Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof

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    Heather R
    Heather R

    The title to this comes from II Timothy 3:5. The verse is found within a passage which tells about the type of people who will exist in these last days. Let’s take a look at the broader scope of the passage to gain a bit more context.

    II Timothy 3:1-7 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

    There are a couple of verses within this passage that help us understand a bit more about these people. Aside from various adjectives used to describe them, we are given a few phrases, too:

    •lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God
    •never able to come to the knowledge of the truth
    •having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof

    From such turn away.

    We have to consider if these people were saved, the admonition from Paul would not be to turn away from them. Rather, it would be to redirect them, help them, teach them, edify and encourage them, love them. But that’s not what Paul says. Rather, he tells us these people create dangerous conditions i.e. perilous times. We are to stay away, because these people promulgate the same doctrines of demons and seducing spirits I Timothy 4 refers to – doctrines which creep into houses and lead people away from the truth (Jesus Christ) and into sin. We are to have nothing to do with such folly.

    In order to understand this more fully, we need to understand what true godliness is that these people seem to “profess” but do not actually possess.

    I Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

    We are told the type of people being referenced in II Timothy 3:5 have a “form of godliness, but deny the power thereof”. This is further substantiated when we are also told they are “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth”.

    The “truth” is Jesus Christ.

    John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

    The “knowledge of the truth” these people are never to come to is a saving faith in Jesus Christ. They might profess to “know God” or even have a relationship with God. However, since they have no knowledge of the “truth”, which is the only way to reach God, they do not actually know God. This is why they are said to “deny the power thereof”. The power of the mystery of godliness has everything to do with Jesus Christ.

    I often wonder when I hear people professing to know God or calling themselves “Christians”, but never once mention Jesus. It is not enough to believe there is a God. It is not enough to “identify” more with the Christian faith regarding morals and ethics and thus to term one’s self as “Christian”. It doesn’t matter how one refers to themself. It only matters how Jesus refers to you.

    Are you part of the family of God through belief in Jesus Christ? If so, you have been saved by grace through faith and can look forward to eternity with our Savior and Redeemer.

    Or do you have a “form of godliness but deny the power thereof” because you deny Jesus Christ? If so, this makes you nothing more than a “Christian in name only”. There is no salvation or eternal life waiting for anyone in this case.

    Romans1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    When I hear that verse about denying the power of God this verse always comes to mind….

    Romans 1:16 King James Bible
    For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    I believe it is our greatest blessing when we can yield to God and cease striving and recognize that it is Him working in and through us in the form of His Holy Spirit amen!!

    Thank you for your studies Heather! :Hi: :rose:

    It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. Psalm 118:8


    These verses of scripture are so crucially important while evaluating one’s own relationship with the Lord but also in looking at others and whether or not they have fruit to evidence that they are a Christian. It is even more
    crucial at this time in history as unfortunately there will be some that do not understand why they are left behind…oh how I pray they see the truth now.

    "and all creation sing with me now, lift up your voice and lay your burdens down...let all of creation sing with me now fill up the heavens let HIs glory resound, and every knee will bow, oh in every tongue praise the Father, praise the Son and the Spirit in One!!"


    I think that anyone who has tried to be a “good Christian” by behaving morally and ethically “upright” has found out how impossible it is. They are “cruisin’ for a bruisin'”! But when we believe in Jesus, and give our lives to Him, we don’t have to “try” anymore… He is always there, helping you be the person He wants you to be, in His time, with His power, and to His glory. I’m so thankful to have this relationship with Jesus, I can’t understand why anyone would avoid it, or deny Him. But I do remember that before I was saved, I didn’t know Him, and I thought I wasn’t good enough for Him. I thought if I accepted Him, I’d spend the rest of my life miserable from my unworthiness, struggling fruitlessly to please Him. What a relief to finally learn that He was and is always there, loving me, no matter what. It’s that easy!

    But I guess I got away from the point of this thread. The point being that people can try to call themselves Christian because they agree morally and ethically with Christianity. But that simply makes them good citizens. They seem to think that Jesus was a great teacher of values, and nothing more. But they aren’t saved and aren’t experiencing the power of God in their lives – not without Jesus. We need a real relationship with Jesus, and it’s good not to let ourselves by influenced continually by those who do not have a relationship with Him.

    Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

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