Godliness is NOT the “gateway to greatness” but the birthright of every true believer in JESUS CHRIST – THE RISEN ONE.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth”.
Ephesians 1:3-10 ESV
Godliness is our divine inheritance through JESUS CHRIST. Godliness is NOT by works alone nor by good deeds. It is the natural ‘supernatural-nature’ of every true partaker of the redemptive power in the blood of Jesus.
Before I go further, I want to stress the important role THE LOVE OF JESUS CHRIST plays here. It’s crucial that we understand this so we can fully understand why Godliness is a nature we must all consciously nurture everyday! As someone who was fully drenched in sin, I never truly imagined that GOD could love someone like me.
I mean, I was far from knowing Christ, suicidal at age 14, joined a cult at age 16 and I can go on and on about how unworthy I felt I was of GOD’s love, but guess what?JESUS showed me mercy! So much so that I began to find interest in His teachings and ministry-life.
Truth is, there is absolutely nothing that can separate us from GOD’s love! And no matter how many times we may fall short or feel like we’re unworthy or have let Jesus down, DON’T GIVE UP HOPE IN CHRIST JESUS! DON’T!!!
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.”
Romans 5:6 ESV
It took me so many years to understand that Jesus had already paid the price for my sins. He loved me knowing I was far from perfect and because of this, He made himself my perfection. I used to be so scared to look into the mirror in my early adolescent life. I literally avoided lighted rooms, mirrors and anyone who reminded me I needed help.
Every time I did get a glance at myself in the mirror, all I saw was the pain, anguish, shame, despair, anger, hate, darkness; and all sorts of depressing thoughts came gushing in like an overflowing volcano. Who could love a wretch like me I always said to myself? Well, turns out JESUS DID! He loved me so much so that He gave up His life just so I could have a new life.
Have you ever been in a situation or relationship and thought to yourself that love isn’t perfect and that you might never ever find true love? If you have, then I’m here to tell you this; JESUS IS TRUE-LOVE PERSONIFIED!
“For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”.
Colossians 3:3 ESV
In times past, Godliness always seemed an impossibility for me. And because of that, I steered clear and stayed far-far away from GOD, and from the things of GOD. In fact, I became my own worst nightmare – an unrepentant sinner, accepting that heaven wasn’t meant for me. And oh my LORD, the songs I listened to back then didn’t even help matters at all! But let me not digress too much!
In fact, I became my own worst nightmare – an unrepentant sinner, accepting that heaven wasn’t meant for me. And oh my LORD, the songs I listened to back then didn’t even help matters at all! But let me not digress too much!
I was comfortable knowing I was condemned and that was really dangerous. My drug addiction and wrong choice of friends and relationships hindered me from finding the true “unshadowable” Light of Christ even when I did try to.
Many young people don’t make it out of this damning mindset, they really don’t! But Jesus being GOD, stretched forth His mighty hands and brought me out of Satan’s grasp. GLORY TO GOD!!! The day I realised that Jesus was always looking out for me and that His plans for my life were of good and NOT of punishment, was the day my story changed for the better forever! I felt so ashamed of myself. I cried in the company of my loneliness, not knowing where to begin; not knowing how to beg for His forgiveness. But the Love of GOD wipes away all shame, all hurt and removes every form of guilt from past sin. Yes, I felt great remorse, but I felt free within… I felt PEACE. For the first time in my life, I felt PEACE!
I realised that Jesus had already made special arrangements for me in His glorious kingdom and all I needed to do was to say “YES LORD, I RECEIVE YOU!”And even though I made a lot of mistakes along the way, and still do most of the time, knowing the gravity of GOD’s love for me and knowing that He has set me free, gives me the courage to say; “you know what? I’m going to prioritise Jesus in my life and make a conscious effort every day to walk in the newness of His Glorious Majesty.” And that’s where the journey of Godliness begins my dear Friends!
Godliness is NOT a criteria for salvation! It is the inherent nature of the INDWELLING SPIRIT within us after receiving SALVATION. Apostle Paul writing to the church of Ephesus put it this way;
In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory”.
Ephesians 1:11-14 ESV
SO HOW THEN CAN ONE TRULY BE GODLY?
Godliness is obedience unto the word of GOD in our walk-in JESUS CHRIST. It is a life-long process of sanctification through the dedicated study of the Word of GOD.
The book of Psalms 119 puts it delicately;
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes! With my lips, I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies, I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word”.
Psalms 119:9-16 ESV
I say all that to say this;
We are the righteousness of GOD. Not by works nor by merit, but because we house The Spirit and Glory of GOD. Just like Mount Horeb was declared HOLY not because it had the capacity to be, but simply because the Voice Of GOD thundered forth from it, we too have been declared HOLY because we are literally vessels of THE HOLY SPIRIT. Oh, what a privilege and honour. What a gift of Grace!
In renewing ourselves daily in GOD’s word and practising all that we learn in Him, we keep the ‘temple of The LORD’ clean and in so doing, we walk in pace with The Spirit of GOD; we walk in METRONOME – not too far ahead nor lagging behind, but in-tune and at pace always with The Spirit of The ALMIGHTY.
Godliness is the process of walking in the newness of Jesus Christ in Our lives everyday.
When we received salvation, we did NOT give our lives (our “dead-in-sin nature) to Jesus, NO! Rather, we received the life of Christ and by so doing, we received newness of spirit. The preservation of this “newness of spirit” is the process of Godliness every believer must undertake daily in order to GROW & Mature in Christ.
A friend explained it to me this way;
“When a seed (the word of GOD) is planted, it is watered (by THE HOLY SPIRIT). It receives sunlight which nourishes it and gives it strength to sprout forth. It is tendered to until it blossoms & begins to bear fruit (See Galatians 5:22-23 for the fruits of the spirit). However, such a seed must be cultivated in that it must be watched over and kept clean so that ‘weeds’ do not sprout forth, choking up this now blossomly fruit-bearing tree.”
Here are a few steps to preserving one’s God-like nature:
1.) Fellowship with the right brethren:- This cannot be overemphasised! Not all Christians today are true believers accurately dividing the word of GOD.
Find a church where spiritual growth through the accurate teaching of GOD’s Word is evident and where emphasis on praying fervently always in-tongues and in your understanding is a priority.
NOTE THAT: The gift of speaking in tongues is a powerful tool many Christians sadly do not utilize to the best of their GOD given abilities. Speaking in tongues edifies our spirit-man and stirs up THE HOLY SPIRIT within us. And when The Spirit is stirred up, there is healing, there is revelation, there is POWER made available for the edification of the brethren, there is clear-cut direction for the believer and most importantly, there is peace regardless of life’s blistering storms.
Imagine having electricity in your house but forgetting to turn on the switch, or having a car with a full tank but not knowing how to drive… If you have a gift and fail to use it – exercise it regularly, it will lay dormant until it becomes inoperative. Likewise The Spirit of GOD indwelling within us; if we do not consciously stir it up through praying in-tongues fervently and in our own understandings, will just be there staring at us having not been stirred up to operate in the fullness of its full functionalities. Try making Jollof rice and putting all the nice ingredients in it but then forget to ‘stir-the-pot’, my FRIEND, by the time you take out of it to serve (without stirring), it won’t taste the same as when you’ve properly turned every inch of that pot until your special Jollof sauce soaks into every grain of rice. Stirring up THE SPIRIT daily plays a vital role in our walk with Christ Jesus. It is essential for every believer to consciously awaken The Spirit within us to walk in the newness of Christ daily.
2.) Study The word every day!:- This is vital in renewing our minds & Spirit daily. Asides from fellowship in a local church where the Word of GOD is accurately taught, we must cultivate the habit of the extensive study of GOD’s Word daily so that we might grow truly in the knowledge of Christ our LORD. Spiritual growth is essential to the preservation of our GOD-like nature. Learn to create time every day for word-study. Nothing should be more important than your personal devotion time with Christ. It is of utmost importance that we grow every day in the rejuvenating knowledge of Jesus Christ. Nothing should be of more priority daily than this!
Godliness is the process of continual conscious sanctification by which all believers must partake in, to preserve this precious gift of Salvation that has been graced to us by Our Heavenly Father through the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ Our LORD and SAVIOR. Godliness is a characteristic nature of the indwelling Spirit living forever within us – for we have been marked and sealed by THE HOLY GHOST as promised by He who died so we all could live eternally always! Godliness is NOT by works nor by deeds but by the workings of THE HOLY SPIRIT within us in practical-practice of our supernatural nature of righteousness through studying GOD’s word accurately and daily, through praying fervently always in The Spirit and in our understanding, and by fellowshipping with fellow believers – learning and teaching one another the principles and precepts of STAYING THE FAITH.
Iron sharpens iron, but Spirit edifies Spirit!
“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful”.
Colossians 3:5-15 ESV
- Aniré Okene