If you have one of your Bibles in an electronic format and it has a search function, take a moment to do a search for the word godliness. I just completed a search on that specific word in my English Standard Version, and found that the word was only used in the New Testament, and then only used by Peter and Paul (and no, I am not talking about Peter and Paul from the musical group 🎶 Peter, Paul and Mary, 🎶 however they were wonderful musicians from the 1960s!). Peter, one of Jesus’ inner circle of the Disciples used the word four times in the Book of 2nd Peter. And Paul, the one who wrote most of our New Testament, well, he referenced godliness once in the books of 2 Timothy and Titus, and nine times in 1 Timothy.
So, the word godliness is only used 15 times in a book which is purported to contain 783,137 words (as reported in research that counted the words in the Authorized King James Bible). Since each translation will vary with the words that they use, your favorite translation may contain more or less words. And here’s another way to look at it: the word godliness appears in 15 verses out of a total of 31,102 verses. This might lead one to render that the word godliness is insignificant. Yet, is it? To determine whether the word is insignificant, we need to understand just what it means. Bible teacher John MacArthur defines Godliness as: “having the proper attitude and conduct before God in everything.” Leah DiPascal from Proverbs 31 Ministries defined Godliness as “A proper response towards God which produces obedience and right living that honors Him… Godliness is devotion in action. Authentic godliness happens as we choose to behold Jesus, and embrace God’s grace.”
The Bible (all 66 books) is full of stories, awesome, fantastic stories about the power of God, the miracles of God, the achievements of people who belong to God, and encouragement to us from God. All these amazing stories and events are true, and they all point us to the glory of God. They inspire us to know God, to love God, and to strive to live our lives for God. They point us towards that word which is mentioned 15 times – godliness. So that word, is truly not insignificant, because it seems to me that the entire Bible is all about pursuing godliness.
But, “having the proper order and conduct before God in everything” as noted in John MacArthur’s definition is a pretty tall order. Just who can do that? Certainly not me, strive as I might, I fall short. Being immersed in godliness is rather impossible under on our own power. We are imperfect. God already knows that, yet God encourages us to continue in the pursuit. We will fail, in my case, it’s daily, but occasionally we’ll get it right, we’ll model godliness somewhere, sometime, and it will inspire and encourage others to do likewise. Our display of godliness may draw others into Christ’s saving grace. It is only through our relationship with God, and striving to match the examples of godliness that Jesus set for us, that we can even begin to truly exhibit godliness towards others.
“But godliness with contentment is great gain,” (1 Timothy 6:6, ESV)
What are your thoughts on godliness?
How do you model godliness?
Believing God, trusting God, adoring God, walking with God, growing with God, confessing to God, talking with God, listening to God, learning with God – it’s the Heart of the Journey ❤️