TRAINING YOURSELF TOWARD GODLINESS
The Apostle Paul admonishes us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;” v. 12. That requires some effort and training in order to accomplish this in our lives. It does not come naturally, but, rather, it is an exercise in discipline for God’s glory. There are several things we need to do in this effort to train ourselves in holy living.
I. EXERCISE YOURSELF UNTO GODLINESS
1 Timothy 4:7, “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”
A. Involve yourself in that which edifies the New Man, 1 Timothy 1:4, “Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.”
1. Fables – doctrines of men, 1 Timothy 6:4-5, “He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.”
2. Endless genealogies, Titus 3:9, “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”
B. Follow after righteousness, 1 Timothy 6:11, “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
1. Flee these things:
a. Foolish and hurtful lusts, Mark 4:19, “And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.”
b. The love of money, Isaiah 56:11, “Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.”
2. Follow after righteous, 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
a. An example of Godliness, 1 Timothy 4:7-8, “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
b. An example of Faith, Ephesians 3:17,“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love.”
c. An example of Love, Romans 13:10, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
d. An example of Patience, Romans 15:4, “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
e. An example of Meekness, Ephesians 4:1-2, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, 2 With all lowliness and meekness [gentleness], with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
C. Keep your commitment, 1 Timothy 6:20, “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:”
1. Keep this commandment without spot, 1 Timothy 6:14, “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:”
2. We should stand fast by the truth, 2 Thessalonians 2:15, “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”
3. We should continue in the things we have learned, 2 Timothy 3:14, “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;”
4. We should hold fast the faithful word, Titus 1:9, “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”
With the guidance of the Spirit of God every believer can live pleasing to the Lord. We can be trained in the things of God so that we can honor our Savior and glorify our Father in Heaven.