Helps Against Formality
2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

1. Go unto God, who is a quickening Spirit, and beseech Him to quicken thy dead heart So did David, Psalm 119. God can make dry bones to live.

2. Act and use your graces, this is the way to increase and quicken them, bring good motions into resolutions and actions; blow till the spark become a flame. This stirring is painful, but gainful.

3. Delight in quickening company, get acquaintance with humble, holy, active men, and shun the company of dead, formal, earthly-minded men; we must stand up from the dead before Christ will give us life (Ephesians 4:14). There is a quickening virtue in the society of God's people. As one living coal sets his fellow on fire, so God hath ordained the gifts and graces of His people for the benefit of others, that those who dwell under their shadow might return (Hosea 14:7).

4. Get sincerity, for therein lies much of the very power of godliness. Let your faith, love, obedience, be unfeigned, and without hypocrisy. Be not only nominal and formal, but be real Christians, be Israelites indeed. Christ says to us as Alexander said to one of his name — either fight like Alexander, or never bear his name; so either act like Christians, or else put off that name. To quicken you, consider that this grace is: commanded, commended, rewarded.

5. It is the grace of our graces, it is not properly a distinct grace, but the perfection of them all. If a man have faith, repentance, obedience, if they be not sincere, they are worth nothing. A pearl if counterfeit is good for little. Gold, if mixed with brass or baser mettle, is debased. It is sincerity that puts a lustre on all our duties. It is the salt that seasons them and makes them savoury.

6. Let the noise of God's judgments awaken thee out of thy sleep] formality; if a man be in a dead sleep, a great noise will awaken him. God's judgments have a voice, and we should mark what it says.

(T. Hall, B. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

WEB: holding a form of godliness, but having denied its power. Turn away from these, also.

Godliness -- its Form and its Power
Top of Page
Top of Page