The Meaning of Godliness

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Whether you see it coming from far away or it just hits you out of nowhere, finding yourself face-to-face with a crisis is the kind of unwelcome experience nobody wants to be in. But in the midst of the financial, medical or mental chaos, Dr. Evans is here to remind you to ask yourself a very important question: “How can my crisis bring God glory?” In this lesson, be reminded of God’s power and ability to turn even the darkest of circumstances into that which will bring Him praise like you never could have imagined.

 

 

I want to talk to you about Godliness. And I would like to suggest to you that is our assignment. A lot of christians today are working on the wrong assignment. We’re working hard, We’re putting in all the effort we think we can put in. And it’s just not working. Everything is coming up. F We’re failing in our lives were failing in, our priorities were failing in our families, we’re failing in our commitments, were failing while working hard. And I’d like to suggest to you that is because much of what we’re doing is not tied to the assignment we’ve been given. He wants you to see him at A level. You’ve never seen it before. So the question on the floor is how bad do you want it? I want to talk to you about Godliness and I would like to suggest to you that is our assignment that if you are here today and you have been redeemed saved, you’ve been saved for the purposes of becoming Godly. We stay busy as people and as ministries doing a lot of things. Often not tied to the assignment. Good things even, but wind up with a failing grade. When it comes to what the assignment is, let me tell you about this assignment because when you first hear it, you may say, okay, yeah, that’s the christian thing. But this assignment is very important because first timothy chapter four verse eight says for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but Godliness is profitable for all things. Since it holds promise for the present life and also the life to come. He says this assignment. This thing called Godliness is not only good for the sweet by and by. It is good for the nasty here and now, he says, for this life and the life to come, because every christian has two lives. The life you now live and the life you will live, he says, Godliness is profitable, beneficial for this life and the life to come. So whatever this thing is called Godliness, you want it because it has a profit motive to it said it is profitable. Now, let me tell you what Godliness is. Not before. I tell you what godliness is, because that will help you to better understand what it is when you know what it ain’t. In second timothy chapter three verse five, we read these words, he says, holding a form of Godliness, although they deny its power, avoid such men as these. He talks about a form of Godliness, something that looks like it. But is not it? The greek words reform is the word that means shape or silhouette or appearance or shadow or outline. When you see the shadow of a person, you see their outline without their substance. In other words, the shadow of a person is not the substance of the person. It’s just the outline of the person. That’s the word for form. You can look Godly and there’ll be no substance. You can have the appearance of Godliness and there’d be no reality. You can look the part. How do you know if you’re looking the part versus having the part, he says, having the form of Godliness, but denying the power, he says, you know, it’s not godly when there’s no power attached to it, because true Godliness has power connected to it. This form of Godliness, you know, As religion, religion gives the impression of something related to God. That’s real. I mean, you can look religious, you can wear religious clothes, you can use religious vocabulary, you can speak christian ease, you can carry a religious book. The bible, you can hang out with religious people and there’ll be no power. Many of us knows what it is to go to church for years and not be changed to be in the vicinity of God. And I know better for it because I was in the form and I was at the location, but I was missing the power going to church in and of itself will not have the power to make you more godly like going into a garage, will not have the power to turn you into a car. The location in and of itself is not sufficient for the purpose. Godliness is to be associated with power. Like when pharaoh’s magicians threw down their sticks and it became snakes and had the form of, of reality until moses snake ate them up because moses a snake didn’t just have the appearance of a snake. It had power. So, the fact of our godlessness is demonstrated by our lack of power, even though we still carry the form. I mean everything about where you’re sitting now fits the form. Their pews here. You know, it’s a church, there’s a cross in front, you know, it’s a church, the pulpit here, there’s a preacher here, there’s a choir stand here, have been hymns that are being sunk. If you’re looking for form, you’ve got it for many people. Church is God’s donut shop. They want a sweet song, They want a sweet word, they want a sweet atmosphere. Only to discover there are no better off having come to the shop because you can have a form of Godliness, you can have the look, you can have the paraphernalia of it without its reality and without its power outline without substance. Ah but Godliness, he says has power tied to it. So if you’re going through the form and lacking the power, that means we’re not yet. Godly or not let growing in Godliness. Please notice in chapter six of first timothy verse three, if anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord jesus christ and with the doctrine conforming to Godliness. He brings up Godliness again, at the end of verse five, suppose that Godliness is a measure of gagne. He brings up Godliness again in the beginning of verse six. But Godliness actually is a means of great game. We’re gonna talk about that, we’re gonna talk about how to make a profit by being Godly. In verse 11, he brings up godliness again. So even in this one chapter, we’ve seen four times already. This word Godliness, the greek word, UCB amines reverence toward God. Here is the definition of godliness. Godliness may be defined as a lifestyle that consistently reflects the character of God. Godliness is a lifestyle. It’s not an event. It’s a way of living a lifestyle. It’s the way you roll, it’s how you operate. It is a lifestyle that is consistent with the character of God. Now watch this. Godliness assumes you agree with something. So I don’t want to make this assumption. But this assumption is everything. Godliness assumes that you agree and do not disagree with God. Now that may sound like a simple statement, but it’s deeper than it sounds. You can’t be godly and disagree with God. If you’re disagreeing with God, you cannot be godly because once you disagree with God, you have made yourself your own idea. Once you say, I don’t think God’s right on this one, you just judge God. And if you judge God, you became God, another God is an idol. So you just built a monument to yourself when you disagree with God, which means you cannot become Godly. Mm hmm Godliness assumes what the scripture says. When it says, let God be true and every man alive. That when God and I disagree, I’m wrong. When God and my peeps disagree. They’re wrong. When God and my professors disagree, they’re wrong. When God and the rich folk disagree, they’re wrong. One of the things that keep us from Godliness is that we keep debating God, which will automatically block any hope of ever becoming Godly. You can’t be disagreeing with the person you’re trying to be like. Godliness is a lifestyle that is consistently reflecting the character of God. So before we go any further, you’ve got to decide what God says is right, What I think that disagrees with it, how I feel about it, How long I’ve been dealing with it, what my friends say about it, how I was raised in. It is all wrong when it disagrees with God, unless you start there, the hope of experiencing both the concept and the provision and the power of Godliness is lost. That’s why he said in verse three, the doctrine conforming to Godliness doctrine means teaching. He says timothy. I want you to teach the principles that are related to bringing people into conformity two likeness to Godliness because he’s already said Anything else is a doctrine of demons. Chapter four because a lot of folks are being taught by the devil and don’t know the devil is there professor, but the devil becomes your professor, when the people he uses are getting you to disagree with God Godliness means that I am living my life in light of his presence. There is a consciousness of God’s presence and that presence is affecting me. That’s why people are not experiencing more of God because they don’t live in his presence. They visit his presence see. And as long as you’re a visitor, you can leave. Where you live is where you hang out. God has visiting hours on sunday morning for most people. And so we give God the visiting hours, but we don’t live in his presence and therefore we don’t become we visited holiness. That is this unique recognition of the uniqueness of God living in light of his presence brings you now on the highway to Godliness. Here’s the Godly person, The Godly person is obsessed with God’s presence. They’re obsessed with pleasing God because they’re ever conscious of where he is. Let me tell you where he is at the moment, but they’re ever conscious of where he is and they have become obsessed with that, consistently evaluating things from his perspective. What does he think about that? How would he feel about that? What would he say about that? That that’s constantly on their minds, whether they’re saying it or not, If they are constantly reflecting on him and on his influence on their everyday life, God becomes the son of their solar system where the planets of all their actions revolve around him. Now, let Me tell you the enemy of Godliness. This will stop Godliness in his tracks and also regress you Chapter two verse 16 of second timothy says this, but avoid worldly and empty chatter. For it will lead to further ungodly nous. The enemy of Godliness is worldliness. Godliness has an enemy, its worldliness. He says worldly chatter. Worldliness. What does worldliness means? It’s that system headed by satan that leaves God out. Worldliness simply means you leave God out. You don’t have to be a criminal to be worldly. All you’ve gotta do is leave God out of the equation and you just became worldly, he says avoid worldly chatter. That is communication, that is void of God’s perspective. Because to be Godly means I am pursuing and proceeding. I’m not trying to mix all in water, diesel and unleaded, I am seeking to have this consistent experience of God being at work in my life when God’s people leave God out and still try to suck the air of the world. All you’re doing is sucking in more death because you’re operating in an environment you were never created for Not once you’ve been converted, Not once you’ve been redeemed. If you’re not a christian, then you don’t have this new environment. If you are a christian, that is your environment, God is your environment. That’s why I’m using the word to become obsessed with God because it is your new environment. And the reason why we often stay defeated for so long is because we’re sucking air in a place, we don’t belong, you know, like the bible says bad company corrupts good morals. You hang around with the bad people long enough, you’re gonna become one of the bad people because your environment will suck you in. So Godliness is this lifestyle that becomes consistent with the character of God, That’s what it is. 2nd Peter chapter 1: verse three Second Peter 13 says, seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and Godliness through the true knowledge of him, who has called us by his own glory and excellence? Let me read that again, verse three of second Peter one, Seeing that his divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and Godliness through the true knowledge of him, who called us by his own glory and excellence. Guess what? He just told you everything. You need to be Godly. You already have, he says, Seeing his divine power has given you everything pertaining to life and Godliness. Everything you need to become what God wants you to be. You have it already when you accepted jesus christ, if indeed you are a christian, the Holy spirit fertilized your human spirit. The Holy Spirit fertilized your human spirit and quickened you and made you alive. The problem now is your growth cycle because the job of the devil is to abort the conception in the same way mothers abort their newly conceived Children, satan seeks to abort the growth of the spiritual life within you. So that Godliness has never achieved or limited, lee achieved or periodically achieved. The more God possesses. You, you see his divine power has given you everything. His divine nature. You have a new nature. Let me use another word. Maybe this will help us. God has given you a new appetite. You have, you have a new appetite. Your nature defines your appetite. For example, you don’t have to teach pigs to like slop, it’s in their nature. You know, I have to learn to grow on slop. They gravitate the slop. The nature you ever see a dog turn and eat its own vomit. That’s nasty stuff, except that it’s in its nature. Is that something you and I do because that’s not natural to us. The new you, that is the redeemed you, the saved you. The new nature in you is hungry for God, starving for God, dying for God because that’s the divine nature. Every true believer has divine nature and that nature is being starved to death because God can’t get enough of God. God wants all the God he can get so he can grow God in you, he can grow God in me. But if God doesn’t get fed God, we wind up week because it’s his nature in us. So here we go, here is my challenge. Oh by the way, just so you know everything, you need to become Godly what God wants you to be, You already have and batteries are included. God not only gave you the provision coming with it is the power to be and to live life in a way that explodes Godliness. That’s why you know your appetite. one of the ways God confirms your redemption is by giving you a desire for him or making you miserable when you don’t have one Thing about a spiritual Christian, they hurt when God hurts when they made God sad, they get sad when they make gods smile, they’re full of joy. Why? Because God and me on the same page, when you lose your appetite, you’re sick, you lose your appetite for an extended amount of time. Something wrong with you? Because that’s why the doctor always want to know how is your appetite, because your appetite dictate your health. So if there’s little hunger for God for his word to spend time with him to, to include him. If there’s like a hunger for that, that’s because sickness has set in or maybe you’re not alive at all and have never been born again. But here we go, here’s what we’re gonna do. Here’s my challenge to me to you and to us. I want you for this year to work on a Godliness degree. I just showed you where God says the Godly person gets great games. So if the profit motive is a motivation for you, I want to offer you a doctorate degree in Godliness. However, the higher you go in your degree, the more things you got to move out of the way. So you can get it, you can’t carry on the same program and get a degree unless you’re gonna take all your life to do it. You got to adjust some things because the degree is worth staying up all night or or not looking at this tv show or not doing that or skipping that or not partying over here because I gotta get this degree. I gotta get out of here in the way of sports language. How bad do you want it? Or do you want to do like some folk who spend all their lives in school and never wind up with a degree. They just pick a class here and a class. They’re here class their class everywhere in class class. A little God here, a little God, they’re here God their God everywhere. God God. But they never wind up with paper that’s profitable. There’s profit to Godliness, he says, mm hmm, mm hmm. Yeah. God’s goal for his people is Godliness. Another way of saying it is God like ness God wants his people to progressively increase in their character and conduct attitudes and actions to reflect who he is and what he is like at the heart of spiritual growth is that we’re becoming more like God and how we function and how we think because he is rubbing off on us now that he and dwells us by his spirit. So the question we have to ask in terms of whether we’re progressing in our christian life is am I being more like God? Are other people seeing me think function and act more like God based on his word? Because I’m becoming more godly. Mm hmm. Mhm. Mhm, mm hmm. I’m standing here in Alaska, one of the most glorious places in God’s great creation. And I want to invite you to join me in our urban alternative family for the Alaskan Cruise. We’re going to have a magnificent time in God’s word and in God’s creation, we’re going to enjoy great fellowship, great fun, great food. And I’m looking forward to meeting and greeting you on R. T. U. A. Alaskan Cruise Register to be there. Can’t wait to be with you.

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Tony Evans Dr. Tony Evans is the founder and senior pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, founder and president of The Urban Alternative and...

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