THE RIDDLE AND MYSTERY OF TRUE GODLINESS


Mike Blume
July 31, 2005 pm

  Scripture Text:

 
Judges 13:2-5 KJV  And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.  (3)  And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son.  (4)  Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:  (5)  For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.
 
Judges 13:24 KJV  And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

Judges 14:5-8 KJV  Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.  (6)  And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.  (7)  And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.  (8)  And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

Judges 14:12 KJV  And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments:
 
Judges 14:14 KJV  And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.
 

  Message:


 

The book of 1 Timothy is rife with references to GODLINESS.

1 Timothy 1:5 KJV  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

 That is godliness.

1 Timothy 1:19 KJV  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

1 Timothy 2:8-10 KJV  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.  (9)  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;  (10)  But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

1 Timothy 3:2-5 KJV  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  (3)  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  (4)  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  (5)  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

 1 Timothy 3:15-16 KJV  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  (16)  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

 1 Timothy 4:8 KJV  For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

1 Timothy 6:6 KJV  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

And this topic of presents a real MYSTERY.

"great is the mystery of godliness"

  • What is the key to actually living a truly godly life?
  • So many try and very few attain and maintain it.
  • What is the solution to this mystery?

 
Verse 16 above is not speaking nor teaching about Oneness theology.

It refers to oneness thinking by implication.

  • God was manifest in flesh... not anyone else besides God, Himself.
  •  However, the emphasis is upon GODLINESS.

 It is a mystery.

  • And IT'S A SORT OF MYSTERY THAT NO ONE WOULD EVER BE ABLE TO second guess.
  • But Paul explained this mystery.

 God was manifest in flesh.

  • But when you would think God's manifestation in FLESH must have been tremendous flesh and flesh so holy and divine that we could never hope to ever carry ourselves in our flesh as He did THAT flesh, we read... HE WAS NOT JUSTIFIED IN HIS FLESH.

·                     The first thing we read in this verse is that He was justified in the SPIRIT.

  • If God, manifest in flesh, could not use THAT FLESH -- HIS FLESH -- to justify Himself, how much less can we seek to be justified in our flesh?
  • He came, in other words, and lived by the same limitations we have... flesh so weak as to not be able to fulfill the divine will without seeking DIVINE STRENGTH to be just.

John 5:19 KJV  Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

 
John 8:28 KJV  Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.

 
Like the MYSTERY of godliness, there was a riddle put forth by the great judge and bible hero SAMSON.

Samson came across a LION on his way to TIMNATH to seek an occasion against the PHILISTINES, Israel's enemy.

  • The lion was a hindrance.

 TIMNATH MEANS APPOINTED.

 God has appointed us to VICTORY in our lives over our enemies.

 But this LION appeared to hinder that.

 As the result of a WORD FROM GOD years ago, Samson had power of God upon his life.

  • It was a word from God that gave the key to his strength.
  • A Nazarite vow.
  • No alcohol, let hair grow uncut.
  • A Nazarite vow was something men and women entered into during their lives.
  • But this would be Samson's entire lifestyle FROM HIS MOTHER'S WOMB!

 

And Samson experienced something the normal person could not experience.

  • It was an abnormal lifestyle he enjoyed.
  • Supernatural power from God.

 When he tore the lion, he returned and found it had been invaded by bees who made a hive and he took honey out of it.

  • VICTORY IS SWEET.

 This is the sort of victory nobody else could know for themselves in that time.

  • ·They were not familiar with tearing up lions and finding, of all things, honey in their carcases on their ways past them later on.

 And in the course of time this was used as the source for a riddle.

  • We won't discuss the circumstances in which the riddle was given, but let us concentrate upon the riddle itself.
  • OUT OF THE EATER CAME FORTH MEAT, AND OUT OF THE STRONG CAME FORTH SWEETNESS.           

 This was not like the riddles we are familiar with today.

  • The point of the riddle was that the person had to guess the picture that was described by the words given.
  • And the words of the riddle were intended to try and successfully keep others from ever guessing the answer.

 The LION was the EATER and the STRONG.

 The Honey was MEAT (food) and SWEETNESS.

 Now, normally, no one would ever think of finding FOOD from an EATER.

  • The eater EATS food.
  • That would be the last place to find food!
  • Not only that, but who would think of something STRONG to take SWEETNESS from?
  • So that part of the riddle was difficult in itself.

 
Who would have known, also, that THIS LION THAT HAD HONEY WAS KILLED BY SAMSON BECAUSE HE HAD LONG HAIR, BECAUSE OF A WORD OF GOD THAT CAME TO HIS MOTHER BEFORE HE WAS BORN?

  • Not only that, but it was killing that lion that later led to honeybees swarming in it's carcase.

So not only is the thought of getting food from an eater odd, and getting sweetness from the strong odd, but Samson having long hair that allowed God to give Him power to kill this lion and see honeybees make a beehive in its belly was simply unthinkable!

Without a Word from God, who could ever guess this?

This is the same sort of MYSTERY that NOBODY COULD GUESS when it comes to godliness.

  • ONLY SOMEONE WHO KNEW GOD'S WORD TO HIS MOTHER WOULD EVEN HAVE A CHANCE TO KNOW SAMSON'S RIDDLE.
  • LIKEWISE, ONLY THOSE WHO KNOW THE WORD OF GOD WOULD EVER BE ABLE TO KNOW HOW TO LIVE GODLY.
  • HOW TO OVERCOME ONE'S OWN FLESH!

 Romans 7 shows us Paul's struggle, since at one time he did not know the answer to the riddle, to stop committing sins and to please God.

  • Paul knew the answer when he wrote Romans 7, despite the fact that some people believe Paul described his then=present quandary.
  • Paul merely related how he came to the answer to the riddle by writing of his PAST experiences, long before he wrote Romans 7.
  • Paul gives the answer to the riddle in Romans 7!

Watch the dilemma he described  concerning his former life.

Romans 7:15-17 KJV  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.  (16)  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.  (17)  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

 Romans 7:18-19 KJV  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.  (19)  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

 Romans 7:21 KJV  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

 Romans 7:22-24 KJV  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:  (23)  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.  (24)  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

 
What frustration!

WHAT A RIDDLE!

 HOW DO I DO GOOD, and NOT SEE EVIL OCCUR INSTEAD?

 Even after knowing Samson lived a victorious supernatural lifestyle, nobody would think of Samson having long hair to be able to kill lions, to answer the riddle about honey in a lion's body!

  • I mean, how many variables of miracles can there be to think of something supernatural that solved a riddle about lions and honey, when you know the person involved could be capable of anything?
  • Even knowing supernatural power was on the guy would not help you know the precise answer he was seeking.

 THERE IS AN ANSWER OF HAVING SWEET VICTORY OVER THE LIONS IN OUR LIVES THAT ONLY THE ONES WHO HAVE RECEIVED A WORD FROM GOD CAN KNOW.

 Romans 6 through 8 is a word from God that people learn in order to know how to have SWEET VICTORY OVER ALL ENEMIES--- including their own flesh!

 Paul tried to be justified in his flesh when he tried HIS FLESHLY BEST to do good for God.

  • There is nothing more we have to our disposal than FLESH in and of ourselves.
  • Someone said "Where there's a will, there's a way."
  • WRONG.
  • Paul said he had the will to do good, but he did not have the means to do  it.

 Samson had ANOTHER POWER COME UPON HIM.

 One key note about Samson that connects some of this together is this word:

 Judges 16:22 KJV  Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

 Judges 16:30 KJV  And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

The one part that connects us with Jesus is not Samson's failures beforehand, but the emphasis placed upon how in his death he defeated more enemies than at any previous time. 

 Jesus Christ's death DEFEATED ALL ENEMIES!

  • He healed the sick and defeated people's sicknesses.
  • He raised the dead and conquered death in a few individuals.
  • Many victories.
  • BUT IN HIS DEATH HE DID FAR MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE HE DID.

 And we are baptized INTO THAT DEATH.

 Romans 6:3 KJV  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

 Romans 6:6-7 KJV  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.  (7)  For he that is dead is freed from sin.

 FREED FROM SIN.

 Romans 6:12 KJV  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

Romans 8:11-12 KJV  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.  (12)  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

Instead of sin reigning in our mortal bodies, the SPIRIT OF GOD CAN ENERGIZE OUR MORTAL BODIES!

  • If we can live like Jesus in His resurrection power NOW, then our mortal bodies must be energized like His immortal body was energized in His resurrection.
  • That will help us LIVE resurrection victory.

 

THE ANSWER IS TO LOOK TO ANOTHER POWER.

 Romans 6:12-13 KJV  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.  (13)  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

 God's WORD teaches us that THIS VICTORY only comes to people FAMILIAR WITH LEANING ON GOD'S POWER.

  • PEOPLE WOULD NEVER THINK OF THAT OTHERWISE!
  • THEY WOULD NEVER IMAGINE IT IN A MILLION YEARS!
  • ONLY REVEALING GOD'S WORD CAN SHOW IT.
  • AND WE CAN BE JUST!

 

Romans 1:17 KJV  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

 Romans 3:28 KJV  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

JUSTIFIED IN THE SPIRIT!