Our subject for us tonight is about ‘Our need of Godliness.’ Our key text is found in the book of 2 Peter 1:5-6. And it says: “and beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness.”
We remember the story about a man, that he was running away from home because of fear. Jacob, he was instructed by his mom, his mother, to go to stay with Laban, his uncle, and on his way there, he had a dream about a ladder. It stands on Earth, but the other side is to heaven. But on top of that ladder is the Lord. And on that ladder is angels going up and coming down. They ascending and descending on that ladder. And you know, we’ll find out what it means by that. Because when Jesus, when He was calling Nathaniel, He mentioned in John 1:51: “And he said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto you, here after ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
As we know, that ladder is Jesus Christ; connecting our sinful world to God because He came to save this world of sin. And we look here as we talking about the subject godliness, we find here in the book of Acts of the Apostles, page 530 it says: “faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience and godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity, are rounds of the ladder. We are saved by climbing round after round, mounting step after step to the height of Christ’s ideal for us.” Do you know that ladder that we need to climb, every round, and every step that we have, is all those points, all those strengths that is mentioned that we need to climb up right to the top to find Christ.But there is a the problem that we face in this world. There is counterfeit. As Jesus mentioned, there are people that they come in more like sheep but they are wolves inside. They have a cover up for them that they look like they are sheep, they are good people but they’re not.The Bible says in 2 TImothy 3:1-3: “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despises of those that are good. Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof from such turn away.”
You know there are people that say they have the form of godliness, but denying the power of God. But that power is important for us. That power that Jesus promised to His disciples that they have to stay in Jerusalem till they have the power from the Holy Spirit. And we look here in the book Early Writings p273 it says, “Since the second Angel proclaimed the fall of the churches they have been growing more and more corrupt. They bear the name of being Christ followers, yet it is impossible to distinguish them from the world. Ministers take their texts from the Word of God, but they preach smooth things. To these the natural heart feels no objection. It is only the spirit and power of the truth and the salvation of Christ that are hateful to the carnal heart. There is nothing in the popular ministry that stirs the wrath of Satan, makes the sinner tremble or applies to the heart and conscience, the fearful reality of a judgement soon to come. Wicked men are generally pleased with a form of piety without true godliness, and they will aid and support such a religion.”
Things that happen in our world that it seems like it’s true. It seems like people have that. That they are in control from God. But it says here there are people that are actually used by the devil that have that traits. Seems like it’s good, but it’s not. The power thereof is not there.
So is there a difference between believers and unbelievers?
We find here in Revelation 3:15-16, God says, “I know thy works that thou are neither cold nor hot, I would that thou were cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew the out of my mouth.” You know, God wants us to choose which one. We don’t want to stand in the middle. You know, when you are in a war between two sides and you’re standing in the middle, it’s a dangerous position for you to stand. When you’re there in the middle, you can be shoot by both sides because they don’t know which side that you belong to. And that’s why God says that you need to be cold, or hot.
Let’s have a look a little bit more inside that. Our High Calling p348, it says, “Halfhearted Christians are worse than infidels; for their deceptive words and noncommittal position lead many astray. The infidel shows his colors. The lukewarm Christian deceives both parties. He is neither a good worldling nor a good Christian.” So he’s not doing very well. In either side he’s half hearted, doing good and doing bad as well.
But what is the true Christian can do? What is a fervent believer can do?
We find here in Romans 12:9-14, we read, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you, bless and curse not.” That is a true Christian life. We need to shine Christ to the world. You know, we see the actual light from the moon. Its actually the light that originates from the sun and reflects back to us. Reflects back to the world. And we supposed to be like that, we should be like mirrors that we need to shine in the world and shine that light from God to the world.
Fundamentals of Christian Education, p214, it says, “in order to understand your condition, it is necessary to study the Bible and to watch unto prayer.” Let not those who are ignorant remain in ignorance. They cannot remain in ignorance and meet the mind of God. They are to look to the cross on Calvary and estimate the soul by the value of the offering they’re made. We need to actually look at the Bible, look at Christ and ask for help. You know, when you’re lost somewhere, you have no map. You have no reception on your phone. The only way for you is to ask someone. What happened if your scared to ask someone, you’re gonna stay roaming around, and even more lost because of that.
But we thank God, he gave us his Word, the Bible that we need to study, to watch and pray, as God says. He says here we have to acknowledge the Word of God not to be ignorant and that we just don’t care much about it, or hear the same Bible reread. I grew up reading the same Bible. No, we need to make sure that we understand the word of God. The example that we can look at for being godliness is the example from the disciples in the Apostolic time. we read in Acts 2:42-47: “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul. And many wonders and signs work were done by the apostles, and all that believed were together, and had all things in common. And so all the possessions and goods and parted them to all men as every man had need, and they continuing daily with one accord, in the temple, and breaking bread, from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart. praising God and having favor with all the people, and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.”
What’s happening in those times? They say that they came all together, they were sharing everything together. They have everything in common. If they had the love, some people, they come with that love. They all ended up having that love in their life. If they come here, as we learn through that, this weekend and this session about the greatest needs, we need to have righteousness and now we talk about godliness. How important is that in our life? We need to share that around and to make sure that we all have it. These gifts and these rounds or even this steps as it says here that we need to apply up to find Christ.
Testimonies for the Church volume 8 p.241: “They were tender, thoughtful, self-denying, willing to make any sacrifice for the truth’s sake. In their daily association with one another they revealed the love that Christ had commanded them to reveal. By unselfish words and deeds they strove to kindle this love in other hearts.
The believers were ever to cherish the love that filled the hearts of the apostles after the descent of the Holy Spirit. They were to go forward in willing obedience to the new commandment: “As I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” John 13:34. So closely were they to be united to Christ that they would be enabled to fulfill His requirements. The power of a Saviour who could justify them by His righteousness was to be magnified.” Isn’t that wonderful that we all have to come together? That is godliness. When we think that we all the same with everybody, not to think that someone else is higher than another.
But what is the plan of God for us today? Is there any plan for us?
Of course, there is. It says here in Revelation 3:18-20, we’re living in a time of laodiceans and the situations that we’re in.It says here that Christ counsels us and he says “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire. That thou mayest be rich and white raiment that thou mayest be clothed. And that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint thy eyes with eyesalve that thou mayest see. As many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.”
Would you want to open your heart to God? God says that you have to buy from Him. Those three important things: the gold that purified in the fire, the actual robe, and the eyesalve. We need faith that works with love. We need righteousness from Christ, and we need this Holy Spirit so that we can see where we going, and God will communicate with us through His Holy Spirit.
Our High Calling page 348: “love of self excludes the love of Christ. Those who live for self are ranged under the head of laodicean church, who are lukewarm, neither cold nor hot. The ardor of the first love has lapsed into a selfish egotism. So let us thank the Lord, that while this class is so numerous, there is still time for repentance.”
You know, the love that we have, in our life sometimes, that love is deceitful. But we need to have the love of God in our life that love. Agave love, we can do the best that we can for Christ. And that’s why he said in John 14:15 “If ye love me” what we need to do? keep His commandments.
And let’s see here.Let’s read in the book, The Great Controversy, p478. It says “It is only as the law of God is restored to its rightful position, that there can be a revival of primitive faith and godliness among his professed people.”
You know, when we put the law of God in its right position, then we can work on a revival, to have primitive faith and godliness. You know, we see the world is going everything upside down. The thing is that the last 30, 40, 50 years ago, people ignore it and they hate doing those things. And what happened now these days? They leaning toward to support those things instead supporting the word of God.
So what is the ideal of God? For each and every one of us? Ephesians 6:10. It says, “Finally my brethren be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” That we need to have the courage that we can go forward because God is with us.
Counsels to Parents, Teachers and Students p365 it says “God’s ideal for his children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. The living God has given in His holy law, a transcript of His character. The greatest teacher the world has ever known is Jesus Christ. And what is in the standard He had given for all who believe in Him? What is that standard? He said, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father, which is in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48. As God is perfect in his high sphere of action, So man may be perfect in his own sphere. The ideal of Christian character is Christ likeness.”
We need to make sure that we can accomplish that. But how can I do it? How can I manage that goal to be like Christ?
Matthew 7:13,14 he said, “Enter ye in at the straight gate for wide is the gate. And broad is the way that leadeth to destruction. And many there be which go in thereat because straight is the gate. And narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”Not everyone will do it. It’s narrow, and few people goes there as well.
John 15:4,5. Can we do it on our own? No, Jesus says here, “Abide in me and I in you As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself except it abide in the vine , No more can ye except ye abide in me. I am the vine and ye are the branches. He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: For without me, ye can do nothing.”
We know, not long ago before the actual summer that we had, we had a big drought, no water, and we see everything was dying. You know that water of life is Christ. We can’t even do without him. This no life without him.
Testimonies for the Church, volume eight, page 64. It said “God calls every man to repentance. Yet man cannot even repent unless the Holy Spirit works upon his heart. But the Lord wants no man to wait until he thinks he has repented before he takes steps towards Christ. The Savior is continually drawing men to repentance. They need only to submit to be drawn and their heart will be melted in penitence.”
You know a lot of times people say things, ‘Oh, well, I will resist the devil. And then I’ll submit to God.’ No, the book of James 4:17 says, “Submit yourself to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.” If you’re trying to flee from the devil trust me he will be following you everywhere. But the only way as he says here, they say some people they think ‘oh well, i give my life to God, but not now, I wait. I’m sure God has time for me.’ And you know what you keep delaying, delaying delaying your decision, until, it’s too late. And the actual weakness that you have connecting you to the world is getting very strong and stronger every day. And guess what? Before you know it, you’re giving up God completely. But you need to give your heart to Him. Review and Herald in March 20 1887 it said, “a revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and the most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.” Do you know a revival of true godliness among us as Christian should be a greatest, most urgent need that we have. To seek God, he says it should be the first priority that we have.
How can we win in this battle? Because the devil is very strong how can I win then?
We find here in Ephesians mentioning about the Christian armor that we need to put on. Which part of this armor is more important? Ephesians 6:11-13 it said, “Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand.” You need the whole armor. We need to girt our loins with the truth. We need to put on the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the shield of faith, and the actual word of God to be the sword that we can fight. And make sure that we can walk, put on the shoes of the gospel of peace. But you don’t go there and fight as the world fight. We don’t need to go there and trying to involve in participating in fighting who know more about the Bible than anybody else.
We find here in the Bible Commentary, volume 6. Its mentioned in here it says, “In the Word of God are represented two contending parties that influence and control human agencies in our world. Constantly these parties are working with every human being. Those who are under God’s control, and who are influenced by heavenly angels will be able to discern the Crafty working of the unseen powers of darkness. Those who decided to be in harmony with a heavenly agency should be intensely earnest to do God’s will, they must give no place whatever to Satan and his angels.” He know when you come, do you surrender yourself completely to God? No way for the devil to come to bother you at all. But what is the meaning of that breast plate of righteousness? Ephesians 6:14 mentioning there it says, “stand therefore having your loins girt about with truth and having on the breastplate of righteousness.”
But what does he mean by that?
We read here in the Youth Instructor September 12 1901, it says, “We must put on every piece of the armor and then stand firm. The Lord has honoured us by choosing us as his soldiers. Let us fight bravely for him maintaining the right in every transaction. Rectitude in all things is essential to the welfare of the soul. As you strive for the victory over your own inclination, He will help you by His Holy Spirit to be circumspect in every action, that you may give no occasion for the enemy to speak evil of the truth. Put on as your breastplate, that divinely protected righteousness, which is the privilege of all to wear. This will protect your spiritual life.” You know, the breastplate in time of those days that they were wearing the breast plate, is to cover your organs from being involved or injured during the war. Your heart, because that is the main purpose of your life, and we have that breastplate of righteousness, which is to cover us from all the darts and the fiery arrows of the devil, and He say it will protect our spiritual life here.
So what are other parts of our armor?
Ephesians 6:15,16: “And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the firey darts of the wicked.” Review and Herald November 11 1902: “Your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace,” you will be prepared to walk from house to house, carrying the truth to the people. Sometimes you will find it very trying to do work of this kind; but if you go forth in faith, the Lord will go before you, and his light will shine upon your pathway. As you enter the homes of your neighbors to sell or to give away our literature, and in humility to teach them the truth, you will be accompanied by the light of heaven. Learn to sing the simplest of songs. These will help you in house-to-house labor, and hearts will be touched by the influence of the Holy Spirit.” You know, having that, to put on those shoes, which means that we go from house to house, giving the Word of God and it advise here that you have to learn how to sing too. You don’t need to sing a very hard song but it says you have to learn to sing a simplest of song that you can sing a lot because everyone loves music.
So what is involved in our mission in this world?
Acts 1:8: “But ye shall receive power. After that the Holy Ghost is come upon you and ye shall be witnesses of Me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the most part, of the earth.”
What does he mean by that? It says here that Christ says that you have to remain in Jerusalem till you actually have the Holy Spirit. And after that He said, “You will be a witness unto me, both in Jerusalem and in Judea” people right next to you. And then after that, Samaria people a little bit further from you, and unto the utmost part of the earth. You can start from your neighborhood. Evangelism page 219 it says, “Living power must attend the message of Christ’s second appearing. We must not rest until we see many souls converted to the blessed hope of the Lord’s return. In the days of the apostles the message that they bore wrought a real work, turning souls from idols to serve the living God. The work to be done today is just as real, and the truth is just as much truth; only we are to give the message with as much more earnestness as the coming of the Lord is nearer. The message for this time is positive, simple, and of the deepest importance. We must act like men and women who believe it. Waiting, watching, working, praying, warning the world–this is our work.” We don’t spare time to winching and talking about the problems of others and think that we know everything in the world.
There are two main important things that we can consider in order for us to win. Ephesians 6:18, apostle Paul saying: “praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit and watching thereunto with all persevering and supplication of all saints.” Watch and pray is what Jesus says. Adventist Home, page 96. “Men and women may reach a high standard, if they will but acknowledge Christ as their personal Saviour. Watch and pray, making a surrender of all to God. The knowledge that you are striving for eternal life will strengthen and comfort you both. In thought, in word, in action, you are to be lights in the world. Discipline yourselves in the Lord; for He has committed to you sacred trusts, which you cannot properly fulfill without this discipline. By believing in Jesus, you are not only to save your own souls, but by precept and example you are to seek to save other souls.”
You know, surrendering yourself to God is not only you’re helping yourself, but helping others as well. To live godly is what God wants us to have. Here in Great Controversy, it says “before the final revisitation of God’s judgment upon the earth, there will be such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witness since apostolic time.”
You know, there is something that is gonna happen before that final visitation of God’s judgment upon this earth. It says among His people, there will be a revival of primitive godliness, as has not been witnessed in time of the apostles.
Brothers and sisters, do you want to be in it? Do you want to be involved in that revival? To be involved in that life to be like Christ? Godliness is something that we need. It’s another step that we need to step up to find Christ.
My wish and prayer, that the Lord will be with you and be with me. So that we can all have that same thought and same aim and the goal. That I want to be with Jesus for eternity is what we should pray, in Jesus name, Amen. Let us close with a word of prayer.