Faithful Followers: Paul

Godliness. It’s certainly a difficult trait to portray. How can we? Or perhaps a better question is, can we?

Well, the answer is pretty simple. We are all sinners. We all have a sinful nature, and no matter how hard we try, we can never achieve perfection. Now does this mean that all is lost, and we can do whatever we want? No, of course not! This is just another way for us to see God’s ever abounding grace.

I think that Romans 5:8 sums it up pretty nicely when it says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Just think about that for a bit. God knew that we could never attain perfection, but He loved us anyway.

I know most of the people reading this probably confess to having a belief in Christ already, and I imagine that a lot of you are probably thinking I’m taking this article down an evangelistic route. Well, I’m not. Guys! Come on! Read that verse again. Doesn’t it inspire you? We use these verses to preach to the lost, but just how often do we focus them on ourselves? Doesn’t that verse inspire you? If your answer is, “No, actually, it doesn’t” then let me show you what I mean.

God stooped down, and, not only allowed our perverse existence to continue, but told us He loved us. He sent His son to die the most disgraceful death we could come up with and what did He demand, what did he require from us in return? Not one single thing. He expects us to choose what we want and if that is to follow him, he provides ample opportunity to do so. He did what He did as gift. But he asked us for a relationship. And if we have that how can we not strive to be better people than we were the day before: to be the best people we can be.

Our theme verse for this month, 1 Timothy 6:11, says “But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” So now that I’ve explained to you a bit about what this means, it is time to look at someone who came close to living that life.

I remember when the rest of the Heart of Teens team and I pondered briefly who a Biblical example might be and someone said, “Paul”. The idea was met with eager agreement. So here we go.

Godly people are humble. If you look at 1 Corinthians 1:11-13, “For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?”

Paul served no man. Not himself and not his friends. His only wish was for Christ. But this did not mean he wasn’t willing to act like God would want him to. Oh no, in fact, later, in 1 Corinthians 11:1, he says, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” He was committed to what he believed so much so that he knew he would never stop striving to attain godliness.

Could you make such a statement? Would you be willing to tell someone, let alone an entire church, like Paul does here, to follow you as you follow Christ? Could you be an acceptable example of Godliness for someone to follow? I know for a fact that I could not, but why am I okay with that? Why do I accept this? I shouldn’t, and neither should you.

We will never attain perfection, at least not in this lifetime. But that doesn’t mean we should stop trying to. Imagine what the world would be like if every person who professed faith in our God actually strived to be like Him. If every day we became better people than we were the day before. Imagine if we never lost sight of that passion we had when we first found Christ. That’s what I think would bring us to godliness. We can’t do it on our own. If we were to try we would always fail. We don’t have that kind of power, but the thing is, God does. He is the one thing in this world that can truly change a person. So what will make us Godly people? God will. Seeking God brings us Godliness.

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