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I Timothy 4:7. But refuse profane and old wivesâ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
I Timothy 4:16. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
[âŚ] somebody else would like to know why âI will therefore that the younger women marry.â Isnât that wonderful? And there are so many questions that could be asked. But itâs like Mark Twain said when somebody asked him about a difficult passage of scripture. He said, âWell, the things I donât understand donât bother me. Itâs the things that I do understand.â And I think that would be the shortcut to bliss.
âLet no man despise thy youth.â Thatâs a mighty good injunction. Thereâs nothing more wonderful in the church or in the world than young people that live like we saw yesterday: âthe end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.â And surely, as brother Gardiner pointed out, we ought to stay way over on the high side when it comes to a pure conscience and purity of life. And this is the thing that the Apostle Paul is enjoining upon Timothy. Have you noticed how again and again, he charges him âin the sight of God, before Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdomâ? What a charge to a young minister!
And he picks out Timothy because he says that âall the rest of them seek their own and not the things that are Jesus Christâs.â And thatâs true of all of us unless we hew to the line, unless we do as he says here: âExercise thyself rather unto godliness.â Thatâs an exercise that all of us ought to take upon ourselves. We see the world is very, very diligent in attaining their objects.
We had a report from Moscow, from a Baptist preacher in Moscow who says that in the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people have been savedânot old people, but young people; and theyâre so eager to follow the Lord. And he said, âWe could baptize a hundred thousand more if we were easy on them.â But when anyone gets saved and asks to be baptized, they put them on probation for three or four years. He says, âItâs not their testimony with their mouth, but they must prove themselves in their daily walk.â I think that an excellent ordinance. Itâs a Bible ordinance to walk âblamelessly,â to be âfound blameless before God.â That I might know how to âwalk unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.â
Oh, this word that proceeds out of my mouth has the power of life and death in it. And, oh, if we as ministers learned that one grand lesson: âIf any man offend not in word, that man is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.â But thatâs the place where we first begin to let the devil in, and where we drive away the Holy Ghost. Never mind: drinking a glass of wine isnât near as bad as saying some of the things that you say every day. They defile your soul, they defile your body, and they drive away the Holy Ghost. Our meetings would be much more powerful if we all listened to this injunction and obeyed it from the heart: âExercise thyself rather unto godliness.â
Weâve heard this a thousand times, I know. And we need to hear it a thousand times more maybe, unless God can give us a conviction like He gave to Isaiah when he saw the Lord âhigh and lifted up.â Why did he see the Lord when all the others didnât? The temple was filled with worshippers and none of them saw the glory of God. And you and I are not going to see it: itâs the pure in heart that shall see God. And itâs those who strive after holiness that shall see the Lord: âWithout holiness, no man shall see the Lord.â And God not only demands absolute holiness, but He offers it to me. He offers godlinessâit means that âI live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.â
What effect does your presence have in a party like that, any partyâa weddingâŚ Do you draw the attention of people to Jesus? Loud talking, loud laughingâall these things are exercising flesh and are naturally opening the door to demon powers.
(from 15:20) I come into these Bible schools and I hear these students talk about what theyâre going to do: theyâre going to be missionaries. And they themselves are not holy, theyâre not pureâyou can see itâŚ And in another place, in another country, after I spoke a while, tears came to the eyes of the students, and God came and settled down upon the meeting like a cloud of holinessâŚ I knew these hearts were melting. I knew that God was doing something by His power in these hearts. And then the dean got up and made a few jokes, and it all blew away. I said, âLord, my God, what good is a Bible school? What good is it? Why, it drives men away from God.â
God says, âGive diligence to make your calling and election sure.â âExercise thyself unto godliness.â I was delighted with the testimony yesterday of a young woman that tells how she puts aside questionable reading matter. Why, that also is worse than drinking wine. I certainly think that drinking wine is taboo for a Christian, or anything alcoholic. But these things are worse: viewing television. âExercise thyself unto godliness.â
I came into the home of a preacher who had a television set. He had some lovely children. He said, âThe Lord gave me that set.â I questioned it. After five or six years, I came again and he had thrown it out. He said, âThat thing does not belong into the Christian home.â But he didnât put it out before his children had gone to the devilâŚ
Where does that come from? Oh, beloved, we exercise ourselves unto ungodliness, and we do it with a cart-rope, we do it with a vengeance, unless exercising myself unto godliness.
speaker icon I think weâve made a great mistake in teaching that Acts 2:4 is the standard of the baptism. I believe John 7:38 ought to be our standard: ârivers of living waterâ issuing forth from within our livesârivers that sweep away all ungodliness. And we need to recognize the call of God.
I have sensed something since coming here. Weâve been talking about the imminence of the coming of Christ. I believe if we realized how soon Heâs coming, weâd all be on our faces in real earnest. We donât know how greatly God has come to us, how greatly Heâs here now, how greatly He means that we should pay attention to His word and to His will and to His counsel, and how greatly âHe is able to subdue all things unto Himselfââthat means every one of us. But only as I submit to Him and exercise myself unto godliness will Jesus Christ take His great power and reign supreme over my will and over my affections, and make me subject to Himself.
An example of modesty enforced among Catholics. âI respected the Catholic Church for not allowing women to enter into meeting with bare arms, in an unseemly dress.â (from 5:15)
A story of abstaining from wine. âI used to drink wine. Everybody does in SwitzerlandâŚ When I came to this country, I saw immediately what my drinking would doâeven just a dropâif anybody saw me.â (from 5:54)
An illustration of a little uncleanness. âThe whole world today is saturated with sin. And itâs because it started out by yielding here and yielding there just a little bit, just a little bitâŚ âIf youâre not absolutely sure, then that isnât clean.â And that goes for our talk.â (from 9:50)
An illustration of a chaotic home. (from 16:21)
An illustration of making progress in learning the violin. (from 19:49)