What does the Bible say about being a godly man?

Both men and women were created in God's image, designed to reflect Him and display His character in their lives (Genesis 1:27). Each person needs to surrender to the lordship of Jesus Christ and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in order to be able to live a godly life (Acts 1:8). It is Jesus who makes us righteous before God and the Holy Spirit who enables men and women to live godly lives here on earth (2 Corinthians 5:21; Titus 2:11–12; Philippians 2:12–13). So, what does it look like for a man to live a godly life?

Godliness starts in the heart and then manifests in the godly man's outward behaviors. The godly man seeks God and progressively continues to develop a greater devotion to Him (Isaiah 55:6–7). This involves things like regular reading of God's Word (the Bible), habitual prayer, and spending time in fellowship with other believers. A godly man has made Jesus Christ the Lord of his life and has set his heart on a life of love and obedience to God (Romans 10:9–10). With the help of the Spirit, a godly man is able to understand the Bible and the deeper things of God (1 Corinthians 2:9–10).

The godly man knows that his body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and he treats it accordingly (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). Having this perspective of the body as a temple and an understanding of the things of the Spirit within the Word, enables a man to have a godly perspective in all aspects of his life. The purpose of his life becomes pleasing the Lord and not himself (Romans 13:12–14; Hebrews 12:28).

Holiness is the godly man's goal (1 Peter 1:16), but he is aware that he will not be perfect in his pursuit of it (James 3:2). He knows that dying to his flesh and submitting his will to the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:24) is what enables him to fight temptation and live according to God's standard (1 Corinthians 10:13; Galatians 5:16). As he continues relying on the Holy Spirit, the godly man's spiritual muscles are strengthened and God's power at work within him enables him to deny his flesh and say "yes" to the things of the Lord (Philippians 2:12–13; 4:13).

Here are some biblical characteristics of the godly man:
  • Repentant (1 John 1:9)
  • Humble (Philippians 2:3)
  • Does justice and loves kindness (Micah 6:8)
  • Serves others (Mark 10:45)
  • Leads by example (1 Timothy 4:12)
  • Is sexually pure and honors the Lord with his body (1 Corinthians 6:18; Romans 12:1–2)
  • If married, loves and gives himself for his wife as Christ did for the church (Ephesians 5:25)
  • If a father, brings his children up in the ways of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4)
  • Says "no" to sin and "yes" to the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18; Galatians 5:25)
  • Demonstrates the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22–23) and bears fruit in the kingdom of God (John 15:5–8)

  • The godly man is imperfect and knows that he will remain that way until he is with Jesus in heaven (1 Corinthians 13:12; 1 John 3:2). In the meantime, the desire of his heart is to first and foremost be pleasing to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9). He works to live his life as Jesus did, surrendering all areas of weakness to Him in hopes of overcoming them (Romans 6:11–14). There is no requisite physical appearance or socioeconomic status required to be a godly man; any man is able to be a godly man if he loves God and seeks to be obedient to Him in all things (Luke 10:27; Galatians 2:20).

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