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Godliness (Greek eusebeia) is the piety toward God and the proper conduct that springs from a right relationship with him. It is the sum total of religious character and actions, and it produces both a present and future state of happiness. It is not right action that is done from a sense of duty, but is the spontaneous virtue that comes from the indwelling Christ and reflects him. It is a God-honoring manner of life, issuing from a true knowledge of God and his grace in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16; 4:7-11; 2 Timothy 3:10-12; Titus 1:1; 2:11-12).

Ungodliness (Greek asebeia) on the other hand brings the wrath of God, because it involves suppressing the truth about God, worshipping created things rather than the creator, and pursuing unrighteous relationships and behavior (Romans 1:18-25, 1 Timothy 1:9-11). It is a condition from which we can only be rescued by trusting “him who justifies the ungodly” (Romans 4:5, Titus 2:11-14). The nature of godliness as taught in the bible refers to an active obedience to the revealed will of God and a personal devotion that surpasses lip-service, mere trepidation, or bare admiration (Proverbs 1:7; Isaiah 11:2; 33:6; Luke 2:25; Acts 10:2; 22:12). Like other Christian virtues, Godliness has a cost.

Firstly, we must give up our self-righteousness. We must cast away all pride and high thoughts, and conceit of our own goodness. We must be content to go to heaven as a poor sinner saved only by free grace, and owing all to the merit and righteousness of Jesus Christ. We must be willing to surrender all trust in our own morality, respectability, church going, praying, sacrament receiving, and alms giving and to trust in nothing but Jesus Christ. Secondly, Godliness will cost us our sins. That is every habit and practice which is wrong in God's sight. We must set our face against sin, break off from it, fight with it, crucify and labour to keep it under, regardless of our circumstances (Job 20:12-13).

Thirdly, it will cost us the love of the world (1 John 2:15-17). The world hates those who do and seek to please God and therefore we must count it no strange thing to be mocked, ridiculed, slandered, and persecuted (John 15:20; 16:33). Other times we will find our opinions and Christian practices despised and held up to scorn but we must choose to please God rather than the world. Finally, Godliness demands that we give up our ease. As much as the Holy Spirit is with us in our journey of faith, we have a role to fulfill. Paul says that “we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

This sometimes would translate to pain and trouble if we mean to run a successful race towards heaven. It means training ourselves to be godly (1 Timothy 4:7). It is true that we are dependent upon God for his divine enablement, but we are responsible, we are not passive in this process. Training in godliness requires hard work and commitment to the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit through his word, and practice on our part. Such is the account of what it means to nurture the nature of Godliness. The task is heavy and demanding but a cheap Christianity, without a cross, will prove in the end a useless Christianity without a crown. Purposeful godliness with the help of the Holy Spirit is our focus as believers in Christ.

Pastor's Weekly Corner

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Lavington United Church was founded in 1960 through a joint effort of the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK), Methodist Church of Kenya (MCK) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) as a community church to minister to the Lavington community. <<Read full History>>

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