by: Dr. Laurence A. Mascay
A lot of men and women, young and old, rich and poor consider themselves godly or holy because of good attitudes, good works, and for not doing the “big sins” like adultery, murder, robbery, and the like. However, when a person thinks evil thoughts against their neighbors they are akin to murderers. Likewise, when a person entertains lustful thoughts about another person, they are engaging in immorality. Furthermore, if a person places a high priority on things like work, studies, relationships, or hobbies, they are essentially committing idolatry, as anything valued more than God constitutes idolatry . Consequently, no one is truly godly or holy.
A brilliant lawyer by the name of Paul said in anguish: “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?” As a person realizes his real condition that he is neither godly nor holy and is inevitably doomed to eternal punishment leads him to desperately seek an answer and help as Paul did. The answer is Jesus Christ for an ungodly person to become genuinely godly. With this, every person must admit his ungodliness and ask God for forgiveness. God is the only One who could make a person in His likeness because if anyone is in Christ he is a new person as the ungodliness has gone and godliness has come.
A “godly” man named John Wesley was traveling by ship to the United States for charitable work. While amid the journey the sea broke over, split the main sail into pieces, covered the ship, and a terrible screaming began among the passengers. A group of people, however, calmly worshiped God. John asked one of them afterward, “Were you not afraid?” The person answered, “I thank God, no.” John then asked, “But were not your women and children afraid?” He replied, mildly, “No; our women and children are not afraid to die.” His response struck John Wesley when he realized that he feared death and lacked assurance of heaven despite his “godliness.” He then repented from his sins and his own “godliness,” put his trust in Jesus, and lived for Him a life of holiness or a life set apart for a greater purpose and eternal significance.
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