1Ti 3:16 It is quite true that the way to live a godly life is not an easy matter. But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a man, was proved spotless and pure in his Spirit, was served by angels, was preached among the nations, was accepted by men everywhere, and was received up again to his glory in heaven. (LB)
The Bible is saying that to live a godly life is not an easy matter or I can say it is impossible to do. Think of the Sermon On the Mount for example. Some of the things that are written there are not easy to do.
1. To rejoice and be glad when you are insulted, persecuted or falsely saying all kinds of evil against you.
Mat 5:11 "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
Mat 5:12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
It is not easy thing to rejoice and be glad in all circumstances. What will you do for example if someone says something bad against you. You are in the ministry, you are sharing the good news to all people and you fervently serving the Lord. Someone is jealous in your ministry and suddenly spread a humor that you are having an intimate relationship with another women which is not true and yet your wife starting to believe that lie and you are having confrontation and your marriage life is at stake? What is the initial reaction man would do. You will burst in to anger and confront that man. It is hard for that man to rejoice and be glad.
Or let us say that your situation becomes like Job. You have all the things before you given by God but suddenly in moment you lost your job , your best position in the company. You had a good business but yet it suddenly became bankrupt and your family life is at stake and also the education of your children. You got sick and needed to be cured. So you sell your property, just to earn money for your ongoing treatment and also to let your children continue to go to school. You have nothing, all the things you kept for yourself are gone.
What will be your reaction? Can you still rejoice and be glad? Lets be honest in this situation
. If you are honest , then you will be free.
In Matthew 5:44, it says that we must love our enemies, and not only we must love our enemies but pray for those who persecute you.
Think of the very worst thing that man could do to you, the thing that you dont want to happen in your life even in your own imagination, the very worst thing. And it says in this verse that you must love him and must pray for him. A mere human cannot do that .
To love a person who have done great damage to your life by speaking all evil things against you or telling lies against you especially that your own reputation is at stake, people around you is at stake, your property is involved. Oh I tell you it is very hard thing to do.
Even in the Old Covenant, people were struggling to obey the Law. THEY CANNOT OBEY THE LAW. They do not become holy by just observing the Law. Lets see what James was saying
Jas 2:10 And the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as the person who has broken all of God's laws.
Jas 2:11 For the same God who said, "Do not commit adultery," also said, "Do not murder." So if you murder someone, you have broken the entire law, even if you do not commit adultery.
In other words if you obey the Ten Commandments except one, you are just equal to the person who disobeyed all of the commandments. You are just guilty of the person who break all of the commandments of God.
And there is one commandment of God from the list of the Ten Commandment that people cannot obey and that is the last commandment. Thou shall not covet. We must admit that we want something for ourself, it is what I called My will syndrome.
I will read it again the passage in 1 Timothy 3:16 in New living Translation
1Ti 3:16 Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith:
Christ appeared in the flesh
and was shown to be righteous by the Spirit.
He was seen by angels
and was announced to the nations.
He was believed on in the world
and was taken up into heaven.
From the time Adam till the time of Jesus, everybody had this flesh called My will and the Holy Spirit could not declare one person as righteous. Everybody sinned but at last there is one person who took this thing called My Will which is the flesh and never did it even once in his life. And the Holy Spirit who examined every areas of Jesus life certified it as righteous by the Holy Spirit. It was beheld by angels. It is the gospel that is proclaimed among the nations. And this gospel was rarely believed by people and he who will believe this will be taken up into heaven as he was taken up into heaven. THIS IS THE SECRET OF GODLINESS
The secret of godliness does not lie even in the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We can see that in the Corinthian believers. They were baptized by the Holy Spirit, and yet the Corinthian church was the worst church in the first century. They spoke in tongues but they were the most carnal and worldly church during that time.It is the same today. It does not mean that once you experience the baptism of the Holy Spirit, it is the indication you become godly throughout your entire life.Not REALLY!!!
IT IS ONLY THAT WE SEE THE SECRET OF GODLINESS THAT WE COME TO A GODLY LIFE.
The other mistake we could make is described in the following Chapter 4. In every chapter division we encountered, it is always better to ignore chapter division and read it like a letter so that we could see the connection between verse 16 of chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the following verses.
Living Bible Translation says,
1Ti 3:16 It is quite true that the way to live a godly life is not an easy matter. But the answer lies in Christ, who came to earth as a man, was proved spotless and pure in his Spirit, was served by angels, was preached among the nations, was accepted by men everywhere, and was received up again to his glory in heaven.
1Ti 4:1 But the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some in the church will turn away from Christ and become eager followers of teachers with devil-inspired ideas.
1Ti 4:2 These teachers will tell lies with straight faces and do it so often that their consciences won't even bother them.
1Ti 4:3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat meat, even though God gave these things to well-taught Christians to enjoy and be thankful for.
The primary mark of all deceiving spirits is that they "do not acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh" (2 Jn.7)
2Jn 1:7 Watch out for the false leaders--and there are many of them around--who don't believe that Jesus Christ came to earth as a human being with a body like ours. Such people are against the truth and against Christ.
2Jn 1:8 Beware of being like them and losing the prize that you and I have been working so hard to get. See to it that you win your full reward from the Lord.
Anyone who denies that Jesus Christ who is God lived as a man who have the same flesh like ours. He was tempted just like us in all points as we are yet he did not sin,
If people will deny that, The Bible says that he is a false teacher. He is a deceiver and Anti-Christ.
Heb 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
All throughout my life since I had an understanding and listening to many preacher I seldom hear it preached in the pulpit, that He overcome all temptation and yet he did not since once through the grace of the holy Spirit, not because He was God throughout the 33 years he lived here on earth but as a man who always denied every action coming from his own will and so we can follow in his footsteps.
He said that He comes down from heaven not to do his own will but to do the Fathers will (John 6:38). In the Lords prayer Jesus said, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
1Jn 2:6 Anyone who says he is a Christian should live as Christ did.
So he says in the latter times, this the time we are living right now that some will depart from the faith, that means they will deny this secret of godliness, they will give attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.
Deceitful spirits is not necessarily going to tell us that Allah is God, Vishnu is God, Zeus is God but he will still tell you that Jesus is God but he will lead you away from the secret of godliness otherwise there is no deception. They will take the Bible, preached another Jesus and lead you astray from this secret of godliness.
Another thing he mentioned here is the doctrines of demons. This is not necessarily mentioning hideous witchcraft, sex orgies, palmistry or horoscope, fung shui but it sounds close as a Christian message but it ia counterfeat.
There is a lot of these things you can see in the television or on the internet is part of this especially concerning faith.
They will talk about faith but it is not a faith of overcoming sin. It is a faith of making money and materialism , it is a health and wealth gospel. There is a lot of deception going on in Christianity. There is a lot of spending of money and believers were told that if you give a large amount of money in the ministry your sickness will be healed, your finances will be going smooth; your marriage life will be restored. If you give a large amount of money to this ministry you will get a reward from God
.. It always talks about about money,money,money. It is always mans centeredness. God is always out of focus.
And he will not mention about saving from our sin because that is primary purpose which the name of Jesus was given to Joseph by an angel of the Lord that He WILL SAVE HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS (Matthew 1:21). That is the doctrine of demons. He will not mention about this secret of godliness. There is a fear that this preacher will instill to the minds of the believer saying, be careful of saying against Gods anointed. Oh say something, do not talk against the Holy Spirit. I really believed that this people preaching this kind of messages were not anointed.
They were expert in telling lies that even their conscience wont bother them telling this messages and thats why they cannot see the secret of godliness.
The other thing mentioned here is they seek holiness by not getting married or by abstaining from foods. This is what we called ascetism. It is just like a rule in man that you must not do this or do not, living just like a hermit away from the world. There are certain practices they do not do that so that it helps them to become holy. Celibacy and fasting have always been regarded among heathen religions as ways to become holy. If you remain unmarried and do frequent fasting, it makes them more holy. And we find that today in Christianity.
There is nothing wrong with remaining unmarried or with fasting. But when these are promoted as the secret of godliness, then there is a great danger upon this practices. All these types of self-discipline does not lead to holiness. It is there in Hinduism, in yoga , in meditation but this not lead us to the secret of godliness.
The Way to Holiness begins through; seeing Jesus manifest in the flesh and seeing that we can follow Him.
THE SECRET OF GODLINESS IS SEEING JESUS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, HE WAS TEMPTED JUST LIKE WE ARE, BUT DID NOT SIN ONCE. THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH GIVING AS AN EXAMPLE THAT MAN CAN BE FREE FROM SIN BY THE GRACE WE RECEIVE THROUGH THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN TIMES OF NEED (TEMPTATION).
This doctrines of demons are rampant in Christianity today. You can see these kinds of practices all round us.
Why is it all this things are happening in Christianity today. IT IS BECAUSE THE CHURCH FAILED IN ITS MINISTRY. Lets look at the previous verse in 1 Timothy 3;15 in the middle of the verse
1Ti 3:15 in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.
The Church of the living God is called the family or the household of the Living God. The church is called the pillar
In the olden days buildings were supported by pillars. The pillars supports the roof of the building, and once the pillar were removed the whole building collapses. The church is the pillar and it says it supports of the truth, and what truth
.THE SECRET OF GODLINESS.
Why we dont find so many churches preached this message, the secret of godliness
that is why the pillars have collapsed. I will tell you that we must proclaim this message over and over again. To the elders and leaders of this church, we must focus on this secret of godliness if not; it possible for us to be drifted away and be lead to the doctrines of demons thinking that we become holy through self discipline, self imposed worship. No , it says in
Colossians 2:23 But they have no effect when it comes to conquering a person's evil thoughts and desires. That is not the way!!!
There are so many good messages we can preached but if our message will not lead them to live a godly life then we failed in our ministry. For the church of God in the early centuries supports this truth.
In Hebrews 12:2 (NIV) In the first part of the verse it says,
Heb 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith
Hebrews 6:20 because is Jesus called our forerunner.
A Forunner is some who goes ahead of us in a race and follow him closely on the way to reach our destination. And what is our destination?
Romans 8:29 For we are predestined to become Christlike
In the new covenant, we fix our eyes on a person and look the way he lived to please the Father. It says that we must look carefully or give close attention to Jesus life and let it be our guidance to follow on his footsteps because he is author and perfecter of our faith.
Under the old covenant, people were exhorted to meditate on "the LAW of the Lord" (Psa.1:2). His delights is on the Law of the Lord and he meditates it day and night. But under the new covenant, we are exhorted to meditate on "the GLORY of the Lord" (2 Cor. 3:18). So in the Old covenant, it says look carefully at my word, the written word but in the New Covenant, it says look at my Servant.
2Co 3:16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord from his sins, then the veil is taken away.
2Co 3:17 The Lord is the Spirit who gives them life, and where he is there is freedom from trying to be saved by keeping the laws of God.
2Co 3:18 But we Christians have no veil over our faces; we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him.
Here is a little bit of advice that I will give you, whenever you will read and study the Bible, you will not merely just study what is written here letter by letter but you must study this to see the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ . As the Holy Spirit shows the living examples of Jesus Christ and follow that example then the veil is taken away.
What is the veil speaking here? When the Lord Jesus Christ hang on the Cross and died on the calvary for us for us, He inaugurated a new and a living way, that is His flesh, the flesh that had died- he wiped away the old creation, that is MY will- to see the glory of God. (Hebrews 10:20)
In the Old testament, people cannot see directly the glory of God for he dwells in the Most Holy place but once the veil was rent we enter the new covenant and see the glory of God.
If you decide every time you open the Bible not to do your own will- that means you will not depend on your knowledge (on what you know) and let the Holy Spirit quicken it, we will see the glory of the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If you take this word merely by the Letter, it produces death but if by the Spirit (that means you seen the glory of the Lord Jesus) it produces life.
2Co 3:4 We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.
2Co 3:5 It is not that we think we can do anything of lasting value by ourselves. Our only power and success come from God.
2Co 3:6 He is the one who has enabled us to represent his new covenant. This is a covenant, not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old way ends in death; in the new way, the Holy Spirit gives life.
If we just study the Bible only for doctrine , we will produce a cult but if we meditate the glory which was seen in Jesus we will produce a proper church life.
I have seen people who have full knowledge of the Bible who have gone astray. They build a cult because of misunderstanding of what was written . They become proud of the knowledge that they have gained and fight for it. We can see that in the television, one or another is fighting for doctrine. There are so many debates in Christianity today because everyone wants to prove who is right or wrong. If you just want to exalt yourself above the others that you are right then you have the spirit of Satan. But I am amazed that people dont notice this.
You dont need to show them primarily what is written in the Scriptures to change people but let our living example as a Christian drive them to look on the glory of the Lord Jesus in the Scriptures.
If we will search the Scriptures only to get doctrine then we will be only become a better Pharisee. They know all what was written and yet there is no life in them because they do not want to believe the Lord Jesus as Messiah, they still depending on their Own knowledge so they do not come to the Lord Jesus Christ.
John 5:39 says
Joh 5:39 You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me,
Joh 5:40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
If we still have prejudices not put to death this thing called My will , every time we open the Bible ,we will not see the glory of God. Every time we hear a sermon and the Holy Spirit is speaking to you, that is the direction you must follow, because Our Lord Jesus Christ live his entire life not to do his will own,. You neglect that, you will remain unchanged.
So it is the best way as we entered in the new covenant life, we see example of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the Scriptures and see the glory of God there. I will mention some of them which gave me revelation. Lets look at Mark Chapter 2.
Here in this chapter there was a man brought to Jesus who was a paralytic in unusual way carried by four man.They were in Capernaum.
Mar 2:1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home.
Mar 2:2 So many gathered that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them.
Mar 2:3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralytic, carried by four of them.
Mar 2:4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus and, after digging through it, lowered the mat the paralyzed man was lying on.
Mar 2:5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven."
The house where people were gathering is his own house. In Matthew 4:12-13 says
Mat 4:12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he returned to Galilee.
Mat 4:13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali
When I read this I saw the Jesus heart concerning earthly things. He was not bothered even if the roof of His house will be damaged just to minister to people who is badly in need. It is said here in this verse that they were digging. It takes time to do that. It does not mentioned here that immediately He rushed to come to the roof and confront the man saying, What happened to my lovely roof, Cant you see that its long time that I build this house and you did just like that. What kind of people are you? Are you out of your mind?He did not say, You fellows why you are destroying my house, Get out. See other men who can heal him!!!. Instead he calmly received the man who was a paralytic and healed him.
Character will last forever but earthly things will corrupt and soon fades away. Compassion without property is more important than having property without compassion.
This is the true test. Whenever someone broke you own property, it will reveal the desires of your heart whether it is set on things here on earth or things in heaven.
Another verse , I will mention is the character of the Lord. It says here that the Spirit of the Lord rested on him in Isaiah 11
Isa 11:2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on Him, The spirit of wisdom and understanding, The spirit of counsel and strength, The spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.
Isa 11:3 And He will delight in the fear of the LORD, And He will not judge by what His eyes see, Nor make a decision by what His ears hear;
Isa 11:4 But with righteousness He will judge the poor, And decide with fairness for the afflicted of the earth; And He will strike the earth with the rod of His mouth, And with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked.
Here comes the Pharisees, who brought a woman caught in adultery in the temple and they said, in John 8:43 onwards
Joh 8:4 they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act.
Joh 8:5 "Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?"
Joh 8:6 And they were saying this, testing Him, in order that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:7 But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."
Joh 8:8 And again He stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
Joh 8:9 And when they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the midst.
Joh 8:10 And straightening up, Jesus said to her, "Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?"
Joh 8:11 And she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you; go your way. From now on sin no more.">
He did not judge by what His eyes see. He did make decision on by what he hear even though it is true that the Law tells them that anyone who was caught in adultery should be put to death. Instead He waited on the Father seeking His will and then releases the word to the Pharisee that anyone who has no sin among them, let him be the first to cast stone on her. Everyone left one by one. He did not say, Woman it is better for you to be killed for you are an adulterer. You will go to hell. Sure it is written, but the question is the Spirit is saying about the situation.
How easy for us to judge a person by what see and by we see; and yet we do not often judge ourselves that we may be doing it also.
Compassion triumphs all evil.
So I always say that whenever you go to the Scripures, dont get a Law but get the glory of the Lord Jesus
Here is another example which is in john chapter 7 the last verse in connection with Chapter 8
Joh 7:53 <And everyone went to his home.
Joh 8:1 But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.
If ever you were invited to speak in a church and if incase they did not like the message and people asked you to sleep on the tree. How would that be?
Nobody took Jesus to their homes. So jesus went to the Mount of olives and slept there.
If you will see, there is a lot of money in the offering bag with Judas Iscariot given by so many poor widows t o rent a hotel to sleep on but he would not take that money to live in grand hotels because He knew who gives it and He dont want to live in grand lifestyle life while other people who give that money were living in a poor state. You will see the glory Of Christ there.
You can find so many things in the Gospel about the glory of Christ if we let ourselves turn to the Lord as we read the Bible. As we continue to see that glory and let ourselves to be transformed by the Holy Spirit fro glory to glory we will be come Christlike.
Thy will be Done,Lord Jesus.