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Building up believers and the New Testament church

Spiritual Maturity

Godliness

Godliness is God-likeness in every area of our life. The more obvious areas may be in outward expressions such as how we dress, how we talk, and how we conduct ourselves in this world. Our whole persons are to give forth an expression of the nature of God. Perseverance in responding to the discipline of the Holy Spirit will produce this God-likeness in our lives. There are many areas that God wants to lead us into, but He cannot until we establish certain foundational things. This is obvious when learning a natural discipline such as math or reading, but it is equally true in the Spirit. We will always be growing while we are here on this earth, but there must also be areas in which we are walking, almost without thought, that God has already established in our lives. "Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind" (Phil. 3:15). Paul said he was pressing forward, reaching out to know Him, but this was on the basis that he was walking daily in what God had already established him in.

"Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat?" (II Peter 3:11,12) "Therefore I desire that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting; in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works" (I Tim. 2:8-10). "But reject profane and old wives' fables, and exercise yourself rather to godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come" (I Tim. 4:7,8).

Can we read these scriptures with a desire to walk in truth and begin to sense what godliness is? It is more than just moral excellence, which is obvious and must become part of our life in God immediately. But godliness embraces the whole character of God. We often hide behind the excuse "I don't see anything wrong with that" or "I don't know any scripture verse about that." If we have these attitudes, we will never enter into an expression of godliness, and the testimony of our lives will have very little value to God or to others. We will often find ourselves more a stumbling block to others than a stepping stone. We must allow the Holy Spirit to touch every area of our lives. He will not contradict the scriptures, but He will take us far beyond a literal scripture verse. "Holy conduct" covers our entire lives--how we conduct ourselves in our thinking, attitudes, speech, dress, and actions. God is concerned about every detail of our lives.

The Holy Spirit is the only one who can communicate these areas to the one who is serious about his or her relationship with God. There is a soberness and an absoluteness about the character of God. God wants to express His character through us. Are we ready for Him to do so? More than that, are we experiencing it? If not, we need to begin to add godliness in our faith.