(BEING ALIVE TO GOD)
"Now godliness with contentment is great gain,"
Peter, in his second letter (2'9), finishes a tremendous sentence with this wonderful understanding:
"... the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations".
Notice that he refers to "the godly". Who are they? Paul answers this question in his second letter to Timothy (3'12) referring to them as:
"... all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus ...".
At the same time, earlier in the chapter (3'2-5), he refers to individuals who have "a form of godliness" but deny the power of godliness, that is, true godliness.
Neverrthless, his concern is with all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus. There's the difference! They are in Christ, so their desire is too.
Here's what Paul says about it to Titus (2'11-14):
"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,
looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing
of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us
from every lawless deed and purify for Himself
His own special people, zealous for good works".
Godly is a word that's not often heard. It appears 12 times, first in 2 Corinthians and last in 2 Peter.
Six are translated from "theos" which is the Greek word for God. The remaining six are translated "pious, reverence, godly" from two other Greek words.
The word "godliness" appears 15 times, first in Acts and last in 2 Peter. The Greek word for it is "eusebeia" and is translated "reverence", "respect", "piety" "godliness".
And by the way, godliness is not holiness but it is sometimes confused with it. (See Kingdom Holiness on the Menu.)
Peter reveals the difference when he says:
"... what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness,
looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God ...?" 2 Peter 3'11-12.
From what he is says, holiness describes a way of behaving whereas godliness describes a way thinking, a disposition.
In Acts 3'12 Peter says:
“Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?"