Part 1 explained that Godliness is the outworking and demonstration of the many different facets of our relationship with God.
Part 2 examined Peter’s exercise plan for godliness.
So, why should we do it? Why is it worth it? Why exercise unto Godliness?
1 Timothy 4:7-8
But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness. 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.
Godliness is profitable now and in the future. Godliness, Paul says, is profitable in the life that now is and that which is to come. Bodily exercise ends when we die (or when we begin to fall apart, sometimes long before we die). I can go to the gym (or at home) and work on my muscles for hours a week and I can feel the good soreness that comes with it. I can feel the results in my body having more energy, my sleep being more restful, and I can see the muscles growing and the fat being used up. I can see and feel these things and recognize that the time I spent was profitable – for a short future. It is not long term though. Godliness doesn’t just have short or long term viability. Godliness is a long term investment with great short term benefits.
Godliness is useful now as we live our lives as ambassadors for Christ. It is the very thing we have been called to do. We are to represent Him. We are to show Him. We are to let our light shine before men. Godliness enables us to fulfill our job description. It brings us true joy. It allows life to not be focused on the next milestone, or the next thing. It keeps us from looking back to the past for purpose. Godliness allows us to focus on the moment so that we are profitable to God.
This brings God’s blessing on us, and upon our families. It brings God’s blessings now when we obey. These blessings aren’t just physical, but they are spiritual and can be seen in your efforts around you. Joseph found favor in the eyes of all who were around him because he was blessed by God. This is the blessing we desire in our lives. We desire His favor with all we do, and living for Him will bring this. Living godly brings God’s blessings. It brings the fruits of the Spirit. It brings joy and peace to our lives. This is profitable. We don’t have to be full of stress or worry. We are free from those things. It brings sweet sleep and good rest.
Godliness prepares us for the future. There are many Christians who are afraid of going to Heaven. They don’t like the idea. Yet when we live our lives with such a great expectancy upon God, with a character defining dependence, with a fellowship pursuing interest in Him, we will want nothing more than to be in His presence. We will be looking towards Heaven. We will be prepared to go – worship, praise, fear, rejoicing, and reverence are what we will be doing in Heaven, so why not now?
Godliness is what will satisfy the fire of 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Godliness will build upon the foundation of Christ – gold, silver, and precious stones, not wood, hay, or stubble. These are the things we will build with Godliness. That foundation of Christ is the first step in the exercise program Peter laid out – faith. We build upon that with the steps we are given and we will not have the fire consume our works as we meet our Lord. This is the process by which we obtain the coveted evaluation, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant. Enter thou into the joy of they Lord.” Godliness is profitable for the future. The results of our bodily exercise will no longer apply. The results of our occupation, our nice yard, our American Dream, our pretty house, our games, our sports, our books read – it is all for naught and will no longer benefit us if they were not connected to the spiritual exercise plan. Apart from this, our works will burn up.
Godliness gives confidence and rest now in this life, and it gives promise – great expectation and hope – of the life that is to come. We can expect God’s blessings upon us now, and that things will go well for us when we come before God. People fear that thought. Those who are Godly do not need to. Godliness is profitable for the future, too.