Inspiration, Not Speculation

The first three chapters of Thomas Watson’s Puritan classic, The Godly Man’s Picture, have addressed the subjects of godliness, pardon from sin, and ungodliness. They have laid a foundation for what we read in the fourth chapter, “Showing the Characteristics of a Godly Man.”

Watson begins this chapter, which is the core of the book, with the question, “Who is the godly man?” When asking this question, he is not asking for the names of godly men we may know. Rather, he is asking, “What are the characteristics of a man who is godly?’

He then tells us that he is going to “lay down several specific” marks that characterize a godly man. I had to smile when he said a “several” because in this chapter he expounds on twenty-four such characteristics.

The first fundamental mark, according to Watson, is knowledge and it has eight “ingredients.” These marks, with accompanying quotes are:

I. It is Grounded

It rests upon “the Word and the Spirit. The one is a guide, the other a witness. Saving knowledge is not changeable or doubtful, but has a certainty to it.”

II. It is Appreciative

“To compare other things with God is to debase deity;”

III. It is Enlivening

A godly man “not only shines by illumination, but he burns by affection.”

IV. It is Appropriating

“Oh what joy, when I am drowned in debt, to know that Christ is my surety!”

V. It is Transforming

” … looking at Christ in the mirror of the gospel, we are changed into his similitude.”

VI. It is Self-Emptying

“True knowledge brings a man out of love with himself. The more he knows, the more he blushes at his own ignorance.”

VII. It is Growing

“True knowledge is like the light of the morning, which increases on the horizon till it comes to the full meridian.”

VIII. It is Practical

“It is a reproach to a Christian to live in contradiction to his knowledge, to know he should be strict and holy, yet to live loosely.”

Watson concludes his discussion on the ingredients of knowledge by asking a final question: “But how shall we get this saving knowledge?”

Here are a couple of quotes that stood out to me as I read his answer to his question.

“Saving knowledge is not by speculation, but by inspiration … “

“The Scripture reveals Christ to us, but the Spirit reveals Christ in us (Gal. 1:16). The Spirit makes known that which all the world cannot do, namely, the sense of God’s love.”

As I conclude this post this morning, I would ask if you have a saving knowledge of and personal relationship with Holy God through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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