1 Timothy 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”
Hello readers, today is December 25 in the year 2022. So it’s Christmas day! And I hope your year has gone well, I’ve found that it has flown by. Did I redeem the time? Did you redeem the time? Or was even more time wasted?
I’ve quoted the key verse on “godliness” in the Bible. We often use the words “godly” and “ungodly”, but have we really thought about what they mean? I’ve been thinking about godliness of late, and this is how the Bible defines it!
Godliness isn’t a religious show, it’s not performance, it’s not you trying harder and doing better, it’s not you faking super spirituality in the sight of man… godliness “is” Jesus Christ. And that might be hard to fathom for you, I know it has been for me, because my carnal mind can’t latch on to it.
Because godliness is a mystery… and a great mystery at that. And so it really requires the Spirit of God to be understood, and in fact necessitates the Holy Spirit to give us understanding of what godliness actually is. God give me light! Without light we cannot see anything, so let there be light so we can see this glorious and simple truth!
Godliness is a pretty important thing to think about at Christmas time, because the first thing we learn about godliness is that “God was manifest in the flesh”. That sounds Christmas-y? I remember I once told someone who didn’t believe in the deity of Jesus Christ this verse… and they still didn’t believe it. Seemingly the Bible could not convince them. I hope it convinces you.
Because Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is God in the flesh. The Bible abundantly proves that. Even God calls Jesus God! If God calls Jesus God, who are you to deny his deity? But Jesus Christ also is the Son of man… and at Christmas we can take the opportunity to reflect on both these titles, because he is the Son of God and the Son of man simultaneously. Both are equally true and important in different ways.
So I mentioned “godliness” and how godliness is Jesus Christ, and think about how easy that really is to understand when you think about it for a bit. Because if anyone was “godly” it was Christ, the Son of God. Wouldn’t THE Son of God model godliness? So our godliness necessitates the Son of God in our lives. A godly person is someone who has God in them, Jesus Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith.
What makes us godly is possession. Possession of salvation. Possession of God’s promise to us. Salvation is useless to you if you do not possess it! He that HATH the Son! If you have the Holy Spirit in you, that should produce godliness in your life. Your life should be godly, not ungodly, if you have the Son of God. God’s sons should take after their Father in heaven, who’s image we are supposed to bear, the heavenly image… so of course our lives shouldn’t be known for lust and lies and lasciviousness. That’s not godliness, that’s ungodliness, because you’re not living like who God is and what God requires of you. How about “as he is, so are we in this world”?
There are many people who are Christians but who are ungodly. It seems like a contradiction in terms… an ungodly Christian. And it is. And if you are in sin, you are in contradiction. You’re contradicted in yourself, what you say and profess versus what you do and who you are. And you’re in contradiction with the Bible, what God says, commands, and the work he’s doing. Jesus was about his Father’s business… but maybe you’re on your business in life.
So we know that the Bible says godliness is a mystery… and it is. In every way. For example, true Christians, born again children of God, are a mystery to this world. They see us wasting our lives. They see us as stupid. They can’t understand it. And they don’t like it.
But the Bible says that godliness is also without controversy. There is no debate, dispute or doubt about it. There’s no controversy about who Jesus Christ was and is. The only thing controversial is you calling God a liar. But in our society, what’s controversial is the Bible and truth… not lies and deceit and iniquity.
I hope your godliness is legit. Just like I hope mine is. I hope I am not an ungodly person in a Christian disguise. I remember that the Bible says in 2 Timothy 3:12 “All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Hey, so godliness is “in Christ”. My godliness comes from being in Christ, and Christ being in my life. Christians were called because they were Christlike… godly. It’s pretty godly to forgive, to be gracious, to suffer long, show mercy, tell the truth, bear someone else’s burdens, endure and suffer for righteousness’ sake. That all sounds pretty godly. Make sure you’re godly, not good. You may be good, but are you godly? Good people go to hell. Godly people go to heaven. Because Christ is in heaven, and we only go to heaven in him. Just good isn’t enough, because your goodness isn’t nearly as good as you think and would have others think… is it.
I’ve done a lot of blogs on Ephesians of late this year, and the theme of Ephesians is “in Christ”. You want to find godliness? You want to be godly? It’s in Christ, the Son of God. And there will be results of living godly, such as suffering persecution… because this world hates God and the Son of God whom he sent. Woah, that’s not a result I want! But if you are not in Christ, you have not died to yourself, but neither have you risen in newness of life with him… if you are not godly, you have no resurrected life.
But at this time of year, let’s think about Jesus Christ’s title “the Son of man”. God manifest in the flesh was the Son of man. Because he was born fully man. And this is so important. He didn’t have a human father, God was his father… but he had a human mother. That’s how he’s both the Son of God and the Son of man.
But because he was the Son of man, it just makes you wonder how the Creator could condescend to our estate. Jesus Christ, who is and always was “far above all”… came from above and pyet was born into our beneath. We were beneath God, and yet we were not beneath God! It was not beneath him to save us! In fact he sent his only and his best beneath! Let that sink it. Jesus Christ was not beneath being born as a man and walking this earth as a man. You are not beneath Jesus saving you, if you are low, he went lower, he went the lowest into the heart of the earth to redeem, rescue as our ransom.
And when he walked the earth as a man, though he was deity, he didn’t walk the earth as royalty. He didn’t have money, mansions, women, prestige, status, ease, comfort and so on… that we all seemingly strive for. You see, the Bible in another scripture says “but godliness with contentment is great gain”. Jesus gain was his godliness. Man, we are shooting for the wrong stars, why aren’t we shooting for the Star of David?
But look at the example he set. He was willing to suffer to save us. He endured grief. He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He got lied on. He got betrayed. He got rejected. He endured injustice at the hands of two legal systems, the Jewish and the Roman legal system. He knows what it’s like to get rinsed by religion, look at how the religious people treated him. Maybe you got mistreated at church… well Jesus got mistreated in the synagogue worse than you ever did at church. He went to church one day and he quoted some scripture and they tried throwing him off a cliff!
And talk about “godly”. He obeyed God non stop his whole life. He said “I only do those things that please my Father”. So what is our godliness that we possess when we buck and kick against the most reasonable things God says for us to do, which are for our own good?
When God saves you, it is only possible because Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but also only possible because he is the Son of man. Becoming a man was a necessary and crucial part of God’s salvation plan. Someone had to keep the law. Someone had to taste death to defeat death. You know, death was undefeated until Jesus Christ. Sin had reigned and ruled over all until Jesus Christ. To save us, he had to become us… and become one of us he did.
And that’s a Saviour worth serving. Someone who will join us where we are. Someone legitimately above us who chose to be least of all among us. There was no one who encapsulated and modelled servanthood more than Jesus Christ. Think of the humility to submit himself to the injustice and humiliation of crucifixion. Think of the power of virtue to hang on the cross and suffer and die for those who were mocking and spitting and laughing at him. It’s all a mystery to this human really.
It’s mysterious because he is so above us, and yet he became one of us. It’s so mysterious because it’s so above us, and yet with us, the present truth. It’s so mysterious because God’s ways are so past us finding out. I wouldn’t even have thought to do it this way, but my thoughts are not God’s thoughts… because I’m really not that godly at all. Godliness starts in the mind and heart, where Christ resides in the believer.
Did you know that Jesus Christ truly can identify with you whoever you are, wherever you are from… because he is the Son of man. You know how we excuse our actions and sin because “don’t judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes”… well Jesus took every single sin upon himself… that qualifies him plenty for judgment. And when they say “you can’t judge me because you aren’t perfect”… well he was perfect so he can judge you… and he will.
You can’t say “you don’t know what it feels like”, you can’t say “you don’t know what I went through”… because he does know. If you will only believe and praise someone who proves themself to you… well does not Jesus Christ qualify for your belief and trust? You are beneath him, but you were not beneath him. What a paradox! And then think about this… to many people Jesus is beneath them! Christianity is dirt to them. And his blood is beneath them, under their feet. Wow how bad is that. How will you escape that? Jesus truly came to where we were and are. He was one of us. I think the best picture of this is Moses, the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, given everything, entitled to everything… but chose to identify with rag tag hated scum of the earth slaves to save them. And Jesus is so much greater than that great man! That’s godliness… that’s a plane of humanity I have not frequented.
I hope you believe, I hope you are saved, but if not, godliness cannot be stopped and will not be stopped anyway. Godliness is destined for glory, as Jesus was. Herod tried stopping godliness, and he killed all the male children throughout the region to try and stop godliness… but godliness would not be stopped. That’s comforting to this man, because godliness will out. Godliness is on this earth, godliness came to this earth, and godliness will return one day. Jesus is godliness. Jesus is my godliness. He cannot be stopped. The only thing you can stop is your ears, as you once again turn off the gospel for the umpteenth time. Why not break that trend? If the new year is “new” how about do something new and let God’s light shine into your heart and save your soul? I hope you have a great day or had a great day, but the greatest day is the day you will be saved, the unspeakable gift of salvation has been given to you, don’t leave it unwrapped as another milestone in your life ticks on by.
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God’s word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I’m just a passin’ through this world… although most of the time it’s more like hangin’ by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports – particularly cricket… I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc – they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to leave a comment. You can read more about me and my blog here – kjvbibletruth.com/about :)