Train Yourselves for Godliness

1 Timothy 4:1-5 ESV

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”

We are definitely living in these later times. For many professing faith in Jesus Christ have and are departing from the true faith, and they are indeed devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, which is being brought to them by deceitful liars whose consciences are seared. Now this passage deals with one specific area of these lies, but I want to deal more broadly with what all those lies entail.

What is the true faith? Well, we read about it all throughout the New Testament, but much of it was described for us in the Old Testament, for God’s will for his people has not changed. Then and now he demands that those who would come after him must deny self, die daily with him to sin and to self, and walk in obedience to his commands. For God has always seen faith as obedience and disobedience as unbelief.

[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:23-24; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:24; Jas 1:21-25; Matt 7:21-23]

But we have many charlatans today who are preaching “another Jesus” and a “different gospel” other than the Jesus and the gospel of the Scriptures. Some of them remove truths from the Scriptures they don’t like and others add to the Scriptures additional things God does not command. Both are false, whether adding or subtracting or twisting and manipulating the Scriptures, lies are still lies.

The primary false teaching which is permeating the church (mainly the institutional church) in America is that we don’t have to repent of our sins and we don’t have to obey the Lord and we don’t have to submit to the Lordship of Christ over our lives, for they call that “works-based salvation.” Instead, they are teaching that you can just say some words after someone in a prayer and you are congratulated that you are now part of God’s family, that your sins are forgiven, and eternity in heaven is now guaranteed.

And so this is leading many people to think that they have salvation from sin and eternal life with God guaranteed them when they never died with Christ to sin and they are not living to Christ and to his righteousness, but they are still living in deliberate and habitual sin, living to please their flesh and not to please God. They are not walking in obedience to the Lord, for they have been told that is not required of them. And so they are being given a false hope of salvation based on a lie while they are still on their way to hell.

But it is the Word of God, taught in context, not the teachings of humans, which determines our steps and which is to lead us in the way that we should go. So, we are to examine what we are hearing or reading against the Scriptures to make certain that what we are hearing or reading is indeed what the Scriptures teach, so that we are not deceived, and so that we are not led astray to what is false and end up in hell on the promise of heaven.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

1 Timothy 4:6-10 ESV

“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.”

Now, we are not all in positions of authority over people as were Paul and Timothy, but we are all still part of the body of Christ, and we are all to be exhorting and encouraging and instructing one another daily in the ways of the Lord so that not one of us is led astray by sin’s deceitfulness. Each of us has an assignment from God within the body of Christ which we are to do for the building up of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ.

[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-21; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]

So, this isn’t just for preachers and pastors. This is for all of us. We are to be sharing the truths of the Scriptures with one another for our mutual encouragement in the faith so that we help one another to walk in faithful obedience to the Lord, and so we aren’t deceived by these clever enchanters and smooth talkers who know how to twist the Scriptures and to deceive people. And we need to be doing this daily, especially now!

We are to have nothing to do with irreverent silly myths which are not of God, and which are not of the Scriptures, but which come from the minds of these who teach every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. But we are to be those who speak the truth in love so that the body of Christ can grow to maturity in Christ and not be led astray by these who practice craftiness and deceitful schemes to lead people astray.

And we are all to train ourselves for godliness, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come, for without godliness, none of us will have eternal life with God. For the grace of God trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for our Lord’s return. For Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works (Titus 2:11-14).

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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