A Form Of Godliness: 2 Timothy 3:4-5
“4) … lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; 5) holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.” 2 Timothy‬ ‭3:4-5‬
These phrases stand out in Pauls’s description of the last days. People will be driven by fun and pleasure, but they will still have a form of religion. They will have a “form of godliness, although they have denied its power.” So what does that mean?
First, from 1 Corinthians 1:18 we discover that the word of the cross is the power of God to those who are being saved. It seems that in the latter days the gospel message will be watered down and distorted. John 3:16-17 and the message of Jesus dying for our sins and the need for personal faith in Him will be ignored. Preaching about repentance from sin, being born-again and the Lordship of Christ will be conveniently set aside. It will tragically leave people religious but lost.
Second, the ministry of the Holy Spirit will be minimized or ignored. Acts 1:8 talks about the power that accompanies the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Titus 3:5-7 emphasizes that the ministry of the Holy Spirit includes inner washing, regeneration and renewal. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is essential to Christian living. It includes the walk in the Spirit, Spiritual gifts and the manifestation of the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the power for daily living.
Finally, authoritative preaching and teaching of the Word of God will be displaced with liberalism. Hebrews 4:12 says the word of God is sharp and powerful like a two-edged sword. It cuts to the inner core of people.
Paul zero’s in on the need for solid Bible teaching in 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5. He warns that the time will come when people will ignore sound doctrine, rather they will accumulate teachers that will affirm their own desires. Many Christan leaders today are affirming all kinds of sinful and ungodly living under the cloak of Christianity. They are false teachers.
These three area’s are like the legs of a stool. They are the power undergirding biblical Christianity. We could include prayer and inspirational worship in this list, but they will be the outgrowth of the other three.
I need to point out something crucial. These three area’s are more personal than they are corporate. Individual people are born-again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Every Christian needs to daily study the Word of God and apply it to their lives. Paul was admonishing Timothy to assume responsibility for his own walk with God!
No matter what is happening with churches or denominations, you can have an intimate and dynamic personal walk with God. You can thrive in Christian living, witness and service. Stop making excuses and answer the call of God on your life.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global