“. . . and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance and gentleness.” 1 Timothy 6:11 (NASB)
It is God’s desire that Christians cease operating according to the sinful attitudes and desires of the world. We are to no longer practice sin, but to display righteous deeds. We are to no longer to yield to the desires of our flesh, but to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are to no longer to live for self, but for the will of God.
God has called us to practice godliness, that is, the imitation of the moral and righteous qualities of God. However, He has done more than simply issue a challenge to godliness. God has also provided the resources by which we can attain a measure of godliness in this life. We have the guidance of His Word to show us what to do (2 Tim. 3:16, 17). We have the indwelling gift of the Holy Spirit to strengthen our will power (Rom. 8:12-14). We have the fellowship of the church to provide mutual encouragement as we grow together (Heb. 10:24, 25).
Perhaps the greatest aid to our pursuit of godliness is that we have been given “the knowledge of Him who has called us” (2 Pet. 1:3). One of the implications of the incarnation of the Son of God into human form is that we now have a visible example of what divine godliness looks like in the flesh. We do not have to imagine a godly life in theory; we can see it in operation. In the accounts of Jesus’ life provided by eyewitnesses such as John and the other apostles (1 John 1:1, 2), we are given a realistic model of how God wants us to conduct ourselves.