2 Timothy 3:5 “. . . holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.”
How would you rate your relationship with God? In our house we have a saying. Whenever we see someone doing something that looks outwardly religious, we say they are so “spiritual.” But the roll of the eyes and the tone of voice conveys the opposite. Though it has turned into a joke for us, it really is nothing to laugh about.
There are many today who think that certain actions or words illustrate their virtue or closeness with God. Unfortunately, if one is relying on only these outward things, they are deceiving themselves. 2 Timothy 3:5 tells us that in the last days there will be many who hold to a form of godliness that is false. Their actions and “spiritual” sounding words will mean nothing if they have denied the power that God gives to those who truly belong to Him.
True godliness will always result in attitudes and actions that emulate God Himself. It is a deep inner change that results in pure outward actions. Just because someone goes to church every week, carries the largest Bible available, and can speak with flowery religious words does not mean that her life belongs to God. If their belief is real, it will produce the kind of devotion towards God that expresses itself in loving others just as Christ does. It will not be a forced way of life, but will happen naturally as the Holy Spirit works in and through them.
The Bible makes it clear that the natural inclination of man is to be “lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, loves of pleasure rather than lovers of God (AND) holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.”
On the other hand, the fruit of the Spirit will mark those who are truly godly. When an individual comes to God humbly and confesses his sins, He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse from all unrighteousness. He fills this believer with His Holy Spirit Whose power will produce love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The old nature is gone and the new has come. These inner signs are the real test for genuine God-given “spirituality.”
So take a deep look into your own life. Are you trying to carry off a “spiritual” façade by holding to a form of godliness that denies God’s power? Is your inner life defined by the natural inclinations of the sinful human man? Are your right actions and words coming from a sense of duty only?
It is no laughing matter. Though some may be deceived by this false form of godliness, God will not be. Turn to God today with a heart of repentance and He will fill you with the truth of the true Spirit.