Faithlife Sermons

The Excellent Exercise - Part 2

The Excellent Exercise  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Last week, we began thinking about the pursuit of godliness. In doing so, we were able to gain some insight from the letter of 1 Timothy. Let’s read that passage and then we will have a moment or two of review.
1 Timothy 4:6–10 ESV
6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
The Excellent Exposition (6) - We first saw Paul’s emphasis upon teaching the church or the people of God the truth. There is no success in ministry without the sound teaching of God’s Word.
The Excellent Exercise (7-9) - In this portion of the text, Paul commands Timothy to exercise or discipline himself for the purpose of godliness. This apostolic demand is more that Timothy’s growth, but the entire church. Paul emphasizes the importance of godliness based upon its eternal significance. Godliness has value in every way.
The Excellent Encouragement (10) - Lastly, we learned that the eternal hope found in the living God was a wonderful reason to pursue this life of discipline.
In thinking through how to approach this subject over the course of this series what seems to be important to consider next is the following question, “What exactly is godliness?”
PRAY

The Danger of Godliness Misunderstood

By definition, godliness is dedication to God, true religion, piety towards God. Another way of thinking about it is, “the character trait marked by proper worship and due reverence for God”
Here’s why I think that it is vital for us to spend some time learning about the nature of godliness. If we are not careful, we will reduce godliness to certain actions and activities and duties to be performed and things to be done. Though godliness must and does show up in actions, it is more than actions.
2 Timothy 3:1–9 ESV
1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, 7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. 8 Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. 9 But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men.

The Definition of Godliness

When Paul commands Timothy to train himself for godliness, what is he really calling Timothy to do?
By definition, godliness is dedication to God, true religion, piety towards God. Another way of thinking about it is, “the character trait marked by proper worship and due reverence for God”
In the OT, the word connected to the word here for godliness is often translated holy. It means one who has come under hesed (Hesed is the Hebrew word that refers to YHWH’s covenant keeping love and faithfulness to his people.) As a result of God’s activity toward them, they become holy, or they practice hesed. In other words, they are loyal, faithful, kind and devout. This devout life flows from their relationship with God.
A crucial way to understand godliness is that it is to be like God.
The aim is to be like God in attributes and actions.
Godliness is the outworking of the new nature by the Holy Spirit through the nourishment of growth in holy character and conduct because of a vital relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. I believe it is fair to say that godliness is synonymous with holiness and Christlikeless.

The Definiteness of Godliness

There is a beautiful truth that we should embrace. As we are in training to be godly, we are not left to ourselves and our own strength. Both God’s purpose and power are behind us becoming more like his Son.
Romans 8:28–30 ESV
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.
Philippians 1:6 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:12–13 ESV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 2
2 Peter 1:3–11 ESV
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:

2 Peter 1:3–4 ESV
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

The Demand of Godliness

Romans 7:21
Romans 7:21–25 ESV
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
1 John 5:1–5 ESV
1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God, and everyone who loves the Father loves whoever has been born of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome. 4 For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
2 Peter 1:5–10 ESV
5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.
2 Peter 1:

Practical Godliness

The beginning of godliness is the new nature and becoming a new born child of God. Have you been born again?
Our behavior and action are an indicator of who or what we worship. If we worship God, we will become like him.
We have been saved from the terror of living merely for self.
2 Corinthians 5:14–15 ESV
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; 15 and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
2 Corinthians
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