Grace & Truth Chapel
131 Fardale Avenue ~ Mahwah, New Jersey

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"Exercises for Godliness" (posted March 15, 2024)

   Exercise yourself toward godliness. For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.
   - 1 Timothy 4:7-8

In 1 Timothy 4:7-10, Paul sounds out the praises of godliness. It has promise of the life that now is as well as of that which is to come, and hence is profitable to all things. This is declared to be a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, as much as is the saying that "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." The godly man trusts in the living God (as verse 10 indicates) and thereby brings Him into everything, even the smallest details of his life.

Now this is a thing in which we are to exercise ourselves. Bodily exercise profits for a little while; the spiritual exercise which results in godliness abides in its healthful effects for eternity. The young people who wish to be in first-rate physical trim willingly submit to a whole round of exercises.

The apostle urges us to be at least as much in earnest in our spiritual exercises as they are in their physical. Let us exercise ourselves to godliness.

Does anyone ask how this may be done? Read the rest of 1 Timothy 4! Having exhorted Timothy to godliness, the apostle indicates how it may be promoted. "Give attendance," he says, "to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine." Till Paul came, Timothy was to give himself to the public reading of the inspired writings with the exhortation and teaching which would flow from this.

But then how should he publicly read and discourse upon what he had not first privately read and studied for himself? The greater includes the less. Many of us may not be called to the public reading of God's Word, but we all are to the private reading of it, and this is a prime method of promoting godliness.

Meditation is mentioned in verse 15. We must assimilate what we read. We are not nourished by what we eat, but by what we digest. When we so meditate as to give ourselves wholly to the things of God, then our profiting begins to appear to all. We grow in the ways of godliness. Thus it is we take heed to ourselves, and we save from ungodliness not only ourselves but others.

Frank B. Hole

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