For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age

Titus 2:11-12 NKJV

Where are you?

On Father’s Day, many people like to mockingly ask, “where have all the good dads gone? Where are all the good men hiding?” That is not one of these sermons. I’m not the kind of preacher that lines up those Mother’s Day/Father’s Day sermons. There was something that happened this week that drew my attention, and I feel that we must address what happened this week.

Godliness, I feel, is under attack. There are no other words to describe what has been playing out recently in the news. I hate to bring politics into a sermon, but there we cannot ignore, that the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, used scripture to support the inhumane actions being taken at the border with the separation of children from parents. Jeff Sessions said that scripture, specifically Romans 13, supported the actions because we must enforce laws, but he also failed to mentioned that Romans 13 speaks of loving your neighbor.

Godliness is under attack. Scripture, sound doctrine, is under attack. We should not be using doctrine as a tool, a weapon, to support cruelty and hate! Scripture, in both the present and the past, has been used to support mankind’s wicked ways. This is truly a shame because scripture is solely a doctrine on living a godly life! Yet, the way of Christ is also under attack in this present age. The mere idea of someone trying to pursue godliness is mocked.

If you don’t believe that godliness is under attack, I will point again to the kind of world in which we live in. Have you noticed that it seems the ungodly way is now being more appreciated, more praised, and more accepted? Let’s first take a look at our walk (our actions). We live in a world where it seems to be acceptable to be more greedy than not and more selfish than unselfish! We live in a world where we don’t look to be kind or helpful to those who are in need. Maybe you see things through different lenses than I, but this is how it seems the world is working. When I say the world, I should probably say the society I live in.

Our walk (our actions), in my opinion, is out of step. Our talk, the things we say, is also all over the place and far from being godly. We live in a world where it seems to be acceptable to no longer be polite. In fact, there’s this other term that people like to use for being polite – they call it being “politically correct”. I was raised with the rule of, “if you don’t have anything polite/nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” However, the very idea of being polite is mocked and ridiculed! No, what is accepted in this present age, it seems, is bigotry and hate speech. Don’t believe me? Turn on the news and watch.

Whatever godliness is in the world today is under assault, and is being pummeled, bombarded, and beat out of the world. One of the greatest shames in our society is how deep down the well we have fallen when it comes to simply doing good, kind, and right things when it comes to others. The godliness that had began to be built up in this present age, under Christ, is now starting to erode away under worldly values. Godliness is starting to crumble and those who are godly are starting to hide. What should we do with our godliness? Show we run and hide; keep it to ourselves? Or should we continue to pursue godliness and let our godliness shine?

Our godliness must persevere

In this present age, regardless of our society, we must continue to keep the course of pursuing godliness. I want to make this point very clear. Regardless of what society says is “right”, we must continue to stand steadfastly in our faith and pursue godliness. Our dictionaries will define godliness as the quality of being devoutly religious. I feel that we as believers of Christ, ought to be able to define what godliness is to all of us. What does being a godly person, or godliness, mean to you? To me, godliness is the pursuit of living and being holy and righteous – Christ-like. The manner in which a believer ought to live is one that consists of diligently striving to live in a Christ-like manner.

To do so, Paul wrote (Titus 2:12) that we should deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. I want to take a closer look at what ungodliness and worldly lusts is according to scripture (sound doctrine). Paul, in the first letter he wrote to Timothy, talked about ungodly people and so we will pull a definition for ungodliness from there. Let’s take a look at this passage of scripture from 1 Timothy 6:3-5.

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness

1 Timothy 6:3 NKJV

Paul clearly states that doctrine (scripture) is in accordance (agreement) with godliness. Some believe scripture to be fables or myths, a book filled giants and magical beings, when we know that scripture comes from the inspiration of the Lord through eyewitness reports (2 Peter 1:16).

he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,

1 Timothy 6:4 NKJV

Paul now begins to speak of the ungodly person. Notice that the ungodly person is obsessed (infatuated) with disputes and arguments, creating envy, strife, and evil suspicions. In other words, the ungodly person that Paul is speaking of is the type of person that likes to keep up a whole bunch of mess for no other reason than the fact that they love living with a bunch of mess. There are many people who operate like this in our present age! In our very own country, it seems like there is not a day that goes by that someone is stirring up a whole bunch of strife and contentions.

useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

1 Timothy 6:5 NKJV

Notice that this ungodly person that Paul speaks of leads to the corrupting of minds (souls). The ungodly person that Paul speaks of in this passage, supposes that godliness is a means of gain (profit). There are many ungodly people today who are using godliness for their gain. From such, Paul gives us direct advice when he tells us, “withdraw yourself”.

We cannot blossom into the godly creature that the Lord intends for us to be if we continue to hang around ungodly (corrupt) people! Pay very close attention to this. We have to learn how to remove ourselves from people who carry around a negative spirit. We have to also learn how to remove ourselves from people who carry around corrupt and destructive spirits. The godly cannot mix with the ungodly because the ungodly have the type of spirit that pollutes the air around them! It is a toxic spirit that can corrupt your spirit and turn you into a person that you never wished you would become!

What we see happening in our society, currently, is the corrupting of good souls. Why? Because people rather continue to hang around ungodliness instead of accepting what their soul is trying to warn them about someone! Listen here, and I am going to be frank about this: when your soul shows you something about a person – you better take heed to your soul! There are many people who need to start heeding the advice of their soul before it is too late.

We must continue to chase after, to strive, for godliness regardless of what the world, our friends, or even our family may be telling us is “right”. I spoke about this idea of what is “right” in a sermon that I preached recently. “What is right” is simply subjective when it comes to what we believe is right. However, what the Lord tells us is right is not subjective because there is nobody that can argue the Lord on right from wrong. If we want to live a godly life, we must live according to the ways that the Lord has set before us.

Paul says (v.12) that we should live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age”. I believe this to be a simple math problem that the apostle put together for us. In other words, he’s saying, if you live soberly and (plus) righteously, you will live godly in this present age. Paul used the word godly to sum up all the ways which we must follow if we want to live a Christ-like life. Every man, woman, boy, and girl has the choice to choose how he or she wants to live in this present age (the Church age). We can choose to either live a godly life or an ungodly life. If you choose to live an ungodly life, I tell you that you ought to live this life to the fullest – do all of what you want to do – because this is the only life you will get. The life after this life, the eternal one, is not a fun thing for those who choose to live a life of ungodliness. You can read this Bible study that I did on afterlife if you are interested in what happens after this life we live.

Godly living

If you choose to live a godly life, I want you to know that Paul is not telling you to live as if you are a god yourself! Paul does not tell the believer that they should live as lords and masters over anybody. In fact, if we live a Christ-like life, the opposite actually applies to believers as we are to live meek (lowly and humble) lives (Matthew 11:29). So, Paul says that we should first look to live soberly.

By living soberly, we will instantly think that Paul is saying we should live an alcohol-free life, right? Let’s try to understand what Paul means by living soberly instead of quickly rushing to judgment. Our idea of the term sober will actually help us really understand what Paul means here. All of us would say that a drunken state is the opposite of sober, so let’s ride with that for a moment. In a drunken state, how would you consider one’s self-control to be? Do you believe people have great self-control in a drunken state? We typically can tell when someone is drunk by whether or not they have control over what they are doing or what they saying. Typically, speech slurs when somebody is drunk and not only does the speech slur but many find it hard to walk straight without tripping over their own two feet.

However, when we compare someone who is in a drunken state with someone who is sober, the difference is plain as day, right? The sober person is in full control over what they do and what they say. The sober person does not find it hard to walk in a straight line, and unless they talk funny by default, they don’t slur their speech. So if we take what we know in that comparison, we can understand the idea of living soberly a bit better. What Paul is really saying here is that we should live a life of being upright in our walk, talk, and in self-control. A godly person should be seen and known as a person who is upright in their walk of life!

The only way that someone can be upright in their ways is if they are following in the way of Christ. So Paul says that we should, therefore, live righteously. The only way that we can live righteously is by keeping and following the way of the Lord. We cannot be a righteous person by following and keeping to our own way! The only type of righteousness you have when you keep and follow your own way is self-righteousness. Self-righteousness does nobody any good in this present age, especially not the person that inhibits self-righteousness. Self-righteousness leads to becoming an over-righteous zealot which is what we should not become. The Pharisees were self-righteous, over righteous zealots who could not see the Lord standing before them. There are so many people who are self-righteous and are missing all of what’s before them because they won’t move out of their own way.

However, if you choose to live soberly and righteously, I tell you that you are on the right course for living a life of godliness and becoming a godly person. Do not say that you will “try” to do this; there are many people who say they’re going to “try” something but never end up doing. No, do not say that you will “try” to live a godly life – do it! God’s love appeared before us and taught us the way of living a godly life and so we should follow. We must commit to doing this, living as a godly person, even in this present age – boy can this age ever use more godly people. If you are a godly person, I ask you to continue in the way of godliness and sharing the love of the Lord with others.


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