Pursue Godliness

KEY VERSE: “Thou, O man of God, … follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” —I Timothy 6:11,12


WHAT IS THE value of godliness, and why should we pursue it? The Apostle Paul says, “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (I Tim. 6:6-8) In verses 9 and 10, Paul admonishes not to place confidence in money: “Those wishing to be rich fall into a temptation, and a snare, and into many foolish and injurious desires, which sink men into destruction and utter ruin; for a root of all kinds of evil is the love of money; which some longing after, wandered from the faith, and pierced themselves around with many sorrows.”—Wilson’s Emphatic Diaglott

He then counsels his hearers to flee those things, and to fight the good fight of faith in the vital work of following after righteousness, godliness, and all the elements of Christian character. To the Philippians Paul wrote, “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”—Phil. 4:11-13

The apostle’s admonition is to “walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.” (I Thess. 2:12) One cannot expect to gain the victory and the great reward without a battle with the Adversary, sin in all associations, the world, and weakness in his own flesh—though the latter is covered by the merit of Christ’s righteousness.

In Ephesians 6:13, Paul says, “Take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day.” No man ever puts on armor unless he expects to fight. If he is a soldier of the cross, the “sword of the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17) is the greatest weapon with which he will prove his loyalty and strength.

How, then, and against what, shall we exercise our combativeness that it may be well directed to the Lord’s pleasing, and in the service of his cause?

If we see someone else’s imperfections and faults and we make a vigorous campaign against his weaknesses and errors, we will be making a mistake. This struggle must first begin with ourselves.

The battle with self is the greatest battle, and we have the Lord’s Word for it that he who “ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city” (Prov. 16: 32), because to that extent he has learned to exercise the combativeness of a true character in the right direction—in self-control.

True soldiers of the cross must endure a hardening campaign of experience through trials in the Lord’s service to come off victorious in the Lord. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.” (I Cor. 4:1) This stewardship involves a responsibility of achieving godliness and of dispensing God’s grace to others, or, as the Apostle Peter has said:
“As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”—I Pet. 4:10

Dawn Bible Students Association
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