Titus: Godliness.

11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age,” (Titus 2:11-12 ESV).

“Knowing who God is (Theology Proper) includes right attitudes toward God and doing what He wants (piety/godliness).” Dr. Joel Beeke

Saving faith in the truth of the Gospel results in godliness. This is true for each believer in Christ. There are no exceptions (James 2:14-26). Godliness (εὐσέβεια; eusebeia) is the devout practice and appropriate beliefs of God. It is practical and practiced righteousness (Acts 3:12; 1 Tim. 2:2; 3:16; 4:7, 8; 6:3, 5, 6, 11; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus 1:1; 2 Peter 1:3, 6, 7; 3:11). It is a dominant doctrine in the Pastoral Epistles (I & 2 Timothy; Titus).

The Apostle Paul stated at the beginning of his letter to Titus that salvation by grace alone, through faith alone in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone resulted in godliness (Titus 1:1). Those who profess to know Christ, but who live biblically disobedient lives, deny their profession by their works. Paul stated that these individuals are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good work (Titus 1:16).

Godliness is a right attitude towards God resulting in right conduct; towards God and other individuals. It is right belief coupled with right action. However, the right action springs from right devotion (2 Tim. 3:5; 2 Peter 1:3) and not the opposite. “Godliness is the standard by which teaching is tested,” explains J. Clement Connell of London Bible College.

Godliness is synonymous with piety. Piety has become a pejorative or uncomplimentary word today. The perception is of excessive religion, self-righteousness, and/or a holier-than-thou attitude towards other people. E.g. Saturday Night Live’s Church Lady.

Biblical piety involves a fear or reverence of the LORD. It includes a conscientiousness regrading one’s duty to God and family.

“The sixteenth century Reformers, mot notably John Calvin, would be shocked to see how poorly piety (godliness) is regarded today. For Calvin, piety involves developing right attitudes to God. It flows out of theology and includes heartfelt worship, saving faith, filial fear, prayerful submission, and reverential love,” explains Dr. Joel Beeke.

“The whole life of Christians ought to be a sort of practice of godliness,” states John Calvin.

The godly individual is described in Psalm 1. It is a wisdom psalm that is an introduction for the rest of the psalter.

1” Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree
    planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
    and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
The wicked are not so,
    but are like chaff that the wind drives away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous;
for the Lord knows the way of the righteous,
    but the way of the wicked will perish.”

We will examine Titus 2:11-12 in our next blog. Until then, mediate upon the subject of godliness and the content of Psalm 1. Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Soli deo Gloria!

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