“Having a form of Godliness but denying the power thereof…” II Tim. 3:5
A mere form of godliness joined to an unholy heart is of no value to God. The swan, although its feathers are as white as snow, yet its skin is black. God will not accept that ‘external morality’ which conceals ‘internal impurity’. There must be a pure heart as well as a clean life. The power of godliness must work within, or else God will not accept our offering. There is no value to man or to God in a religion which is a dead form. Sad is that man’s plight who wears the name of Christian but has never been quickened by the Holy Spirit. There is no use in a mere formal religion. If your religion is without spiritual life, what is the use of it? Could you ride home on a dead horse? Would you hunt with dead dogs? In the depth of winter, can you warm yourself before a ‘painted fire’? Could you dine off the ‘picture of a feast’ when you are hungry? There must be vitality and substantiality, or else the form is utterly worthless; and worse than worthless, for it may flatter you into deadly self conceit.
C.H. Spurgeon (1834-1892)