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09 September, 2013

A Godly Man's Characteristic

Excerpt from The Godly Man's Picture & A Godly Wife

......A godly man is a HEAVENLY man

Heaven is in him-before he is in heaven! The Greek word for saint, hagios, signifies a man taken away from the earth. A person may live in one place-yet belong to another. He may live in Spain yet be a citizen of England. So a godly man is a while in the world-but he belongs to the Jerusalem above. That is the place to which he aspires. Every day is Ascension Day with a believer. The saints are called "stars" for their sublimity; they have gone above into the upper region: "The way of life is above, to the wise" (Proverbs 15:24). A godly man is heavenly in six ways:

1. In his election.

2. In his disposition.

3. In his communication.

4. In his actions.

5. In his expectation.

6. In his conduct.

1. A godly man is heavenly in his CHOICES

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He chooses heavenly objects. David chose to be a resident in God's house (Psalm 84:10). A godly person chooses Christ and grace, before the most illustrious things of this world. What a man chooses-that is what he is. This choosing of God is best seen in a critical hour. When Christ and the world come into competition, and we part with the world to keep Christ and a good conscience, that is a sign we have chosen "the better part" (Luke 10:42). Moses "chose to be mistreated along with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time." Hebrews 11:25

2. A godly man is heavenly in his DISPOSITION

He sets his affections on things above (Col. 3:2). He sends his heart to heaven before he gets there. He looks upon the world as but a beautiful prison and he cannot be much in love with his fetters, though they are made of gold. A holy person contemplates glory and eternity; his desires have gotten wings and have fled to heaven. Grace is in the heart like fire, which makes it sparkle upwards in divine desires and prayers.

3. A godly man is heavenly in his SPEECH

His words are sprinkled with salt to season others (Col. 4:6). As soon as Christ had risen from the grave, he was "speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). No sooner has a man risen from the grave of unregeneracy than he is speaking of heaven. "The words of a wise man's mouth are gracious" (Eccles. 4:12). He speaks in such a heavenly manner, as if he were already in heaven. The love he has for God, will not allow him to be silent. The spouse being sick with love, her tongue was like the pen of a ready writer: "My beloved is white and ruddy, his head is as the most fine gold . . . " (Song 5:10,11). Where there is a principle of godliness in the heart-it will vent itself at the lips!

(1) How can they be termed godly-who are possessed with a dumb devil? They never have any good discourse. They are fluent and discursive enough in secular things: they can speak of their wares and shops, they can tell what a good crop they have-but in matters of religion they are as if their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth! There are many people in whose company you cannot tell what to make of them-whether they are Turks or atheists, for they never speak a word of Christ!

(2) How can they be termed godly-whose tongues are set on fire by hell? Their lips do not drop honey-but poison, to the defiling of others! Plutarch says that speech ought to be like gold, which is of most value when it has least dross in it. Oh, the unclean, malicious words that some people utter! What an unsavory stench comes from these dunghills! Those lips that gallop so fast in sin, need David's muzzle. "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth," (Psalm 39:1). Can the body be healthy-when the tongue is black? Can the heart be holy-when the devil is in the lips? A godly man speaks "the language of Canaan." "Those who feared the Lord spoke often one to another" (Mal. 3:16).

4. A godly man is heavenly in his ACTIONS

The motions of the planets are celestial. A godly man is sublime and sacred in his motions; he works out salvation; he puts forth all his strength, as they did in the Greek Olympics, so that he may obtain the garland made of the flowers of paradise. He prays, fasts, watches, and takes heaven by storm. He is divinely actuated, he carries on God's interest in the world, he does angels' work, he is seraphic in his actions.

5. A godly man is heavenly in his HOPES

His hopes are above the world (Psalm 39:7). "In hope of eternal life" (Titus 1:2). A godly man casts anchor within the veil. He hopes to have his fetters of sin filed off; he hopes for such things as eye has not seen; he hopes for a kingdom when he dies-a kingdom promised by the Father, purchased by the Son, assured by the Holy Spirit. As an heir lives in hope of the time when such a great estate shall fall to him, so a child of God, who is a co-heir with Christ, hopes for glory. This hope comforts him in all varieties of condition: "we rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 5:2).

(1) This hope comforts a godly man in AFFLICTION. Hope lightens and sweetens the most severe dispensations. A child of God can rejoice when tears are in his eyes; the time is shortly coming when the cross shall be taken off his shoulders and a crown set on his head! A saint at present is miserable, with a thousand troubles; in an instant, he will be clothed with robes of immortality, and advanced above seraphim!

(2) This hope comforts a godly man in DEATH. "The righteous has hope in his death" (Proverbs 14:32). If one should ask a dying saint, when all his earthly comforts have gone, what he had left, he would say, "the helmet of hope." I have read of a woman martyr who, when the persecutors commanded that her breasts should be cut off, said, "Tyrant, do your worst; I have two breasts which you can not touch, the one of faith and the other of hope." A soul that has this blessed hope is above the desire of life or the fear of death. Would anyone be troubled at exchanging the lease of a poor hut-for an inheritance that will be for him and his heirs? Who would worry about parting with life, which is a lease that will soon run out, to be possessed of a glorious inheritance in light?

6. A godly man is heavenly in his CONDUCT

He casts such a luster of holiness as adorns his profession. He lives as if he had seen the Lord with his bodily eyes. What zeal, sanctity, humility, shines forth in his life! A godly person emulates not only the angels-but imitates Christ himself (1 John 2:6). The Macedonians celebrate the birthday of Alexander, on which day they wear his picture round their necks, set with pearl and rich jewels. So a godly man carries the lively picture of Christ about him, in the heavenliness of his deportment: "our conversation is in heaven" (Phil. 3:20).

Use 1: Those who are eaten up with the world will be rejected, as ungodly, at the bar of judgment. To be godly and earthly is a contradiction: "For, as I have often told you before and now say again even with tears-many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is on earthly things." (Philippians 3:18-19). We read that the earth swallowed up Korah alive (Numb. 16:32). This judgment is on many-the earth swallows up their time, thoughts and discourse. They are buried twice; their hearts are buried in the earth before their bodies. How sad it is that the soul, that princely thing, which is made for communion with God and angels, should be put to the mill to grind, and made a slave to the earth! How like the prodigal the soul has become, choosing rather to converse with swine and feed upon husks-than to aspire after communion with the blessed Deity! Thus does Satan befool men, and keep them from heaven by making them seek a heaven here on earth.

Use 2: As we would prove ourselves to be "born of God", let us be of a sublime, heavenly temper. We shall never go to heaven when we die-unless we are in heaven while we live. That we may be more noble and raised in our affections, let us seriously weigh these four considerations:......