Godliness - Spiritual Carefulness, Trained in Religion, Walking with God, Striving for Influence
Continuing with Thomas Watson on characteristics of the godly person from “The Godly Man’s Picture”:
A godly person does spiritual things in a spiritual manner. There are spiritual activities such as prayer, reading the Word, serving others, singing, even just living if it is done to the glory of God, that can be done in a dull, careless manner. Spiritual worship is pure worship and is spiritual not only in the matter but also in the quality. We need to be careful to approach our spiritual duties with utmost intention, faith, and a renewed principle of grace which is a renewed empowering of the Spirit. The godly man spiritualizes duty: he is not only for the doing of holy things, but the holy doing of things.
A godly person is also thoroughly trained in religion. There is a breadth of knowledge and practice in their Christian living. They seek to obey God in every matter and in every command. To sweat in some duties of religion and freeze in others is the symptom of a disordered Christian. This, of course, means that a godly person is well versed in the duties of a Christian and the exhortations of scripture. There is a breadth of knowledge in the things that please God and an accompanying will to perform them.
A godly man walks with God. According to Watson, there are five important aspects of a walk with God. It is a walking as under God’s eye. We are conscious that God sees all. It is characterised by a familiarity and intimacy of the soul with God. Walking with him is our delight. It involves walking above the earth, which is a heavenly orientation and a guarding against worldliness. In this walk there is a visible piety. This is not to say that we do our good works to be seen by others, but that we live in such a way that we are consistent in character in both our private and public lives. Finally, this walk is characterised bycontinued progress in grace. There is a going on towards perfection. We will stumble as one learning to walk, but as we are walking with One who is sure and true, we will increasingly walk in step with him.
Lastly, a godly person strives to be an instrument for making others godly. This influence flows from the nature of godliness itself. Where there is the fire of grace in the heart, it will endeavor to inflame others. It is the result of a spirit of compassion for unbelievers in their sinful captivity and believers in their sinful pallor. It is the outworking of a concern for God’s glory. Not content to glorify God only in ourselves, we seek the spread of his glory and those who will glorify him.
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