Summary: There are two main defects that can effect a Pious Life: (1) they have a mistaken version of Piety as Holy Joe and Mechanical Martin or (2) they knowingly reject Piety for self-fulfillment like Phil the Pharisee.
After some research I discovered a couple of things that are commonly mistaken for Piety.
Piety is not being a quote a Holy Joe
We all have are own conception of a Holy Joe, but there are some common basic characteristics.
A Holy Joe will go to church, why ( Pause) because their family has always gone to church.
They are not concerned with the Salvation of others but are trying to do good things, good works in hope of obtaining their own salvation.
They think Piety is the amount of time you spend on your knees.
Many Holy Joe's believe their salvation was inherited because their family was one of the founders of the Local Church.
Holy Joe has heard the word of God and probably made some type of commitment to God at one time in his or her life.
But, that Commitment was not deeply rooted in Christ and they became caught up in themselves and in the world. (Pause)
Another type of False Piety is the Mechanical Christian....
Yes, we all know Mechanical Martin.
He is even less well intentioned then our friend Holy Joe.
He goes through the motions of a religious life that he knows little about and has never experienced.
He will go to Church as a safety measure (Pause) just in case there is a Heaven or a Hell.
You will not see much peace or joy in the life of Mechanical Martin.
He has never made any type of Commitment to Christ.
His prayers are just words repeated over .......(Slow) and over again.
In Matthew it does say that many will say Lord, Lord and not enter the Kingdom of God. (Pause)
They think Piety is doing certain things and saying certain prayers, if they think of Piety at all.
This sadly happens to be the most common type of Christian in the Western World today.
But, Our headliner in the false Piety category is our old friend Phil the Pharisee.
Phil and his group are not satisfied with being hypocrites to themselves and the Lord, they have to flaunt it to the whole world.
Their lives are a flat out contradiction to how they try, let me repeat, try to appear.
At least Mechanical Martin attempted to keep his life within bounds.
For Phil the world is a stage and he wants to play the part that is cloaked in righteousness.
He wares a mask and at times may even convinces himself that he has become righteous.
Many times Phil will attain a leadership position in the church and try to complicate the Salvation experience of others with various Rules and Regulations.
Phil is different from both Mechanical Martin and Holy Joe because he has chosen not to direct his life toward God but toward his own recognition.
Phil is not the real thing he is a counterfeit.
As we know, a counterfeiter does not try to copy a one-dollar bill because it has minimal value.
Christianity is counterfeited because it does have value, value and worth (Pause).
There are two main defects that can effect a Pious Life:
(1) they have a mistaken version of Piety as Holy Joe and Mechanical Martin or (2) they knowingly reject Piety for self-fulfillment like Phil the Pharisee.
Well we have looked at false Piety, now lets take a look at true Piety and as we do I am sure you will begin to see the importance of planting a life filled with true Piety.
Where do we begin?
Piety is genuine when it comes from a commitment to Christ.
Not knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, for even Satan and his demons know that.
But a commitment, one on one, face to face, eyeball to eyeball excepting Jesus Christ as not only Savior (Pause) but also as Lord of your Life.
When you take that first step, when you yield that first part of your Life to Christ, you begin your Pious walk with the Lord.
Piety is a walk in the Spiritual realm. When you except Christ into your life you only open that door so very slightly.
It reminds me of an old Ivory Soap commercial that stated that the soap was 99 and 44/100ths % pure.
Well after we except Christ we begin that Spiritual walk but are still 99 and 44/100ths % in the Flesh.
But some day we may be like Enoch who was so much in the Spirit that he was walking down the road and the scripture says,...... He was not!
Well I am still here so God is still working on me.
I wish I had known the power of walking in the Spiritual Realm earlier in my life.
When I was a child I would pray at my bedside almost every night and I knew that Jesus heard every word I said because I could feel him right next to me.