Paul gave us five “trustworthy statements.” We’ve looked at two of them. Now let us take a look at the third.
1 Timothy 4:7-9
7But have nothing to do with worldly fables fit only for old women On the other hand, discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; 8for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 It is a trustworthy statement deserving full acceptance.
The trustworthy statement is “Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” Let us unpack this.
What IS godliness? Godliness is translated from Eusebeia. This means
- reverence, respect
- piety towards God, godliness
Reverence and piety towards God are profitable. Of course, this means that godliness is good for us in this physical life. Paul tells us in 1 Timothy 6:6 that, ”godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment.” But without that contentment and without that godliness, we become conceited and understand nothing. Without that godliness and contentment, we become interested in controversy and quarrels about words, leading to envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, and constant friction between men of depraved mind and of the truth (1 Timothy 6:3-5). Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and snares and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Some of that depravity we are warned against is seen in 2 Timothy 3:2-5, where Paul speaks of people who have the appearance of godliness but deny its power:
2For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.
Without a reverence for God, we become more and more like the opposite of God. But WITH reverence for God, with godliness, we become more like God; we become more holy. Indeed, we’ve seen where godliness is defined as reverence for God. It is this reverence for God which causes us to become more holy.
2 Corinthians 7:1
Therefore, since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.
And this holiness is the requirement for entrance into God’s presence. Hebrews 12:14 tells us that holiness is needed to be in the presence of God.
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.
So then. We’ve seen yet another of Paul’s trustworthy statements: ”Godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” It is good for us in this life, but more importantly, it is necessary for the next life.
Are you godly? Do you revere God? Does the thought of God make your heart race? Or do you have a hard heart? Are you unable or unwilling to surrender to God and let Him change you? If you are in a place where you dont want to hear what God has to say, then you need to change now – before its too late. IF you don’t revere God, what guarantee do you have that you will live past today? This might be the last thing you ever read (probably not, but its been known to happen). If you die in a few minutes, are you ready for God’s judgement? Has godliness caused you to become holy?