THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - -5-21-06
LESSON TITLE: "PARTAKERS OF THE DIVINE NATURE: GODLINESS"
Jesus once said, "the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest," Luke 10:2. Are you one of God's laborers on this blessed Lord's day?
Good morning, and thanks for joining us for the study of God's Living Word on this His special day! We are glad you have put God first today and that you have decided to give this time to Him. It will be our privilege this morning to sing songs of praise, to study His precious Word, and to approach the throne of God in prayer. So, at this time may we start our praise to God by talking with our Father in prayer. Bow with me, please!
Let's begin immediately with our songs of praise. Our first song of the morning tells us that God has prepared all things for us in His Kingdom. So won't you do your part in worship to Him at this time and join in with the congregation as we sing together, "All Things Are Ready!"
(SONG # 1)
Evangelism is certainly one of the most important parts of living the Christian life. No wonder we are described as "lights in this world," or "cities on a hill." The reality is God expects the faithful to illuminate His Son, that all may know Him and obey His blessed Will.
So what is generally the problem today with an evangelistic spirit? Well, we face the same problem today that they faced in New Testament times. As we read earlier this morning, Jesus identified the problem, "the laborers are few!" Furthermore, isn't this the same problem which they also faced throughout the Old Testament times? Remember the question which God asked Isaiah, "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" The problem has never been the lack of a harvest to work in. It has not been that there is no work to be done. Nor has the problem been that we don't know what to do. The issue in our day is the same as in our Lord's day, the work is there but the workers are not!
So we must consider this day, are we workers in the Kingdom of God and in the harvest of this world as we have been commanded to be? Certainly this is the requirement of the command which Jesus gave to His disciples in Mark 16:16. There we read, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." You see our job as the children of God is to make sure that "every creature" has an opportunity to know and obey Jesus Christ. And the reality is, if you and I as God's children don't work to accomplish this task, who will?
So I challenge us all today to look unto the fields which are ready for harvesting and to realize that the work is ever before us. Then, after acknowledging the job that has to be done, let's get out and do the work which our creator has asked of the faithful. Are you willing to be among the laborers for God in this world?
In just a few minutes it will be time to begin our main study of the day. As far as our lesson topic today, we will be continuing our series entitled, "Partakers Of The Divine Nature." The specific lesson of the day will focus on, "Godliness!" So, please stay with us this morning and in just a few minutes I will be leading us in this study from God's Word. Now let's join together in our second song of the day. The name of this hymn, "All To Jesus I Surrender."
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Ray Sullins
Our topic of the morning is again found in 2 Peter chapter 1. If you'll look around verse 6 you'll find there, adding knowledge to self-control, and to self-control patience, and then to patience we have the idea of godliness. Even again in verse 7, it mentions the idea to godliness brotherly kindness. And so among the Christian virtues, the topic of discussion this day is godliness.
Certainly godliness is an important characteristic that is already identified to us even before this list of Christian virtues. In fact, you might back up to verse 3 with me as we learn there about something that God has given us by His divine power. In fact, it states there that "through the divine power of God, He has given us all things pertaining to life," and then notice the next word, "and godliness." Certainly then life would talk about those things that are secular in nature and everything of this world, not necessarily those things that are bad, but at least those things that are according to the flesh. On the other hand, godliness would then be in relationship to spiritual matters, those things that really are focused on and are all about God and are centered on our Creator. And so this day as we look at the concept of godliness, we begin to learn that godliness is about being like God, striving to exemplify Him in our lives, striving to imitate Him in all that we do and in all that we say.
I'm reminded of a place over in the book of Timothy, in fact in the book of 1 Timothy chapter 6 that really takes a moment to give us a good understanding of this idea in godliness because there it talks about the fact that as men of God, we should flee the things that are bad, that are wrong, that are evil, that are being discussed of here, that are sinful. Then he goes on in verse 11 to say, "And pursue (what?) righteousness, pursue godliness, faith, love, patience and gentleness." Then he goes on to say, "Fight the good fight." You notice there what we are to pursue? Those things that are godlike. Those things that are pure and holy and righteous and good and wholesome pertaining to that which is heavenly and godly. Even the word itself is mentioned here that we should pursue godliness.
I think another place that it is well defined is a few books over in the book of Titus there. Actually in chapter 2 of the book of Titus, we find again I think a good definition of this idea of being godly or godliness. He talks there in verse 11 first of all about God's grace that has given us the opportunity to be saved. It says, "That grace, that opportunity has appeared to all men." That means that everyone on earth, as we talked about in our introduction this morning, has the opportunity to be saved, has the opportunity to obey God and to be a child of God and then to live a godly life. Well here we learn that those who have been saved and who are doing the Will of God must do something. Read verse 12 with me. "Teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lust." What have we been taught by God? That we should deny anything that is ungodly.
On one hand, we have godliness. On the other hand, we have ungodliness. Certainly again, godliness, those things pertaining unto and there to according to what God and who God is, according to His Word. On the other hand, we find that which is ungodly or that which is mentioned even here as being according to the worldly lusts, those things of the world, that are wicked or evil or those fleshly things that are misused, those desires that are not controlled, those attitudes and those words that are said that should never be uttered by one who follows God. So he says here that the one who has the salvation who has responded to that grace that God has appeared unto all men is one who denies ungodly things, one who denies lustful and worldly things. On the other hand, he goes on here to say what then godliness is. If ungodliness is something that we should not do and if here also the idea of worldly lust is something that I should not partake in, he goes on in verse 12 to say, "So that we might live soberly, so that also we might live righteously, and so that we might live (what?) godly in this present age." Notice the idea there of godliness. Notice the idea of being one who strives to be like God, that we might be again righteous, that we might be holy, that we might be in character and word showing forth God as best we can in all aspects and areas of our lives.
Yes, to be godly is to be sober, to be under control and to make sure that we do what we do by the authority of God and at least according to that which pleases God, not only soberly there but he says again, righteously.
Who is righteous but God alone? The very essence of God is His righteousness, His purity and His goodness and that in and of itself is something that we should strive for and then he says again, "A godly life." A sober life. A righteous life. A godly life. And not in the next age or the past age. In this age, he says, you and I today, to live a godly life. Are we doing that? Are we striving to live a life that is proper before God so that we might as he goes on to say, "Look for the blessed hope, the blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our God in Jesus Christ." In other words, when Jesus comes again, are we ready? Have we prepared ourselves knowing that He was the one that "gave Himself that we might be purified," as we read there in verse 14, "unto all good works." A people who are zealous to do the work of God. Well what is that work of God? Those things again that pertain to godliness, that accomplish His Will, that show forth Him in our lives and which are heard in every syllable that falls from our lips.
I believe we also can learn even further about the concept of Godliness in once again the book of 1 Timothy. If you'll back up there to chapter 4, we find in this book specifically a discussion about the need to be active in our godliness. You know we often talk in life about exercise and the need for exercise. Every one of us probably could use some in order that we might be strong or healthy or be able to be skinnier in some way, but at the same time, we read here where Paul says that "godliness is profitable, but (what?) bodily exercise really profits very little." I want you to notice there beginning actually in verse 6 as we set up the idea to see what he was discussing. He says in verse 6, "You instruct the brethren in these things and you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ nourishing in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed, but reject," he says, "profane and old wise sables and exercise yourselves toward godliness." Now that's the thing that really sets his discussion up with in trying to say, "Look in your life, do what is good. Do what is according to the word of faith that which brings about wondrous and wholesome things, that which is by the doctrine or the gospel of Christ."
But then in verse 7 he says, "and reject that which is ungodly so that you might live godly."
Then he gives the example that we mentioned a moment ago in verse 8. Why? Because bodily exercise profits little. Sure it might profit physically at this time, but what will happen to our physical bodies someday?
Peter says that they will be destroyed. Peter says as well that the earth and all that is in it will be burnt with fervent heat and even Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15 that our bodies will be changed from an incorruptible fleshly form to a form that is godlike or rather a form that is spiritual in nature. So no longer being corruptible rather but being incorruptible like God.
Well in all these things again we find the same precedent being set. Exercise the body, some profit, but a profit that is not eternal. Exercise the body in godliness and it says it is profitable in all things. Do you ever think about that? A godly exercise of the body is profitable in all things, in our thoughts, in our actions, in our deeds or words, even in our physical lives because it brings in tune and causes us to control ourselves that we might in all things show forth God and thus we are godly, thus we are striving for godliness. If we do that, he again speaks of the same idea, the promise, the wondrous, the blessed promise that God has said is ours, that He says we will receive and that we will enjoy.
I think in the same passage down in verse 12, again 1 Timothy chapter 4, we find a list of things that one is to do. In fact, Paul here encourages the young evangelist Timothy and says, "Let no one despise your youth but be an example of the believers." Well, we might ask again, "Paul, how do I show forth godliness? How do I do in my life what is required that I can truly show forth God in all things? Then in what areas of my life must I be godly, must I show forth godliness?" I want you to notice with me again what is said in verse 12. How am I an example of a believer? Well, in my words. That means the things I say again. Everything I say should be either according to God or at least acceptable in His sight. But not just our words. He goes on to say, "an example in conduct." All that we do. Our actions. The way that we handle our bodies. All that we do must be what? Godly. They must be according to the Will of God and as well at least acceptable in His sight.
He doesn't stop there. After the word and after the conduct is mentioned, he says, "and in love." What is the greatest of all things? Love. In fact, you and I know there in 1 Corinthians chapter 13 that Paul said, "The greatest even over faith and hope is love." And so he says, being an example in love, because it is love that then everything else stems forth from in the life of a child of God.
Not only love but then he mentions "in attitude." Do we make sure that we are an example of the believer, that we are a godly person in attitude, that the way that we respond to things that are done and said to us are the way that we use our attitudes in this life, the way that we carry ourselves? Are we humble? So many questions that we can ask to see if truly we are godly in relationship to, as we see here, our spirit or our attitude in this world.
He also mentions faith, the idea of an active belief. Are you an example of the believers in your actions? Certainly again, this would show forth godliness.
Then finally we see again purity. Purity obviously being the opposite of that which would be contrary to God and when we read about the idea of purity, then we understand the need again for godliness.
So how am I an example of the believer? How do I show forth godliness in all things? Paul said by making sure my words, my conduct, the love I demonstrate, my attitude, my faith, and the purity of my life, all are in tune, are in alignment and are equal with what God has commanded and required. You see again, we learn here how important it is to understand truly that we live a good and godly life.
We're going to end this morning by looking over in the book of Peter once again. You might recall our main text there in 2 Peter chapter 1. Now we want to turn over to 2 Peter chapter 3 as we have here again Peter's explanation of what one should be exhorted to do, knowing what is coming. You and I know what God has done. We know how we are to react to that. We know what the promises and blessings of this life and we also know of the reward of heaven. So what is it that he speaks of here? In verse 10 he says, "But realize that the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise and the elements will melt with a fervent heat. Both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up." But hear verse 11, "Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of person ought you to be?" Now, here he says, "Look, we know the end is coming. We know Jesus is coming. We know Jesus is coming again. We know He will judge and we know that the lost will die and lose their souls eternally and we also know that the world and the evils of it will be destroyed." So he says, "Because of this knowledge, what manner of person should we be? Here is what he says. He says, "Those who are..." What? Go again to the text. "...In holy conduct and godliness." Now there is the word again. Holy. Who is holy but God? Remember in the Old Testament, He says, "Be holy for I am holy." And who is godly and where is that example from but God Himself? So again, how do I exemplify Christ? In holy conduct and in godliness.
All that I do again, all that I say, everything that I strive for is again about God, is about living the things that God has commanded through His Word and obeying what He has asked me to do and when I do that, what do I find? I find that in my character I am living a godly life, a life that is according to what He has commanded and not according to the ways of the world and when I do that, you and I both know that we'll receive the reward that He's talking about when our Lord comes again as a thief in the night, when He will give us the great eternal reward of heaven and when He gives us that reward, we know then that we will live eternally with Him forever.
Are you living a godly life so that in all things you might find in the end that God rewards you for the things that you have done?
(SONG # 3 - "Angry Words!")
May I again take this opportunity to thank you for joining us today. I hope our time together has been an uplifting and an encouragement to all. Please remember that you are invited back to join us every first day of the week, at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this time of Worship before God!
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May we all strive to live a more Godly life, knowing that striving to be like God we will be found faithful in the end. Are you living a pure and righteous life?