Training for Godliness

In order to grow in the gospel (2 Pet. 3:18), we must train ourselves for godliness (1 Tim. 4:7).  Paul instructed Timothy very clearly regarding the matter in 1 Tim. 4:6-16:

If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive,because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

Regarding Godly Training

  1. If your goal is anything other than godliness, then your spiritual disciplines will be more drudgery than delight.
  2. Spiritual disciplines are not meant to make you more liked by Jesus but to make you more like Jesus.
  3. You cannot lead a biblical life if you do not know biblical truth.
  4. Imagine the health of one’s soul if he or she spent as much time developing it as he or she spent on the body.

3 Daily Spiritual Disciplines

  1. Pray the Word – Using the day of the month, pray through that psalm or an increment of 30 [Day 1 – 1, 31, 61, 91, 121; Day 30 – 30, 60, 90, 120, 150; Day 31 – 119 (it’s a big one)].
  2. Read the Word – Select a Bible reading plan and take reasonable steps to work your way through the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).
  3. Memorize the Word – Create a list of verses you need ready at all times (Ps. 119:9-11) and commit to a review process that you can manage.

If you want more info on these three disciplines, you can check them out here.

Travis Agnew is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. He serves as the Senior Pastor of Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is What God Has Joined Together.