Monday, April 29, 2024


Jack Davis

“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves... lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” - II Tim. 3:1-5.

The grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness, while we look for that “blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” - Titus 2:11-13. Paul told Timothy: “Exercise thyself rather unto godliness” - I Tim. 4:7. For “godliness with contentment is great gain (profitable)” - I Tim. 6:6.

Our Father has provided the way for us to become more and more like Him in nature and conduct by spiritual progress. Where only do we obtain the power to live godly lives, to live like God? It must be supernaturally produced. To begin, we are born of the Spirit, being made partakers of the Divine nature.

Our text tells us of the dangerous conditions of our day - holding to the form but denying the power of godliness. Jude recorded that there would be mockers in the last time, who would walk after their own ungodly lusts, who would cause divisions, sensual, having not the Spirit. Jude 18-19. 

Godliness can never be obtained by religious form, no matter how reasonable and high sounding it may seem. It is only by that which is Divine, spiritual.

“Form,” speaks here of an outline, outward semblance, adherence to religious observance. When depending on it, religious form can become to us seemingly very indispensable, advantageous, and attractive with such beautiful pageantry; and having the appearance of devotion and the pretense of obedience. But it takes the Spirit of the living God to transform us from within.


“Denying,” used here is to contradict, reject, refuse. It is being done in theory and in experience. Holding to religious form is, in itself, denying the Spirit’s power; hence, turning away from true godliness. Formality is dangerous and detrimental to spiritual health.

By following religious form, the love of many is waxing cold, as it is allowed to lead attention away from prayer and praise, the Word, and worship from the heart; and especially, of drinking in of the Spirit. For it is by these that we kindle and refuel that flame of love. 

So many professed believers have a name that they live and are dead. Some assent to and acknowledge Christian truths, which have no meaning nor effect in their lives. Others acknowledge “Bridal truths,” and many will earnestly try to put into practice what God’s powerful and precious Word demands; and yet, by self-effort, they are denying the only power by which these precious things are made a living reality. They not only do so but teach others to do the same, making such statements as, “We need to TRY to live according to the Gospel handed down to Timothy.”

We are told, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit” in Ephesians 4:30, and “Quench not the Spirit” in I Thessalonians 5:19. He is the power by which we are made godly, and His is the wisdom by which we live godly lives. It is as He leads us and feeds us, and as we yield in submission to Him, that He produces in us the fruit of godliness. 

God has given us the Spirit “of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” - II Tim. 1:7. Jesus said, “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” - Mt. 22:29. Both are so very essential to victorious living, keeping us from error in principle and in practice. Paul said that though Jesus “was crucified through weakness, yet He liveth by the power of God;” and that those that followed Him shall also “live with Him by the power of God” - II Cor. 13:4. Paul prayed that he might know the Lord in “the power of His resurrection” - Phil. 3:10. He said that if the same Spirit “that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you,” that He would “quicken your mortal bodies” - Rom. 8:11. Paul prayed that we be “strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man,” and that “According to His glorious power” - Eph. 3:16; Col. 1:11. Think especially how he prayed that we know “the exceeding greatness of His power to us ward who believe.” That is the same power that raised up Jesus “from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand...far above all principality and power” - Eph. 1:19-21.


That is the Divine resource at our disposal. Oh, beloved, let us not deny such glorious victorious POWER. Oh, how we need the Holy Spirit to overcome, moment by moment and day by day. We cannot do it on our own, no matter how great the formula. The sooner we find this out the better. 


This is not away from the persons, so much as the condition. We better not turn away from those in an attitude of contempt nor in indifference, but pray much for such as are described here. In turning away we avoid the errors and the attitude or condition of sleepy lukewarmness.

Yet we better not let our services or our lives drift into a practiced informality and disorderliness, which would lead away from beneficial spiritual order. The Holy Spirit leads in order, not into confusion.

In individual lives, godliness is manifested in an outward order, if the Holy Spirit is allowed to do the inward work.