Godliness Prt. 1

#18 January 25,2022
In my studies I have found the Psalms of David to be a good morning devotional. They help me focus on God and my place beside Him in the day ahead. I also recognize a parallel between David's search for God and my own. It is just recently that I finally started reading the intro offered at the beginning of each Psalm and I noticed his/my/our search for God was being given a reoccurring one-word commonality. In advertising they call this a hook. In short it is a single phrase or sentence that describes the product's primary benefit. Sometimes the hook is a title, and sometimes it’s a short tagline. Regardless, it conveys the reason someone would want what you’re offering.

Psalms 101:1-5
Intro: David maketh a profession of godliness. (A Psalm of David.)

101:1 I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.

101:2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. Oh when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes; I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.

101:4 A froward heart shall depart from me; I will not know a wicked person.
101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off; him that hath a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

Psalms 112
Godliness hath the promises of this life, and of the life to come.
112:1 Praise ye the Lord, Blessed is the man who feareth the Lord, and delighteth greatly in his commandments.
112:2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
112:3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house; and his righteousness endureth forever.
112:4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness; he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.
112:5 A good man showeth favor, and lendeth; he will guide his affairs with discretion.
112:6 Surely he shall not be moved forever; the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.
112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.
112:8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid, until he see judgment executed upon his enemies.
112:9 He hath dispersed, he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor.
112:10 The wicked shall see it, and be grieved; he shall gnash with his teeth, and melt away; the desire of the wicked shall perish.

In the underlined intro to each of these Psalms is the hook, godliness. The word itself interested me so I sought it out in other scriptures. In my search I found Paul in his first letter to Timothy using this same word describe the ministry of Christ. It seemed as if Paul like David and myself felt that the path of godliness was the way to God.

1 Timothy 6:1-6 
6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed
6:2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.
6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  

The word godliness seems to describe both the nature and intent of Christ's ministry.

6:4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,
6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness; from such withdraw thyself. 

Expressed here is the idea that godliness as a virtue is at best misunderstood, and at worst under attack by the adversary, who attempts to hide this truth from us. 

6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Again describing the knowledge of the nature and intent within Christ's ministry. Apparently, Christ considers godliness of great importance to those seeking God. 

As I read and studied scripture concerning this virtue I became convinced that the path to God is in great part, the knowledge of godliness. The more I read the more I understand why Paul described Christ ministry of the Kingdom as godliness. After reading all that I have, this overwhelming word describes to me justice and mercy. It tells of patience, humility, charity, and diligence. It describes design, order, organization, and oneness of purpose. These attitudes testify of the true nature of God, the purpose of God, and what the people of God seek to attain and share with the world. Let us share together in the word godliness. 

2 Peter 1:2-4
2:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,
2:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue;
2:4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises; that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Moroni 10:29 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ; and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in no wise deny the power of God.

     Godliness, Ungodliness, and Jesus the Christ

Psalms 14:1-3
14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no man that hath seen God. Because he showeth himself not unto us, therefore there is no God. Behold, they are corrupt; they have done abominable works, and none of them doeth good.
14:2 For the Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, and by his voice said unto his servant, Seek ye among the children of men, to see if there are any that do understand God. And he opened his mouth unto the Lord, and said, Behold, all these who say they are thine.
14:3 The Lord answered, and said, They are all gone aside, they are together become filthy, thou canst behold none of them that are doing good, no, not one.

This passage presents us with a problem that plagued the world for literally thousands of years. From the time of Adam to the time of Noah, the Gospel of repentance was brought to the world by first person testimony. Those who brought it either knew God or knew Adam and Eve, who had known God face to face. They knew the temporal face of godliness. With the flood of Noah's time the first person testimony of temporal godliness was lost to history and or legend. Humanity had to rely on hearsay. The temporal godliness we sought had no temporal face. Lacking that temporal example man had to develop a virtual representation of who God was in relationship to His children, but we didn't do a very good job of it.  

Mankind wanted disparately a deity to worship and revere. They wanted a temporal example that reflected all that man might be, but that temporal image had been lost to the ages. The only thing left for humanity was to build in their hearts a deity based on the very best attributes of humanity, but we lost our way. We lived in a world where the strong rule and the weak suffer. We wanted our gods to reflect the ability to take what they wanted, overwhelm any and all that opposed them, and live filled with all the joy that this temporal world has to offer. Look to other gods of those times and you will see gods of lust, treachery, and lies. You will see man-like attributes worshiped and counted as godliness. Some recognized the faults of mankind as unworthy of worship. They instead worshiped the elements such as earth, wind, and fire or any and all of the aspects of the human condition like birth, death, love, or hate. Humanity so needed a temporal representation of godliness that they built idols and worshiped them as if there were life within the stone and wood they used. 

Even the Hebrew nation who had been touched directly by God's Spirit and brought out of slavery in Egypt, failed to understand the very godliness of God. Based on the destruction of the flood of Noah's time and the testimony of the overwhelming power God used to bring His children Israel out of Egypt, God to them was an omnipotent being inspired to bring pain and destruction on all who opposed Him. Godliness to them was judgment and the ability to bring death. Humanity saw no way to make this overbearing judgmental God happy. They chose instead to perform sacrificial acts both personal and public that would honor and appease a God they saw no way to love. Godly obedience became strict traditions. Rituals replaced loving service. Righteous became mechanical repetition. In ignorance and desperation, they chose to fear a God who sought their love.

Psalms 1:6 For the Lord knoweth the way of the righteous; but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

Then God brought Christ into the world and godliness took on human form. The world was blessed to know a person righteous in all things. Christ was learned, wise, and powerful. He brought to the world a representation of God that was loving, forgiving, and charitable. Even the world outside of a belief in His divinity recognized Christ as a giving, loving teacher of virtue. To top it all off, we were given written first person accounts of Christ, the life He lives, and the way He lives it. We were given the chance see the truth of godliness. We finally had a way to truly know God. 

John 14:6-7 
14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
14:7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also; and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.

Understand fully what was given to us in the day we come to know Christ. Not only is godliness given a face, ungodliness itself is changed forever. Fear and doubt are no longer the primary tools of righteousness. Even though they call out to our ignorance and point us to God in a way we can understand, fear and doubt do not represent the fullness of truth. When we covenant with God we seek for fear and doubt to give way to love, humility, and patience. Through repentance and the gift of the Holy Ghost we learn to see fear and doubt as attitudes that separate us from God. In the hands of the adversary fear and doubt become a way to destroy God, the ways of God, and the Kingdom of God in the heart of man. Through Christ, God seeks to undo the damage done by our inability to grasp His full nature. He brought us the truth of godliness in the form of our savior, Jesus Christ. 

DC 6:16a-16c 
6:16a Therefore fear not, little flock, do good, let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my Rock, they can not prevail.
6:16b Behold, I do not condemn you, go your ways and sin no more: perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you; look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not:
6:16c behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful; keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

If we are to ever understand the true nature of our Heavenly Father and attempt to become more like Him, we must take on this most important attribute of godliness. It seems as if Christ's whole ministry could be described by this all-important trait. I want us to grasp each aspect of this virtue so completely that we have the ability to share it with others. I don't want godliness to govern our lives. I want it to direct our hearts in such a way that we become godly. I want godliness to be the foundation on which our testimony of God at work in our lives is built. I want our actions to speak of God. More than that, I want us to be able to react to the world around in ways that shine with the truth of God and the love He offers all His children. I want each of us to be so filled with godliness that we offer the world that temporal representation of God they so need. Further I want them to realize that they can aspire to this same attribute. 

That being said, I see no way that all of the necessary facets of godliness can be offered in one setting. I want us to gain slowly, ponder deeply, and allow the Spirit to show us how each aspect can be integrated into our daily lives. Today we learned that we are not the first to recognize godliness as very necessary to our growth in God. King David knew it. Christ knows it. Moroni realized it, and all three taught it. In our effort we are in good company. We also learned that ultimately, Christ is the temporal standard for godliness we must strive for. Ponder what we have been given and allow the Spirit to prepare your hearts for the lessons we will be offered in subsequent blogs. 

Praise God for all the blessings we have been given today.
Praise Him more for those yet to come.



  1. Jan mccully says:

    Fred, so appreciate your study and thoughtfulness in making me ponder and study more . Thank you Jan Mc

    1. Fred says:

      Thank you for responding. Miss you girl.

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