“The Spirit of Worshiping Well”



1.         Placed between steadfastness and brotherly affection


2.         Christian development is not a brand of private spiritual experience. John Murray once observed that “the fear of God is the soul of godliness.”


3.         It is an adventure which makes life whole, not part secular and part sacred. Barclay said that this tremendous quality is the attitude of mind which never forgets the reverence due to God, never forgets the rights due to men, and never forgets the respect due to self.



1.         Godliness Valued


            a.         Suggested by the circumstance in which the term is used


                        i.         Paul and Peter in their last, or nearly last, letters


                        ii.        Situations where they are concerned with seeing that the Lord’s people are able to be faithful in an uncertain future


            b.         Observed in the statements made about it


                        i.         1 Tim. 2:2 – the object of prayer for leaders


                        ii.        1 Tim. 4:7,8 – holds the promise of life


                        iii.       1 Tim. 6:6 – with contentment it is great gain


2.         Godliness Defined


            a.         More than “godlikeness;” practical awareness of God in every area of life. The most practical of mundane duties derive inspiration and impetus from living every moment in the presence of God.


            b.         Bible Dictionary: “Denotes that piety which, characterized by a God-ward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to him”


            c.         My Bible encyclopedia: “Includes the ideas of personal relationship and sincere practical devotion to the true God”


            d.         A commentary: “A spirit which does things for the sake of pleasing the Father; reverent wondering that leads to loyalty; a strong awareness of the God-relatedness of all life.” Another says the original word refers to “that mingled fear and love which together constitute the piety of man toward God.”


            e.         A book on the Christian graces: “Perhaps a better word for godliness would be god-ward-ness, a state of mind which accepts God as the sole object of its adoration and reverential respect, the central object of its trust, and the infallible source of all religious responsibility.” (Tolle)


3.         Godliness Illustrated


            a.         A positive example: Cornelius (Acts 10:1,2)


                        i.         His care for his household


                        ii.        His giving and prayers


                        iii.       His eagerness to follow divine instructions


            b.         A negative example: The ungodly (Jude 14-19)


                        i.         Their ugly way of life


                        ii.        Their harsh and arrogant talk


                        iii.       Their low and selfish motives


4.         Godliness Added


            a.         Dwell on the implications of what has been granted to us, 2 Peter 1:3-4


            b.         Build confidence in the Lord who knows how to deliver the godly from trials, 2 Peter 2:9


            c.         Consider what is appropriate in view of eternity, 2 Peter 3:10-13



1.         James Hastings, noting from 2 Peter 1 the place of godliness in the development of Christian personality, wrote, “It is not one of the earliest graces; it comes in after much progress has been described. There is profound significance to this. In the beginning of the Christian life, men are almost sure to be prayerful. The ‘exceeding great and precious promises’ are in their hearts; the strain of penitence drives them to God; personal imperfection is bitterly felt, and they are compelled to pray for the grace to live a better life. But when they have reached somewhat of excellency; when their will is disciplined, and pure desires are theirs; when they are home in the study of the gospel; there is great danger of suffering from undevoutness. Gradually a change is evident; their heart grows hard, self-consciousness and pride destroy the sweetness of their life. For want of heavenly motive they are impatient; for want of heavenly aim they are self-indulgent.”


2.         The church of the NT was built up, even when the winds of frightening persecution were blowing, when it was walking in the fear of the Lord and the comfort of the Holy Spirit (Acts 9:31). May we be built up, too, through the wonderful grace of godliness.s