1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness,
which accords with [produces] godliness,
“Acknowledgement of the truth” produces godliness. The purpose of truth is to produce godliness. There is truth that is conducive to godliness. A godly person fears and serves God because he knows who God is. The Bible joins right belief and right behavior at the hip. We cannot have one without the other.
“Godliness” is a technical term in the pastorals for commitment of one’s life to God. It is God-like-ness. It is devoutness toward God and carries the idea of reverence toward Him. Godliness is the description of a person centered in God.
This word occurs 15 times in the New Testament. The idea is that the believer is to live his life as the Bible depicts the character of God. The Spirit of God takes the Word of God and makes the child of God like the Son of God. The Cretans were low in character (Ti 1:12). Acknowledgement of the truth would bring them godliness. Any concept that does not advance godliness is spurious.
1 Ti 6: 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,
Ti 2: 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,
God inextricably relates truth and godliness together. We cannot be godly without knowledge of what God is like and has to say.
Progression toward maturity is directly in relation to the ratio of our knowledge of the principles of the Word and application of them to experience.
True believers have an appetite for what God has to say, for His truth. This causes them to launch a growth toward maturity.
Disciplined acquisition of the principles of the Word and application of them to our experience determines the rate of our spiritual growth. God expects us to progress from knowledge to godliness. In doing so we will move from self-centeredness to God-centeredness (godliness). We need to go from convinced to converted, and from challenged to changed.
We cannot divorce doctrine from godly living. Truth produces godliness. Godliness has to do with God Himself. If God is love, then the doctrine of His love demands that we be like Him. Truth is inseparable from practice.
True knowledge of God comes from God and leads to Him. Both doctrine and practice center in God. Faith always comes first, yet there are degrees of faith (1 Th 1:3). We need to grow in faith, but we cannot grow in faith without growth in truth or doctrine. Our knowledge is to grow, our knowledge of the truth. This will always produce godliness or God-centeredness (Jn 17:17; 1 Pe 2:3; 3:18).
Ac 20: 32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.