"In today’s reading in 1 Timothy chapter 3 verses 1 to 16 Paul outlines the key characteristics God requires of leaders in his church. A leader must be faithful to his wife and have a well behaved family that respect and obey him. Leaders must be self controlled, temperate, able to teach and hospitable. Finally, leaders must have a good reputation." (New Zealand's Rhema Radio)
Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory. (1 Timothy 3:16)Most of the translations of the bible use the word "godliness" in this verse. Some others use the words "piety", "faith", or "religion". Given the varied English words used, the original Greek word must have been a tough word to understand and translate into English. It is helpful to look at the meaning of the original word to more fully understand the meaning of this word godliness. Godliness is not an everyday word and perhaps a little vague, strange, or misunderstood in today's culture. The root words of the original Greek word used here have a meaning of "well" and "to be devout". The classic reference book Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says the word Godliness "denotes that piety which, characterized by a Godward attitude, does that which is well-pleasing to Him." Piety means devotion and reverence to God. William Barclay says that the word in Greek means, "a consciousness of what is due both God and man" or as Ray Steadman puts it "living in such a way that you are aware of what life requires of you." In the root and makeup of this word in Greek that has been translated 'godliness' there is a sense of wellness and wholeness. Completeness.
Ray Steadman gave a message where he said godliness "means balanced wholeness -- spirit, soul and body being kept in good health."
He went on to say the following about godliness.
... a renewed mind that views life the way God sees it because that is the way life really is; emotions that are brought under control so that they do not keep you off balance all the time, so subject to moods that no one knows whether you are going to be in a good or a bad mood: and, above all, a spirit that is in touch with the living God, that is not merely living for the visible things of life, but sees a relationship with God himself as the most important factor in life. That is godliness, balanced wholeness."In another of his messages Ray Steadman pointed out one of humankind's deepest longings.
Every human being in this world wants to be a whole person, wants to "get it all together," we say. We want to find all the elements possible within ourselves and put them together so they function properly, and we become whole persons. The secret of wholeness -- that is what Paul is talking about: "Great indeed is the revelation of the secret of wholeness."Simply put, Christ is the missing piece in life, he is the key to wholeness, to living a balanced and complete life, focused on God.
I am working through the E100 Bible Reading Challenge again. You can learn more about my journey and read the other posts completed so far at this link. I encourage you to stop back soon to read another passage.
Please share your own thoughts on this passage in the comment section below or on the Facebook page.