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What Does it Mean to Feel Godly?


Theological Definition of Godly

Godliness is a term describing characteristics of a person who is obedient to the Lord God. It is often used to describe a person who lives their life in accordance with the teachings and beliefs of the Words of Jesus Christ. This can include adhering to biblical principles, practicing religious rituals and customs, and living a spirit filled life. Even when such people fall short of such virtue, the Godly person turns from such behavior.

In Christianity, for example, godliness is often associated with the concept of holiness. A godly person is righteous through the blood of, and by following Jesus Christ. This can include aspects such as faith, humility, kindness, self-control, and serving others. Sharing Jesus with others is often accomplished not through words, but showing love.

An example of godly behavior is living a life of compassion and kindness towards others. But there is nothing more godly than “sharing God” with others. This can involve actively seeking out ways to serve. However, these activities, in themselves, do not make you godly. Faith must be combined with such good works to produce righteousness. That truth is according to the brother of Jesus (James) and not me!

Being devout also strives to live with Christian integrity and being truthful in word and action(s). Healthy relationships are also a result of following the biblical teachings of Jesus Christ. Whether family or friends, “let your light so shine” and watch once strained relationships reset back to “healthy”. Most of all: your lifestyle must align with your “claims”. One cannot abuse another and claim to love them at the same moment.

What Makes Someone Godly

Godliness begins with salvation through faith. There is no other way to achieve a relationship with the Lord God of Heaven than Jesus. Jesus said: “I am the Way, I Am the Truth, and I Am the Life. No one comes to the Father (God) except through Me.”

Further, the Bible has many things to say about what those claiming such saintliness should live like.

  1. "Love your neighbor as yourself" - Matthew 22:39. This verse teaches the importance of treating others with love and compassion and is considered a fundamental principle in Christianity.

  2. "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." - Ephesians 4:29. This verse emphasizes the importance of speaking lovingly.

  3. "Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good." - Romans 12:21. This verse teaches the importance of responding to difficult situations with kindness and compassion.

  4. "For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." - 2 Timothy 1:7. This emphasizes the importance of having self-discipline and self-control in order to live a godly life

  5. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law." - Galatians 5:22-23. This verse lists the fruits of the spirit, and it is considered as fundamental.

  6. "For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations." - Psalm 100:5. This reminds us the importance of faithfulness.

Here is what is important: godliness is not an “act” rather a lifestyle of “conviction”. Too often, professed Believers do “good deeds”, live “good lives” (whatever that means) and think God is pleased. If you are doing something good because “you think it is the right thing to do”, you have missed the boat! If you, however, are “doing something righteous without even thinking about it”, God is pleased.

Synonyms for Godliness

English is perhaps, after Mandarin Chinese, one of the most difficult languages on the planet! Synonyms add to that complexity, and this is crucial to understand godliness as well. Many words can be used to communicate the same thought.

To truly understand godliness, and ungodliness for that matter, let’s examine some of its variables:

  1. Pious

  2. Devout

  3. Righteous

  4. Holy

  5. Sacred

  6. Spiritual

  7. Religious

  8. Faithful

  9. God-fearing

  10. Virtuous

  11. Sanctified

  12. Saintly

The only phrase above I disagree with is “religious”. It is added because, and unfortunately, too many associate religious leanings with being a follower of the Living God (Holy Bible). I know many who act “religious” but have no part in God. Scriptures describes such people as paying God lip service only.

Examples of Living a Devout Lifestyle

A devout life is lived in accordance with biblical guidance. This should involve a commitment to earnest prayer, worship, and repentance. A devout person seeks opportunities to know the Lord better, and be more obedient to His Will for their life. The greatest service to others, of course, is loving them as much as you care for yourself. Again, Jesus’ Words and not mine!

For those who claim adherence to Christianity, a devout walk means a “submitted” existence of discipleship. It is important to be part of a Body of Christian Believers who actively practice their faith. When we thus fellowship with others who share our faith, we learn what it takes to discipline ourselves for the Master’s use. Additionally, pursue understanding of the Word of God to keep from being deceived.

Here are six (6) examples of biblical people who lived a devout and godly lifestyle, and words they spoke which pleased God:

1. Abraham – This patriarch was told, by God, to leave everything he knew, follow Him, and Abraham would be blessed. Abraham did so and the rest is history. 2. David said - "I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the "gods" I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word." - Psalm 138:1-2 3. Esther said - "For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" - Esther 4:14 4. Moses - "Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." - Numbers 12:3 5. Mary - "Then Mary said, "My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior." - Luke 1:46-47 6. Joshua - "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." - Joshua 24:15

Although your name will never make it into the Holy Writ, speak with God so that you will be found among the righteous! The Book which really matters is the one in Heaven called The Book of Life.

How Do I Know if I Am Ungodly

Being ungodly is the opposite of being godly (duh!). It refers to a person who does not live their life in accordance with their “claims” or are absent any such claims to begin with. They may also engage in behaviors that are considered sinful or immoral. Further, they are not guided by the principles of righteousness, love and compassion. Listen to online sermons on this subject to learn more.

Ungodliness is also characterized by a lack of commitment to serving others and exhibits evidence of narcissism. They may also be inclined to engage in vices and temptations that lead them away from God. One thing characterizes this existence – disobedience. Disobedience leads to lack of humility which, in the end, according to scripture, ends in destruction.

Here are six (6) biblical examples of people being ungodly:

1. Pharaoh - "For he said to his people, 'The Israelites are growing too numerous and too powerful for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." - Exodus 1:9-10 2. King Saul - "And the Lord said to Samuel, "I am grieved that I have made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not performed My commandments." - 1 Samuel 15:11 3. The Rich man in Luke 16:19-31 - "Now there was a rich man, and he habitually dressed in purple and fine linen, joyously living in splendor every day. And a poor man named Lazarus was laid at his gate, covered with sores" 4. The Pharisees - "For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others." - Matthew 6:5 5. Ananias and Sapphira - "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?" - Acts 5:3-4 6. King Ahab - "Ahab son of Omri did more evil in the eyes of the Lord than any of those before him." - 1 Kings 16:30

Let’s be biblically clear: this is never a question of “good people” or “bad people”. There are only two types of people in existence – “saved” and “unsaved”. Those who are saved are safe from the consequences of their wicked deeds through the blood of Jesus Christ. Those unsaved have no such assurance.

How Am I Counted as Righteous

According to the Bible, a person becomes righteous through faith in Jesus Christ. Further, the text teaches that all people are sinful and fall short of God's standard of righteousness. Yet through faith in Jesus Christ, they can be made right with God. This is expressed in the verse of Romans 3:22 "This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."

When a person confesses their sins and puts their faith in Christ, they receive the righteousness of Jesus as a gift. Through faith, they are forgiven of their sins, and made right with God. This is known as justification.

Jesus' teachings on righteousness informs us that salvation cannot be earned through good works. As it's said in the text: “your works, no matter how good, will never be enough”.

Additionally, when a person receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are indwelt by the Holy Spirit who helps them to live a life that is pleasing to God.

Here are six (6) Bible verses about the above offer salvation:

1. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." - John 3:16 2. "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." - John 20:31 3. "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." - John 1:12 4. "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 6:23 5. "He who believes in him is not condemned, but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." - John 3:18 6. "He who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day." - John 12:48

Considering Jesus's offer of grace is an important step in understanding the concept of salvation. Further, the path to eternal life must come through the Messiah. Jesus's offer of grace is extended to all people, regardless of their past or current circumstances.

By accepting this gift, a person is forgiven. Whether that is for all future crimes against God is a subject for another article. However, when this gift is received, you are saved! This is known as justification, and it is the foundation of salvation. Along with justification, a person receives the Holy Spirit, who helps them to grow in righteousness.

Accepting Jesus's offer is a personal decision, and it requires a person to repent of their sins. This means making a 180 degree turn from what you used to do. It's an act of the will and not something that can be forced by someone else.

It's a decision that has eternal consequences, but it's also an opportunity to have a new beginning. What choice will you make?

Header Image Courtesy of John Hain @ Pixabay

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