Sunday Morning SoundBytes 6/10/2007

Doing Church Together | Lou Kochanek

Yesterday’s message was the eighth in the Doing Church Together series from the book of 1 Timothy. The message was called, Practicing Godliness in God’s House, taken from 1 Timothy 3:14-4:10.

1 Timothy 3:14-4:10 14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
1 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance 10 (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, and especially of those who believe. (NIV)

The main idea of the message was that if we belong to God’s house, we should practice godliness. Here is a brief recap of the message:

Every house has its rules. In the same way, God has his “house rules.” One of the reasons Paul wrote 1 Timothy was because he wanted Timothy to know how people should conduct themselves in God’s household. He was passing on God’s house rules for the church. And although the whole letter contains instructions for doing church together, Paul points to one of God’s most important house rules here with the one word, “godliness.

We often define godliness as “God-likeness,” that is, acting like God. The word here simply means showing reverence and respect to God in the way you live your life. How should God’s people conduct themselves in God’s house? They should practice godliness. They should live in conscious reverence and respect for God at all times. God’s people should practice godliness in God’s house.

1) Godliness is rooted and revealed in Jesus Christ (3:16)

The hymn in verse 16 shows the mystery of godliness revealed in the person and work of Jesus Christ. Do you want to know how to live in God’s house? Look at Jesus! That’s what godliness looks like. Do you want to live a godly life that brings honor to God? Follow Jesus! Only Jesus lived a perfect life of godliness, and we can only live a godly life through Jesus living in us. Godliness is rooted and revealed in Jesus Christ.

2) Godliness applies to all areas of life (4:1-5)

Everything God created is good! Nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. All of life matters, and all of life should be lived to God’s glory. Don’t make the mistake of breaking life into categories of things that have to do with God and things don’t. Everything has to do with God, or, even better, God has to do with everything. Your whole life should be lived in conscious reverence and respect towards God with thanksgiving, consecrated to him by the word of God and prayer.

3) Godliness has value for this life and the life to come (4:6-10)

If you want to get in good physical shape, or if you are training for an event, it is going to take discipline, effort and sacrifice. Guess what? If you want to be godly, it will also take discipline, effort and sacrifice. Godliness is not automatic. It takes discipline and sacrifice, but it is worth it! Physical training has value for this life only. But godliness has value for all things – both for this life and the life to come.

You can never grow in godliness in your own strength. You must trust God to help you and ask God’s Holy Spirit to change you day by day. God’s house rules are simple to remember but impossible to follow in our own strength. So let us turn to Jesus to help us practice godliness in God’s house, and then apply it to every area of our life.

Note: To read the complete message, go to the Sermons tab at the top of the blog.

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