Piety should be the primary or overriding characteristic of every Christian. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have been taught to disregard or even denigrate terms like piety, religion, religious, or other early biblical principles.
But these terms hold special meaning when we consider them with a pure heart.
According to John Fletcher, piety is, “the knowledge of God and the various relations he stands in to man, which leads us to adore, and obey him, in public and in private.”
Great multitudes of the church today have lost what it means to be pious. All too often, we live lives tainted with hypocrisy.
We worship on Sunday, and lust after sports teams on Monday. Or, are consumed the news of the day, or with routine shopping habits, we may covet a new shiny car or RV. Fill in the blank: I compromise by _____ . Inch-by-inch, it slowly eats away at our ability to humbly and wholeheartedly seek after the Lord.
When the church condones these behaviors, and they do. Just look amongst the churches and see how we choose to devote most of our time and money. Most look no different than the world around them.
Buy and large, we see compromise and tacit approval by those in high positions because of pressure from the pews. There is little difference between how the parishioners and the overseers live. This is antinomianism (the doctrine of compromise: continuing to sin that grace may abound).
Piety is the direct opposite and is the effect that a well-rounded, humble, and sincere love of God from the perspective of a sacrificed life.
Jesus lived a life of piety.
All the Apostles but one, lived this piety. God has given us so many examples of how to walk this way.
Nearly every page alludes to this principle. Yet, I have not heard a pastor utter the word or or describe what it means to be pious in many years; until recently.
Jesus warned of the dangers awaiting for those who choose to continue on a path void of piety –
The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light ~ Luke 11:34-36;
Darkness is sin my friend.
There is nothing better to keep sin at bay than clinging to the garments of the Lord. We are to teach this to your children by living it –
Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons ~ Deuteronomy 4:9;
God is fighting for those who love Him with their lives –
Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God ~ Joshua 23:11;
For we are His temple and are instructed to prepare Him a place to dwell –
Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it 1 Chronicles 28:10;
If we don’t remain strong in doing this, the warning –
If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ~ 1 Corinthians 3:17;
Sin is the only thing that defiles the temple of God.
God wants us to fear living in iniquity as we work out our salvation –
And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts ~ 2 Chronicles 19:6-8;
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure ~ Philippians 2:12-13;
He wants us to bridle our tongue and sin not –
I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me ~ Psalm 39:1;
For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell ~ James 3:2-6;
We are not to be distracted by this world when God calls us to worship or assemble ourselves together for Him –
thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem ~ Jeremiah 17:21;
and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins ~ Hebrews 10:24-26;
Did you know that choosing not attend and participate (to your capacity) in an assembly is a willful sin?
‘He that readership sermons and good books at home to save his pains of going to hear, is a thief to his soul in a religious habit’ ~ William Gurnall.
We are to know that God meets all our daily needs, enabling us to walk in Him –
For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord ~ Hosea 4:10;
We are not to seek the approval of men –
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 6:1;
We are to protect all children even the unborn –
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 18:10;
We are to obey only the word of God in order to avoid the deceit of man regarding the Lord’s coming –
And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many ~ Matthew 24:3-5;
We need to protect our faith and fear what can happen if we don’t –
Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee ~ Romans 11:20-21.
We are to live our lives in a way that does not cause a weaker brother to stumble and by our liberty cause them to perish –
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak . . . and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11,12;
We need to dedicate our life only to the original teachings of the apostles and Jesus –
Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee ~ 1 Timothy 4:15-16.
Those that have come to the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cast off worldly desires, fleshly doctrines and live a life free the practice of hypocrisy and willful sin.
If you are not doing all the God calls you to do as demonstrated by some of the examples provided above. I exhort you to get on your knees, plead to God for forgiveness, and find a church that practices these.
Very few churches do. If you don’t believe me than then believe Jesus’ words about the leaven (sin) and the fowls (tools of Satan) contaminating most of the church.
I have found that those that practice piety are generally found in holiness churches. There are people who practice piety in other churches but why kick against the pricks?
I have spent 30 years in various churches and this is the conclusion I have come to while seeking God with all my mind, heart, and strength. Now brethren. I love you too. This is why I write here.
My words may be filled with imperfections but please, love me as Christ calls us to love each other.