Last week we spoke of our leaders and aspiring to become leaders ourselves. Today it is
about us. I have heard it said that people read about Jesus through “the gospel according to you”, and that “you are the only Jesus some may ever see”. What does he look like as represented by you? People don’t have a problem with a “historic” Jesus, because what he taught, he lived. Unfortunately it’s those Christians they have a problem with… The very thing that God has chosen to reveal his plan to the world – the Church; is the very thing people hold against God as an excuse not to come to him. More specifically, those in the church. What should we look like?
What Must Be Taught to Various Groups
2 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance. 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. 9 Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, 10 and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive. 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.
Who are you Lord?
I AM the Great God and savior who died to redeem all people, and am coming back to claim you as my very own. I AM the epitome of respect, self control, I AM reverent in how I lived on earth. I have integrity, so that nothing bad could be said against me. I can be fully trusted. I “made the teaching of God attractive”. Do you? In the mean time; since I am living in you, what should that look like in your life? How would I live in each of your circumstances? This is how I want you to live. Do these traits in this passage, my traits, describe your character? Unbelievers don’t have a problem with me, but they do have a problem when they don’t see these traits in you and unfortunately for them in the long run, they hold me in contempt because of my children. It is sad that they do this to their own eternal peril when I will call them to account. Don’t let your life be the reason someone would refuse to come to me.
In the first century church people revered the believers because they lived what Christ taught. They lived in demonstration of the power of the Spirit. Lives were changed as they lived for each other. The Pharisees knew that these men had been with Jesus. Can we say the same thing about ourselves? Can you or I say that our lives are notably Christ like? I know people who are, and wish I was more like them. We all need to grow in these internal attributes so that others will notice. Temperance, worthiness, respectful, integrity, patience, grace, love, kindness, godly, self-controlled, authoritative, sure, eager to goodness, upright. Just imagine if these described our inner man… Christianity is not about what we do as much as what we are like, and then it is reflected or expressed in what we do, buy, say, feel and think.
People don’t naturally possess these attributes, God gives them to us as we focus on him. However putting them into practice in our day to day lives is something that must be taught. Godly men and women need to teach the younger in how to apply God’s word in situations that will translate into character change. It is not automatic, it is a life long process called discipleship and it affects how we think, feel, and what we choose to emulate.
More to come,