness has the basic meaning of “Piety, godliness and holiness." [slide 15] That word piety has been twisted by the world to the point where it almost means the total reverse of its original meaning. Today it tends to be used as a term of derision, a pious person is seen a sanctimonious snob. Yet the actual meaning is of a person who has an affectionate respect for one’s parents and having love and reverence for God with a greater degree of affection than for the former. Now that sounds great, what it simply means [slide 16] is that the person is in love with Jesus. This Greek word comes from another that means, "to be godly in a devout way." This breaks down into two words, the first means, "to be good and well doing," the second means, "to revere with, adoration in devout religious worship."
So Godliness has essentially to do with the manifestation of what you have become. It is what proceeds from the person that portrays what they essentially are. We are not talking about what is seen for the few hours or minutes when we are with others of the same thinking and belief, but what we are for the full twenty four hours of each and every day. Add to that enduring stick-ability, [slide 18] i.e. perseverance, the good and well doing that flows from your loving adoration for your Lord and God.
In our readings there is the call to pray for those in authority over us. Why? You might say I don’t agree with their politics nor indeed do I even like the person. Well putting it into simple terms, we either do what the scripture tells us to do or face the consequences. Also and more importantly, 1.Timothy 2:3 tells us that: "...this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour." It is because God says it is good and right and proper. We are to offer prayers, supplications, intercessions and giving of thanks for all men, [slide 19] "for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all GODLINESS and reverence." The implication of this is that if we don’t pray for such people then it will become difficult for you to lead a life of Godliness. It will become difficult to live out biblical standards as the prevailing standards will influence by the powers of darkness and imposed by the wor1d.