2 Timothy 3:5
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof. There may be conscious and unconscious hypocrisy. Either way godliness is "feigned." There is no pulsing heart of life in it. Its appearance is only like phosphorus on the face of the dead; its activity is only the galvanized motion of a corpse.
I. WE MAY DISCOVER THE SIGNS OF MERE FORMALISM. What are they? See vers. 2, 3, and 4, in which men who are "covetous, and lovers of their own selves," are associated with blasphemers and false accusers, unthankful and unholy. All alike find their hypocrisy is detected by the Divine insight. We may well search and examine ourselves; for do not men think lightly sometimes of covetousness and selfishness, or of being unthankful or high minded? Often, indeed, we look to great vices only as our destroyers, and we forget that hypocrisy may be seen in masked ingratitude. Yet here it is discovered, not under the cloak which hides evil enormities, but under the veil which hides from our eyes the presence of the more respectable sins.
II. WE MAY STUDY THE SECRET OF THIS FORMALISM.
1. Prayerless habit which leaves the spirit unsupplied with the nutriment of communion with God.
2. Consciousness of the fact that in the world appearances are enough, and that religion is so respected and so respectable that it will not do to live without its appearance.
3. Fellowship with the world, which denudes us of all earnest endeavours alter the Divine life. - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.