2 Timothy 3:5

5 holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!

2 Timothy 3:5 Meaning and Commentary

2 Timothy 3:5

Having a form of godliness
Either a mere external show of religion, pretending great piety and holiness, being outwardly righteous before men, having the mask and visor of godliness; or else a plan of doctrine, a form of sound words, a scheme of truths, which men may have without partaking of the grace of God; and which, with respect to the doctrine of the Trinity, the church of Rome has; or else the Scriptures of truth, which the members of that church have, and profess to hold to, maintain and preserve; and which contains doctrines according to godliness, and tend to a godly life and godly edification:

but denying the power thereof;
though in words they profess religion and godliness, the fear of God, and the pure worship of him, yet in works they deny all; and though they may have a set of notions in their heads, yet they feel nothing of the power of them on their hearts; and are strangers to experimental religion, and powerful godliness: or though they profess the Scriptures to be the word of God, yet they deny the use, the power, and efficacy of them; they deny the use of them to the laity, and affirm that they are not a sufficient rule of faith and practice, without their unwritten traditions; and that they are not able to make men wise, or give them a true knowledge of what is to be believed and done, without them; and that the sense of them is not to be understood by private men, but depends upon the infallible judgment of the church or pope:

from such turn away;
have no fellowship with them, depart from their communion, withdraw from them, and come out from among them: this passage sufficiently justifies the reformed churches in their separation from the church of Rome.

2 Timothy 3:5 In-Context

3 inhuman, implacable, slanderers, profligates, brutes, haters of good,
4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
5 holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them!
6 For among them are those who make their way into households and captivate silly women, overwhelmed by their sins and swayed by all kinds of desires,
7 who are always being instructed and can never arrive at a knowledge of the truth.