Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. 2 Timothy 3:5
READ: Matthew 15:1-11
1Then came to Jesus scribes and Pharisees, which were of Jerusalem, saying,
2 Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? for they wash not their hands when they eat bread.
3 But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4 For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death.
5 But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me;
6 And honour not his father or his mother, he shall be free. Thus have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition.
7 Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
10 And he called the multitude, and said unto them, Hear, and understand:
11 Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.
being religious is not the same as being godly. It is surprising that people cannot tell the difference between the two these days. A religion is a belief system practiced by a group of people who subscribe to its teachings and set of rules. The Pharisees and scribes of Jesus´ time on earth are a good example of religious people. Although they followed all the laws of Moses, they were blind to the presence of the Messiah living amongst them, even though Moses spoke of Him. In spite of all the great works He did before their very eyes, which should have convinced them beyond any reasonable doubt of His identity, they questioned everything He did and refused to accept Him, You see, the Pharisees obeyed the laws of Moses to the letter but refused to acknowledge the power of salvation through Christ. They also didn’t believe in His message of love and mercy; rather, they believe that no sinner must go unpunished (John 8:1-5). The Pharisees paid a lot of attention to looking holy rather than actually living a holy life.
In contrast to being religious, godliness is synonymous to being Christ-like and living a life of holiness. A fellow is godly when he or she has the nature of God. Godliness is much more that looking holy or acting holy; it is a lifestyle. It unfortunate that in the church today, there are more religious people. Religious people find it easy to castigate others, whereas they do worse things in secret. They can quote many scriptures by heart and know the right Bible passage that fits every situation. While this is good, religious people don’t live according to the scriptures they know and recite, because their hearts are far from God (Matthew 15:8). Such people know all the rules and doctrines of the denomination they belong to but deny the power behind such doctrines. Their major problem is that there is a separation between their outer and inner man. In other words, they have mastered the art of patience. The personality they show to the world is different from who they really are.
Our memory verse admonishes us to move far away from religious people. They are quick to call for the head of any fellow in Christ who falls into sin, rather than disciplining and correcting such person in love. If you find it difficult to show love to people, and yet you preach the gospel, you are practicing religion and not godliness. Godliness, as apposed to religion, will bring you great gain in this world and in the world to come. 1 Timothy 4:8b says:
“For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”
Apart from getting your heart’s desires on earth through Christ, godliness will also ensure that you partake of life in heaven.
Access yourself on where you fit today; are you religious or godly?
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalm 78-80
AUTHOR: PASTOR E. A. ADEBOYE
HYMN 12: DEEPER, DEEPER IN THE LOVE OF JESUS.
1. Deeper, deeper in the love of Jesus
Daily let me go;
Higher, higher in the school of wisdom,
More of grace to know.
Oh, deeper yet, I pray,
And higher every day,
And wiser, blessed Lord,
In Thy precious, holy Word.
2. Deeper, deeper, blessed Holy Spirit,
Take me deeper still,
Till my life is wholly lost in Jesus,
And His perfect will.
3. Deeper, deeper! though it cost hard trials,
Deeper let me go!
Rooted in the holy love of Jesus,
Let me fruitful grow.
4. Deeper, higher, every day in Jesus,
Till all conflict past,
Finds me conqu’ror, and in His own image
Perfected at last.
5. Deeper, deeper in the faith of Jesus,
Holy faith and true;
In His pow’r and soul exulting wisdom
Let me peace pursue.