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
. . . not pilfering, but showing all good
fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of
God our Savior in all things. (Titus 2:10,
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
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
~I'll Be All Right~ Gordon Lightfoot