In a post entitled A Theology of Godliness, Joe Thorn makes the following three points:
He concludes (and I agree):
- Legalism kills Godliness
- License Kills Godliness
- The Gospel Gives Lift to Godliness
It is inappropriate to think of godliness as the stuff we do (or can’t do). Godliness is not behavior. Godliness is the result of the gospel taking root in our hearts, producing the fruit of Godward love and obedience through an attitude of joy and gratitude. True godliness in the life of a sinner-saint is an imperfect experience, but an experience of grace nonetheless. We need a theology of godliness that understands it is much more than will-power and performance, but the sanctifying work of the Spirit and true affection that leads to the joyful work of denying self and following Jesus.We need to move beyond the mere appearance of godliness (2 Tim 3:5) to the reality of living by and out of grace.