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Adorning the Gospel by John Hendrix


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Adorning the Gospel by John Hendrix

Adorning the Gospel
   The lives of the people who claim to be 
Christians cast a strong reflection on the gospel.  
Few people will read the Bible without first 
seeing its value demonstrated by the lives of 
people who claim to live by the Bible.  The 
apostle Paul laid this burden on the slaves who 
were Christians:
     . . . not pilfering, but showing all good 
     fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of 
     God our Savior in all things.  (Titus 2:10, 
     NKJV)
   The slave's lifestyle will make a strong 
statement about the worth of the gospel.  When he 
shows himself fully trustworthy, when he proves 
that his work is honest, when he behaves like a 
good employee - even though his employment is 
forced - then the master can see that the gospel 
is a powerful positive force in the world.
   "Adorning the gospel of Christ" is not 
making it appear to be something that it is not.  
Adorning the gospel, though, is displaying to the 
world the good of living by its precepts.  
Adorning the gospel is making "the teaching about 
Jesus our Savior attractive" (NIV).
   Jesus made a similar statement,
     Let your light so shine before men, that they 
     may see your good works and glorify your Father 
     in heaven.  (Matthew 5:16, NKJV)
   We do not live righteous lives so that 
people will glorify us, yet when our lives are 
righteous, people will see it and God will be 
glorified.  As a result, more people will be 
receptive to the teachings of God's word.
   Peter emphasized the importance of a 
righteous life in teaching others,
     Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own 
     husbands, that even if some do not obey the 
     word, they, without a word, may be won by the 
     conduct of their wives,  when they observe your 
     chaste conduct accompanied by fear.  (1 Peter 
     3:1-2, NKJV)
   Here the Bible teaches that a woman may 
convert her husband even when the husband refuses 
to hear God's word.  The man may not learn about 
godly living from the Bible, but he can learn it 
from the lifestyle of the woman he married.  Her 
day-to-day righteousness may melt his heart and 
make him more receptive to the way of God.
   The opposite, of course, is also true.  When 
people who call themselves Christians behave in an 
unchristian manner, the world sees this and 
wrongly concludes that the gospel is not the 
wonderful blessing that it is,
     But there were also false prophets among the 
     people, even as there will be false teachers 
     among you, who will secretly bring in 
     destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who 
     bought them, and bring on themselves swift 
     destruction.  And many will follow their 
     destructive ways, because of whom the way of 
     truth will be blasphemed.  (2 Peter 2:1-2, NKJV)
   One of the sins of David when he committed 
adultery and murder was that he gave the enemies 
of God reason to blaspheme (2 Samuel 12:14).
   Pleasing God by our behavior results in 
being a good influence to those around us.  What 
judgements about the word of God do people make 
when they look at our lives?
   How is the gospel adorned at work?
   Do they see a man who is willing to lie to 
get ahead or tear down the character of others 
that his own might be built up?  Do they see 
someone trying to do as little work as he can get 
away with while claiming an 8-hour day?  Do they 
see a man using set-apart company sick leave when 
he is not sick or in other ways cheating the 
insurance that the company provides?
   The apostle Paul commanded,
     Do not lie to one another, since you have put 
     off the old man with his deeds,  (Col 3:9, NKJV)
   This is  a great responsibility.  If we 
practice sterling honesty in all our business 
dealings our employer will know that Christians do 
not lie.  Chances are great that he will be 
impressed and look favorably on the gospel because 
of our actions.
   How is the gospel adorned in our marriages?
   Does the spouse see someone who is bitter 
and contentious?  Is the husband unloving?  Does 
he fail to treat the wife as the more precious 
vessel (1 Pet 3:7)?  Does he fail to sacrifice for 
the good of the wife, like Christ did for the 
church (Eph 5:25)?
   Is the wife unloving, disobedient, or 
unkind?  Does she resent her husband and her role 
in the home (Eph 5:22-23)?
   None of these casts a good reflection on the 
gospel.  All of these represent sin against God 
and one another, and provide opportunities for 
those who are not Christians to blaspheme.
   Properly adorning the gospel requires 
faithfulness to God in every aspect of life.  We 
must be like Jesus who was determined to fulfill 
all righteousness (Matt 3:15).
   How is the gospel adorned in your life?
*******************************************************
                                                     
  I'll be all right if I don't have to face the  
  world again.                              
  ~I'll Be All Right~  Gordon Lightfoot

      John Hendrix                                  
          hendrixj@nichols.com                 
          hendrix-jl@redstone.army.mil  
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