Add Godliness
16 December 2018 PM – 2 Peter 1:6 – Add to Faith – Scott Childs

Introduction: The sun is a huge mass of burning fuel with tremendous heat. Though it is 150 million km away, yet we clearly see its light and feel its warmth. The moon is a non-burning rock. It produces no light. It is only 384,400 km from the earth. How is it then that the moon gives light to the earth? It reflects the light of the sun.

This evening we are going to see that godliness is also a type of reflection.

Transition: As we examine God’s command to add godliness to our patience, we will answer three questions that will show us what we must do.

1.        What is godliness?
a.         Here is what the lexicons say.
1)         Lexicons define the word as reverence, respect; piety towards God, Godliness.
2)         Another lexicon says it is a devout reverence in attitude, conduct, and deed.
b.         Commentators add these thoughts.
1)         Ellicott – “Godliness” is the realisation of God’s abiding presence, the fruits of which are reverence and trust.
2)         Dunagan – A very practical awareness of God in every aspect of life.
3)         Ironside – Godliness is really “God-likeness”
4)         Lange – The fountain of all godliness flows in the living knowledge of Christ.
5)         Mahan – It is ‘the fear of the Lord.’ This includes both inward and outward worship of the Lord–an attitude of thanksgiving, submission, praise, active prayer, and hearing of the word.
6)         Whedon – fearing, trusting, and communing with God.
7)         Pett – here it is more related to behaviour and attitude, although still empowered by God. It is a God-outworked life of true worship towards God and true goodness towards his fellowman.
8)         Vine – a Godward attitude which does that which is well-pleasing to God.
O  Putting all this together, we may conclude that godliness is a respectful fear of God because of an awareness of God’s character that produces behaviour and attitude that are well-pleasing to God.

2.        How can we add godliness?
a.         Godliness depends on a correct understanding of God.
1)         The better we know God, the godlier we may become.
a)         Children naturally reflect their parents, both in good and bad, because they know they so well.
b)         Godliness is also the reflection of God’s character in the life of one who knows God intimately.
2)         We need to study God’s character carefully and prayerfully.
a)         The Lord is good! (Psalms 100:5) “For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.” He is ALWAYS good.
b)         The Lord will always forgive when we confess. (Psalms 86:5) “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” He ALWAYS forgives.
c)         The Lord is merciful! (Psalms 103:8) “The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.”  He is ALWAYS merciful and gracious.
d)         The Lord is faithful! (Lamentations 3:23) “They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” You can ALWAYS depend on God’s faithfulness.
e)         The Lord will never leave or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5) “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” You are NEVER alone. God is ALWAYS all you need.
f)          God is our refuge! (Psalms 46:1) “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” He will ALWAYS protect and help you.
g)         God has unlimited understanding of your needs! (Psalms 147:5) “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.”
h)         God is love! (1 John 4:8) “He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.” God ALWAYS loves you even when you are bad, though it hurts Him.
i)           God is able to do anything! (Ephesians 3:20) “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” NOTHING is too hard for God.
3)         Understanding God’s character is FAR more than knowing facts about God. It is a loving closeness that He desires to have with you and me. As we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us.
4)         As you and I truly draw near to God, we will be able to reflect Him in godliness.
b.         Godliness is more than outward show
1)         Godliness can be faked. (2 Timothy 3:5) “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”
2)         It is a way of life. (1 Timothy 2:2) “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
3)         It is opposite to secular humanistic thinking. (1 Timothy 4:7) “But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”
4)         Godliness is profitable way of life that focusses on living for Christ now and for eternity. (1 Timothy 4:8) “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.”
5)         Godliness befriends contentment. (1 Timothy 6:6) “But godliness with contentment is great gain.”
6)         Knowing that judgment day is coming ought to move us to live a holy way of life and godliness. (2 Peter 3:11) “Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,”
7)         Godliness is not automatic; it must be pursued. (1 Timothy 6:11) “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.”
O  You CAN become godly if you will seek to draw near to God every day.

3.        How does godliness link with patience?
a.         Patience is steadfast endurance during trials
1)         Last week we learned that biblical patience is more than calmness while waiting.
2)         Biblical patience is persevering endurance of trials without swerving from loyalty to God.
b.         Godliness is a motivation for patience.
1)         In the face of imminent martyrdom, the apostle Paul was able to write these words. (2 Timothy 1:12) “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” Because he knew the Lord intimately, he was able to have biblical patience in the face of death.
2)         The better we know the Lord, the closer we will get to Him, and the easier it will be to have patience in the midst of trials.
Conclusion: None of us is as godly as we could be. Adding godliness to your faith is an ongoing daily task of drawing near to God.

How well do you really know God? When we worry, we show that we do not know God well enough to trust Him. When we disobey God, we show that we do not know God well enough to love Him. When our appearance, attitude, or actions are worldly, we show that we do not know God’s holiness well enough to honour Him. We cannot reflect God’s character in godliness without truly knowing and loving God.

Song: O I Want to be Like Jesus, 320