What does it mean to live a godly life, an existence marked by the fruit of the Spirit rather than the obstacles and discontentment of this world? Is it possible? Can it be attained? Is is worth what it will cost me?
Paul gives a resounding YES, providing a blueprint for godly living:
2 Timothy 2:14-26
“Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some. Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: ” The Lord knows those who are his, ” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord our of a pure heart. Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produces quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
Breaking down this passage, we find the ABC’s of living a godly life:
As believers, there are things we must avoid:
quarrels of all kinds
Laying aside these things, I become prepared for any GOOD work God has for my life. For all of recorded history, Hymenaeus and Philetus will be known as the guys who lived by their flesh. It is their legacy, and I don’t want it to be mine.
There are truths we must believe, because, apart from FAITH, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). His atonement for our sins, coupled with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, are the power behind our righteousness. We can’t do it without Christ. Ever.
We must believe:
God created us to be with Him.
Because we are imperfect, broken, sinful people, there is a separation between us and our Creator.
Jesus, the Son of God, came to earth to live a sinless life yet died a criminal’s death. He did this for you, just as He did for me.
Rising from the grave three days later, He defeated death and sin once and for all.
Faith is available to all people, we only must recognize our need and accept Christ’s free gift. Our relationship can begin today and will last for eternity to come.
Just as God created all things by His hands, we need to be masterful creators, pursuing things that come straight from His heart.
We need to work towards:
knowledge of God
2 Timothy goes on to say that in the last days there will be an increase in godlessness. People will love themselves and love money, be ungrateful and unforgiving, and will be proud and disobedient. At certain times in my life I have been all of these things and more. As long as I live, there will be tension between my flesh desires and the Spirit inside me. Yet, the ABC’s of godly living encourage me to chase after the life God has called me to live, pursuing it above my desires and the trappings of this world.
The full life in Christ waiting for me is worth the trade.
Who wants to take the ABC challenge with me?