The Pure Kind of Godliness

The Pure Kind of Godliness

As if there were an impure form, right? Well, Paul explains in 1 Timothy 6 that there were and are people who live like this other form of godliness exists.

3If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6Now there is great gain in godliness with contentment.” (1 Timothy 6:3-6)

Heresy seems to always be birthed out of pride. It’s interesting that many of the modern biblical scholars-turned-skeptics of our day and of the 19th and 20th centuries were some of the godliest men you could find. But somewhere along the way, pride crept in and they began teaching a different doctrine that did not agree with the sound words of Jesus and the teaching of godliness. Maybe it was for financial gain so that they could have the newest liberal spin to pitch to a book publisher. Who knows? But somewhere along the way, godliness for them, was simply a means to gain. Not the gain itself.

To be clear, Paul says that godliness is a means to great gain … when it is accompanied with contentment. It’s dependent upon contentment. It’s godliness in gospel terms. It’s a resting in who Christ is and what He has accomplished on the cross. It’s a not a godliness rooted in self-love; that’s the impure kind, which in reality is not godliness at all. And that’s Paul’s whole point. Because genuine godliness is rooted in self-abasement and self-sacrifice. That’s what the cross is all about. It’s a contentment we find when we really don’t care to know how often our name is googled. Or how many people are privy to our accomplishments. Or how much money we might make by bearing his name.

No, it’s a contentment in Christ alone, for Christ alone, to Christ alone. May God help us to desire godliness in its purest form.