Summary: As christians we need to train for godliness.
Time to get training
1 Timothy 4:1-10 (NIV)
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.
3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth.
4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,
5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.
7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.
8 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.
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance
10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe.
Intro: This morning we talked about the life of the believer can be compared to running a race and that we need to run this race like we want to win. To many people if you look at their lives it doesn’t look like they want to win. It actually looks like their loosing.
Tonight I want to take this concept of trying to win in life a little further and point out the goal of our training. Some say it’s for blessings, or it’s for other things.
But the scripture tells us the most important thing to us is the fact that we train for godliness
He says that what we should be striving for is godliness. That our lives would be godly. Or in another way of saying it…Spiritual fitness
Train yourself toward godliness (piety), [keeping yourself spiritually fit].
Exercise daily in God—no spiritual flabbiness, please!
1. What is godliness? Or Spiritual fitness
b. Being like God
i. The God of Israel and of the Christian church is holy—
ii. he sets the standard for morality.
iii. He is a God of mercy and justice who cares personally for each of his followers.
iv. Our holy God expects us to imitate him by following his high moral standards.
v. Like him, we should be both merciful and just; like him,
vi. we should sacrifice ourselves for others.
a. The divine image in us
b. People see Christ in us
vii. Self sacrifice
2. God’s holiness is our standard for holy living.
a. After people commit their lives to Christ, they usually still feel a pull back to their old ways.
a. Peter tells us to be like our heavenly Father—
b. Holy in everything we do.
c. Holiness means being totally devoted or dedicated to God, set aside for his special use, and set apart from sin and its influence.
d. We’re to be set apart and different, not blending in with the crowd,
e. Yet not being different just for the sake of being different.
What makes us different is having God’s qualities in our life.
f. Our focus and priorities must be his.
g. All this is in direct contrast to our old ways
h. We cannot become holy on our own,
i. But God gives us his Holy Spirit to help us obey and to give us power to overcome sin.
j. Don’t use the excuse that you can’t help slipping into sin. Call on God’s power to free you from sin’s grip.
b. Why don’t we see more godliness
a. To many commitments and no conversions
i. Have faith but no substance
ii. We must be born again
1. Story of the seed falling to the ground
3. Why godliness
a. Because God is holy
1 Peter 1:15-19 (GW)
15 But because the God who called you is holy you must be holy in every aspect of your life.
16 Scripture says, “Be holy, because I am holy.”
a. God will judge us by it
1 Peter 1:17 (GW)
17 So if you call God your Father, live your time as temporary residents on earth in fear. He is the God who judges all people by what they have done, and he doesn’t play favorites.
a. Because the high price of our freedom
1 Peter 1:18-19 (GW)
18 Realize that you weren’t set free from the worthless life handed down to you from your ancestors by a payment of silver or gold which can be destroyed.