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33A. Exercising unto Godliness (purity of tongue and life)

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  speaker icon   1. Thy Gracious Image, Savior   (2:16)
  speaker icon   2. Exercising unto Godliness   (27:47)

Selected Verses:

I Timothy 4:7.  But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

I Timothy 4:16.  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.


 […] somebody else would like to know why “I will therefore that the younger women marry.”  Isn’t that wonderful?  And there are so many questions that could be asked.  But it’s like Mark Twain said when somebody asked him about a difficult passage of scripture.  He said, “Well, the things I don’t understand don’t bother me.  It’s the things that I do understand.”  And I think that would be the shortcut to bliss.

Let no man despise thy youth.”  That’s a mighty good injunction.  There’s nothing more wonderful in the church or in the world than young people that live like we saw yesterday: “the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned.”  And surely, as brother Gardiner pointed out, we ought to stay way over on the high side when it comes to a pure conscience and purity of life.  And this is the thing that the Apostle Paul is enjoining upon Timothy.  Have you noticed how again and again, he charges him “in the sight of God, before Jesus Christ who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom”?  What a charge to a young minister! 

And he picks out Timothy because he says that “all the rest of them seek their own and not the things that are Jesus Christ’s.”  And that’s true of all of us unless we hew to the line, unless we do as he says here: “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”  That’s an exercise that all of us ought to take upon ourselves.  We see the world is very, very diligent in attaining their objects.

Selected Quotes:

speaker icon We had a report from Moscow, from a Baptist preacher in Moscow who says that in the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people have been saved—not old people, but young people; and they’re so eager to follow the Lord.  And he said, “We could baptize a hundred thousand more if we were easy on them.”  But when anyone gets saved and asks to be baptized, they put them on probation for three or four years.  He says, “It’s not their testimony with their mouth, but they must prove themselves in their daily walk.”  I think that an excellent ordinance.  It’s a Bible ordinance to walk “blamelessly,” to be “found blameless before God.”  That I might know how to “walk unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”

speaker icon Oh, this word that proceeds out of my mouth has the power of life and death in it.  And, oh, if we as ministers learned that one grand lesson: “If any man offend not in word, that man is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.”  But that’s the place where we first begin to let the devil in, and where we drive away the Holy Ghost.  Never mind: drinking a glass of wine isn’t near as bad as saying some of the things that you say every day.  They defile your soul, they defile your body, and they drive away the Holy Ghost.  Our meetings would be much more powerful if we all listened to this injunction and obeyed it from the heart: “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness.”

speaker icon We’ve heard this a thousand times, I know.  And we need to hear it a thousand times more maybe, unless God can give us a conviction like He gave to Isaiah when he saw the Lord “high and lifted up.”  Why did he see the Lord when all the others didn’t?  The temple was filled with worshippers and none of them saw the glory of God.  And you and I are not going to see it: it’s the pure in heart that shall see God.  And it’s those who strive after holiness that shall see the Lord: “Without holiness, no man shall see the Lord.”  And God not only demands absolute holiness, but He offers it to me.  He offers godliness—it means that “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

speaker icon What effect does your presence have in a party like that, any party—a wedding…  Do you draw the attention of people to Jesus?  Loud talking, loud laughing—all these things are exercising flesh and are naturally opening the door to demon powers.

(from 15:20)    I come into these Bible schools and I hear these students talk about what they’re going to do: they’re going to be missionaries.  And they themselves are not holy, they’re not pure—you can see it…  And in another place, in another country, after I spoke a while, tears came to the eyes of the students, and God came and settled down upon the meeting like a cloud of holiness…  I knew these hearts were melting.  I knew that God was doing something by His power in these hearts.  And then the dean got up and made a few jokes, and it all blew away.  I said, “Lord, my God, what good is a Bible school?  What good is it?  Why, it drives men away from God.”

speaker icon God says, “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure.”  “Exercise thyself unto godliness.”  I was delighted with the testimony yesterday of a young woman that tells how she puts aside questionable reading matter.  Why, that also is worse than drinking wine.  I certainly think that drinking wine is taboo for a Christian, or anything alcoholic.  But these things are worse: viewing television.  “Exercise thyself unto godliness.” 

I came into the home of a preacher who had a television set.  He had some lovely children.  He said, “The Lord gave me that set.”  I questioned it.  After five or six years, I came again and he had thrown it out.  He said, “That thing does not belong into the Christian home.”  But he didn’t put it out before his children had gone to the devil…

Where does that come from?  Oh, beloved, we exercise ourselves unto ungodliness, and we do it with a cart-rope, we do it with a vengeance, unless exercising myself unto godliness.

speaker icon I think we’ve made a great mistake in teaching that Acts 2:4 is the standard of the baptism.  I believe John 7:38 ought to be our standard: “rivers of living water” issuing forth from within our lives—rivers that sweep away all ungodliness.  And we need to recognize the call of God. 

I have sensed something since coming here.  We’ve been talking about the imminence of the coming of Christ.  I believe if we realized how soon He’s coming, we’d all be on our faces in real earnest.  We don’t know how greatly God has come to us, how greatly He’s here now, how greatly He means that we should pay attention to His word and to His will and to His counsel, and how greatly “He is able to subdue all things unto Himself”—that means every one of us.  But only as I submit to Him and exercise myself unto godliness will Jesus Christ take His great power and reign supreme over my will and over my affections, and make me subject to Himself.


An example of modesty enforced among Catholics.  “I respected the Catholic Church for not allowing women to enter into meeting with bare arms, in an unseemly dress.”    (from 5:15)

A story of abstaining from wine.  “I used to drink wine.  Everybody does in Switzerland…  When I came to this country, I saw immediately what my drinking would do—even just a drop—if anybody saw me.”    (from 5:54)

An illustration of a little uncleanness.  “The whole world today is saturated with sin.  And it’s because it started out by yielding here and yielding there just a little bit, just a little bit…  ‘If you’re not absolutely sure, then that isn’t clean.’  And that goes for our talk.”    (from 9:50)

An illustration of a chaotic home.    (from 16:21)

An illustration of making progress in learning the violin.    (from 19:49)

German at 20:30:

Spiel mir mal ein Liedchen vor: “Morgen kommt die Tante.”  —  Play a little song for me: “Tomorrow Arrives the Aunt.”

German at 23:46:

II Peter 1:10:  …tut desto mehr Fleiß, eure Berufung und Erwählung festzumachen…

“…apply all the more diligence to secure your calling and choice selection...”  The KJV for this verse is “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.”

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