This is a word in the Greek text that is equated with the word holiness (Hagiosmos) but more personal in experience meaning piety. Strong’s makes an interesting statement in his Greek definition of this word; He says, “Specifically, the gospel scheme.” The idea is that God’s whole plan of redemption is intended to transform our personal lives with a whole new moral mentality from the carnal into the divine. Strong’s knowledge of the Greek language declares that this word (eusebeia) carries the meaning of holiness being personally applied. The words holy, holiness and sanctified are translated from hagios, hagiosune and hagiosmos, words similar but applied differently, while the word godliness is another Greek word entirely, usebeis, having more the meaning of having the likeness of God or, God-like in our behavior and temperament.
Man was created in the image and the likeness of God. That is, we were created in the beginning bearing the spiritual traits of our heavenly Father. Man left that estate having lost his God-likeness and started to conform to the behavior of others in the world around him. He became incontinent and frivolous twisting values to accommodate the preferences of his depraved carnal nature.
Modern Evangelicals have become pitifully like the world and have lost their way in an untoward world having strayed from God’s original gospel scheme of piety and God-likeness. The mentality of the world has taken over the thinking of men who lead the church. We have so much of the world’s thinking and values that godliness has become a lost quality in the modern church. Through Jesus death we are empowered to become the sons of God – to return to possessing our original likeness to our creator. John 1:12. The sons of God will bear the likeness to their Father, God. Read 1 Peter 1:15-16. God’s sons will have the likeness of their Father, and that is God-likeness.
If there is a word that fitly describes this generation the Bible gave it to us 2000 years ago. … in the last days perilous times shall come because men are incontinent. act that man is pa… for men shall be … incontinent (Akrates) meaning a loss of self control. Everything from music to sports to fashion and slang language establishes the pure incontinence. There is an international mood of incontinence with industries using advertising and language that encourages incontinence! In many cases parents have become derelict regarding the proper training of their children having believed the demonic philosophy that kids “just go through certain stages in life and to try and discipline them can mutate them mentally.” Classrooms are void of any discipline and teaching self control to students. University campuses are run by the students who demand their rights to the freedom to live immoral under co-ed dormitory conditions. Society is fast destroying itself by incontinence – no self control. Rock festivals are marked by incontinence with lyrics that are immoral and violent and no fear of being controlled or condemned by any authority in world system.
TV shows place strong evidence on people screaming, running, shouting and the use of sensationalism as the mark of their shows. There is no moral law allowed to govern them continually challenging the laws in place to regulate radio and viewing. Loudness, wild music and sound effects now feature most popular radio and TV shows that cater to the ears of a young incontinent audience. The gods of this world, sound, color and speed have enslaved the mentality of the young, with each generation becoming less and less continent and more and more without any intelligent control of themselves or their behavior. Modern apostate Evangelical churches feature rock stars and other “exciting” church celebrities advocate the same incontinent trends totally foreign to the godly life.
Incontinence is also a word used to describe the person who has lost control of the bladder. The whole world has lost control of it’s bladder!!! Children who do show control of themselves is a rarity that immediately attracts people’s attention in public. Most children today are running, crawling, yelling, screaming with no constraint from the parents. If a parent does try to discipline a child in public there will be some do-gooder who will threaten to report you if you spank your children (as one missionary mother home on a furlough experienced in a Laundromat). Kids are to be allowed to “express themselves” and grow up uninhibited lest we distort their personality. Satan is everywhere doing what he can on every front to produce that generation that rejects being governed or controlled by God’s law of love. In the old Testament incorrigible children were to be stoned to death if they struck their parents or were rebellious – uncontrollable. Deuteronomy 21:18-21; Exodus 21:15.
When godliness fails then incontinence comes to fill the vacuum.
Godliness is the divine condition of passing from a depraved and carnal state into the divine state of becoming like God as a result of walking within the moral guidelines of God’s Word. Sin is the state of rebellion against God and the order of things as He has intended them to be. When a person, young or old, is born by the Spirit of God he receives a new inner power from the indwelling Holy Spirit and that new spirit is in complete harmony with the Royal law of Liberty James mentions. James 1:25; 2:8,12. God’s law acted out produces the godly nature and demeanor. It sets boundaries on our conduct and restrains us to remain within the sphere of godliness. In other words, we are delivered from the incontinent spirit of this world and and leads us into the intelligent behavior of contingency and happiness.
Incontinence has taken over everything in the world system – there is no control of the human and animal impulses. Everything and everybody has lost control of themselves. Animal impulses and emotionalism has taken over the human race until those who are continent and show self control – have any values they live by, are considered to be the abnormal and unwanted specie in society. That mentality by the incontinent that despises the goodness they see in others is increasing more and more until in two more generations that which is considered wrong yet today will be come right and all moral values will reverse making moral people and Christians the persecuted minority when they refuse to come under the morally incontinent Antichrist system.
Today the bizarre has replaced respectability in every area of our materialistic world! Abortion was once a crime and homosexuality was once a social scandal. Today we murder 1.5 million babies a year with abortion clinics across America and homosexuals have been accepted as simply an alternative lifestyle. This same element of society criticizes America for being at war against insane religious terrorists and bemoans the death of “soldiers” at war but kill 1.5 million babies in their own cities! Our values are fast reversing and that departure from the godly life will be the very thing that will destroy America – and not an enemy from without.
Godliness is the salvation of America and the only revival needed to halt the apostasy prevailing in the church world. Even our holiness churches have distorted views about holy behavior and like the scribes and lawyers of Judaism have interpreted some Scriptures to mean something not at all implied in the apostle’s writings. In fact, some holiness teaching in the church is as distorted and zany as Charismatic teaching at the other extreme of the Christian spectrum.
Strong is right. Godliness is the gospel scheme. God wants us to be righteous and merciful and gracious and yet firmly opposed to all evil as it is mentioned in His Word. He wants us to be like Him. When we look at the cross we can see God’s perfect hatred of sin – that is, all rebellion against God. But look again and you see Jesus hanging there displaying they greatest scene for the world to behold – being tortured to death on a Roman cross for each of us and bring us back into the likeness of the Father.
In my years of living for God I have surely met some of the sweetest saints that ever tread the earth. I see several of these people in my mind as I write these words. Many of their names I am not even able to recall. But they were people who prayed and took on the continence of their heavenly Father. They were not mean and coarse demanding others to conform to their personal convictions. They were separated and sweet and left an impression that made you want to be like them. They carried the fragrance of their secret prayer life with them. You knew they were people of prayer and devotion to the Word of God not having any self serving motives in their behavior or speech. They walked softly and left their godly image indelibly on my conscience and I have never forgotten their sweetness and God-likeness. Oh, may we learn to weep and wait in His presence until He sends the church a revival of God-likeness.