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Training for Godliness: Introduction

Disciplines for a Godly Life

One of my God-ordained goals is to see you (a fellow church member) grow into Christlikeness.[1] The Second London Baptist Confession of Faith summarizes the biblical teaching on the role of the pastor like this,

“The work of pastors being constantly to attend the service of Christ, in his churches, in the ministry of the word and prayer, with watching for their souls, as they that must give an account to Him; it is incumbent on the churches to whom they minister, not only to give them all due respect, but also to communicate to them of all their good things according to their ability, so as they may have a comfortable supply, without being themselves entangled in secular affairs; and may also be capable of exercising hospitality towards others; and this is required by the law of nature, and by the express order of our Lord Jesus, who hath ordained that they that preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel.” LBCF 26:10

One method the Lord has graciously provided His Church comes in the form of discipline.

In fact, it could be called spiritual discipline. Discipline is an excellent quality that every human being should cultivate. They should be disciplined in their health, in their various occupations, in their relationships, as citizens, and the list could expand.

Discipline, simply put, is “orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior.”[2] While discipline is helpful in all areas of life, it is particularly beneficial in the life of a Christian. In fact, it is biblical. Paul, writing to the young pastor Timothy, encourages him with these words,

“Train ourself for godliness.” (1 Tim. 4:7, ESV)

Perhaps you are wondering why I use the word discipline when Paul uses the word train. The concept is the same. Train, or discipline, yourself to godliness. Be orderly in your conduct or pattern of behavior. We must ask ourselves, “What is our pattern to follow?” Paul answers simply, “for godliness.” Be like God, brothers and sisters, through training, discipline.

In this series of posts, we will discuss this idea of discipline and the Christian life. There are a multitude of ways that you and I can grow. Thankfully, we will learn from an expert. I would highly recommend you purchase Donald S. Whitney’s book Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life. It is a wonderful book of only 249 pages. In this book, Whitney discusses the basis for our discipline as believers. He also provides chapters fleshing out the various disciplines available. It is not an exhaustive work, but it is a helpful one.

As you and I grow into the image of Jesus Christ, we must discipline ourselves for godliness. Lazy Christians will never progress in godliness. Only disciplined Christians will grow. We will look at these spiritual disciplines over the next few posts. I hope that you will, like Timothy, train yourself for godliness.


[1] If you are not a member of our church, it is not that I do not want to see you grow. I do! However, God has assigned me to the good people of Warrior Creek Baptist Church. My focus is on them, and biblically so (see Hebrews 13:17). I would encourage you to prayerfully seek out a biblical church to join.

[2] “Discipline,” Merriam-Webster Online (, accessed 10 September 2020).

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