Living a Godly Life in an Ungodly World
Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:56 PM
What does it take to live a godly life in an ungodly world? Many of us have asked ourselves this question repeatedly. The signatures of sin and evil are all around us. There has to be something more that we can do than to white-knuckle our way through temptation.
Simply put, our anchor is Jesus Christ. He is our only salvation from sin—the anchor of our souls (see Hebrews 6:19) that holds firm, especially when the storms of life threaten and when the enemy’s temptations blow hard against us.
Does this mean that we can escape the troubles of this world? No—but it does mean that we set the compass of our hearts on Christ. Then, when the aggressive winds and tumbling waves of temptation come, we will not be overwhelmed by them.
Pray that you will be sensitive to God’s Spirit—when you listen to His voice, He will help you to discern when you are in a situation that could lead to temptation.
Jesus knew that we would face serious temptations and trials. The night of His arrest, He prayed for us: “[Father], my prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world, even as I am not of it” (John 17:15-16).
Living a godly life in an ungodly world is realizing that we do not belong to ourselves. As believers, we belong to Jesus Christ. He is the Shepherd of our souls, our loving Savior, and eternal Lord—and from a spiritual stand point, we do not belong to this world. Our heavenly Father has provided all that we need to live free of Satan’s temptations, tactics, lies, and snares.
We can begin living the godly life Christ has given us when we:
Have a heart focused and set on Christ. We do this by being committed to prayer and the study of God’s Word. We can’t set our hearts on Christ or learn to live godly lives unless we follow the instruction manual that God has given to us, and this is His Word—the Bible.
Refuse to get caught up in busywork, believing that we are pleasing to God. The greatest gift you can give the Lord is not a full schedule that includes one church meeting after another. Immorality can steal and rob us of a beautiful relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, but busyness will prevent us from getting to know God in a personal way. We should not allow anything we are doing for God to prevent us from being with God.
Realize that God loves us with an unconditional love. When we draw nearer and nearer to Christ, our desire to follow the way of temptation will fade. No one will ever care as much for us as the Savior does. Christ died so that we might have eternal life. His grace is a gift that cannot be purchased through good works or outstanding behavior. He loved us even before we were born, and He loves us now. We cannot earn His love, and we cannot lose it. When we yield to sin and sense that there is a distance between the Lord and us, it is not because His love for us has faded.
There are consequences to sin that are unavoidable, and one of these is that we sense God’s rebuke because we have grieved His Spirit. But when we pray and ask Him to forgive us, He does—and He restores our fellowship with Him because His love has the ability to cover a multitude of sins (see James 5:20).
Invest in our spiritual future. We are involved in a spiritual battle. Unseen forces wage war against us, but the ultimate victory is won in Christ. Only faith in Jesus Christ wins the battle. It is faith that is not compromised one day and forgotten the next. Instead, it is faith that is built and maintained through love and devotion to God’s Son.
If you are struggling against God’s will and plan for your life, stop. Ask Him to help you understand the depth of His love for you. When you do, you will find that God is giving you the ability you need to live a godly life in an ungodly world!
Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:58 PM
Posted 29 October 2011 - 01:16 AM
To the Tuesday Group seminar “Living Sacrifices””
July 19, 2003
The Sofia story
Many years ago I went on a day trip on the adventurers’ sailing ship
Sofia. The prospect of joining for an extended cruise in the Pacific was
attractive, available, desirable, but impossible because I was committed to
God’s calling. But for a day I was almost convinced I could do it. It was as if I
was under hypnosis. When I disembarked from the day trip at Nelson, the
spell was broken. At the most, I wrote an article about it and sent it to a
magazine. In my research I had discovered that the ship was a hotbed of
immorality, and it was a good thing not to have anything to do with it.
“Train yourself in godliness” (1Timothy 4:7)
Godliness and holiness are used interchangeably in the New Testament.
Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought
you to be in lives of holiness and godliness… 2 Peter 3:11
1. God wants us to live a godly life.
• It will please God. Ecclesiastes 2:26: ‘For to the ‘man who pleases him
God gives wisdom and knowledge and joy…’ It will be a good life.
• He is holy. We are his children. Peter 1:15: “ but as he who called you
is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; since it is written, “You
shall be holy, for I am holy.” Ephesians 1:4: “even as he chose us in
him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and
blameless before him.
• Our lives will authenticate the gospel we bear.
• We are to be light and salt.
2. What a godly or holy life looks like.
• Like the life of Jesus Christ
• Separated from the world (2 Corinthians 6:17,
18, 7:1—promises of family and protection.
• “Do not be mismated with unbelievers. For what
partnership have righteousness and iniquity? Or
what fellowship has light with darkness? What
accord has Christ with Belial? Or what has a
believer in common with an unbeliever? What
agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of
the living God; as God said, ‘I will live in them and move among them,
and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Therefore come
out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch
nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you,
The hull of a vessel.
In the water.
No water in it.
No leaks 2
and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.’
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from
every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the
fear of God.
• Idolatry starts in the heart—the mind. Ezekiel 14:1-8
Colossians 3:5: ‘Put to death therefore what is earthly in you:
fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is
• Separated from the world in order to be holy to the Lord (Exodus
• A holy life is an exchanged life—“put off”, “put
on”. Ephesians 4:22, 24: “Put off your old
nature which belongs to your former manner of
life and is corrupt through deceitful lusts, and
be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put
on the new nature, created after the likeness of
God in true righteousness and holiness.”
• Devoted-dedicated (hard working, single
minded for God’s glory) Colossians 3:23:
Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving
the Lord and not men.’ ‘And they devoted themselves to the apostles’
teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.’
• Example: Jesus accomplished the work the Father gave him to do
Example: Paul works at his task with all God’s mighty power available
to him (Colossians 1:27-29): “Him we proclaim,
warning every man and teaching every man in
all wisdom, that we may present every man
mature in Christ. For this I toil, striving with all
the energy which he mightily inspires within
• Paul urges us never to give up on the Lord’s
work because there will be a reward (1
3. How to lead a godly life
• Make the decision. It is up to you.
• Discover the standards—read and study Scripture. Example:
Ephesians 3:25-32 25: “Therefore, putting away falsehood, let every
one speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of
another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your
anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer
Off with the day
On with the holy
Paul’s hard work
Far more labors, far
with countless …
steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his hands, so
that he may be able to give to those in need. Let no evil talk come out
of your mouths, but only such as is good for edifying, as fits the
occasion, that it may impart grace to those who hear. And do not
grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of
redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and
slander be put away from you, with all malice, and be kind to one
another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ
AND some of the lists in First and Second Peter and elsewhere.
• Get some help—accountability one to one or one to a few. Prayer.
• You make the first move. God will follow with power Ephesians 3:14-
21. Power that works in you. He who has begun a good work in you
will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).
Illustration: Indiana Jones steps across the abyss to get the Holy
Grail. Suddenly there is a path across the abyss.
• When you fail, confess your sin and carry on as before (1 John 1:9).
4. Things that will hinder our quest for godliness
• Our desires Galatians 5:16: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and do not
gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against
the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh; for these
are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you would.
And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its
passions and desires. James 1:15: Then desire when it has conceived
gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown brings forth death.”
• Outside influences (Colossians 2:8
philosophies, bad company—“Do not be
deceived, bad company ruins good morals” 1
Corinthians 15:33). We are children of our time.
Alternative spiritualities, political correctness,
revulsion to commitment. “I will probably see
you.” Imagine if Jesus had said, “I may come
again.” The choice smorgasbord—double-
mindedness. 2 Corinthians 1:17: “Was I
vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make
my plans like a worldly man, ready to say Yes
and No at once?” Commitment—such a dirty
word today, but a major characteristic of a holy
life. Psalm 15:7. Keeping your word, whatever it
• Rejection of conscience (1 Timothy 1:19) By rejecting conscience,
certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith…
about once a week.
Prevalence of Maori
beliefs. No mention
of Christian truths.
of Maori spirituality,
which the gospel
The Sofia story conclusion.
The ship that held out a promise of so much
foundered in a storm as my article arrived at the
Sydney-based magazine. One life was lost. A wave
punched in the hull just off Northland and it went
down quickly. Too much water had got into the
Conclusion: God will use you if you are pure.
2 Timothy 2:21: If any one purifies himself from what is ignoble, then he
will be a vessel for noble use, consecrated and useful to the master of the
house, ready for any good work.
Do not withdraw from the world, or compromise with it. Stay in the world, be
different from it, and influence it for the gospel.
The Sofia sank
because too much
water got into it
Posted 31 October 2011 - 05:09 PM
Of course, the basis of our being able to live a godly life is because of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, and if we are willing to yield to Him. And we have the Holy Spirit if we truly believe in Jesus as our own Savior.
Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:19 PM
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