Lights In The World
(Actions Speak Louder than Words)
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
- Last Sunday evening a young brother exhorted the church to let their lights shine before men (Matt 5:16).
- We are studying Colossians, which shows us the Great Commission fulfilled in Paul’s time (Col 1:6,23).
- The women will meet on Wednesday night, and I know their agenda includes this very matter (Prov 22:1).
- Others outside our assembly have told the pastor the testimony and confirmation of the gospel by our lives.
- The evidence of our salvation is by continuing in the faith without moving away from it at all (Col 1:23,28).
We know the great commission was given to the apostles and fulfilled by them before 70 A.D.
- Therefore, we are not surprised to find Paul’s epistles void of similar instructions to us.
- The emphasis of the New Testament is holy living in all our relationships and duties.
- But we should be ready to answer any who might ask about our hope, and preparation for these questions begins with a holy heart before God (I Pet 3:15-16; Prov 22:17-21).
- Sanctifying the Lord God in your hearts is to set Him apart and high in your life, as the eternally, thrice Holy God that He is.
- Isaiah put it, “Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread” (Isaiah 8:13).
- We cannot make God holy, but we can think, speak, and live as to the holy God, by which service we conform completely to His will and deny all ungodliness.
- This service is not mere external formalism, but rather a sincere heart dedicated to God, which bears fruit in a holy life that is visible to those watching us.
- We back up our answers with a good conscience and spotless reputation (3:16).
- This is the most glorious and meaningful evangelism. It honors Jesus Christ and works.
Instead of talking a lot, we should live in a way to make the gospel attractive and desirable.
- The Bible rule is even children are known by their doings, not their talking (Pro 20:11).
- Jesus had taught early that good works will cause men to glorify our Father (Matt 5:16).
- Wives of unconverted men can win their husbands without talking at all (I Peter 3:1-2).
- Any who say they believe are no better than devils, who believe and tremble (Jas 2:19).
- Any who say they know God and do not keep His commandments are liars (I John 2:4).
- Ministers are to teach things becoming sound doctrine – making it attractive (Titus 2:1).
- The greatest complaint against Christianity is hypocrisy, which we must reject totally.
- Holy lives encourage saints, confirm preachers, convict sinners, and condemn enemies.
See the great emphasis in the Bible about the importance of our actions beautifying God’s truth.
I Samuel 18:16,30 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them. Then the princes of the Philistines went forth: and it came to pass, after they went forth, that David behaved himself more wisely than all the servants of Saul; so that his name was much set by.
2 Sam 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
Prov 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
Prov 27:11 My son, be wise, and make my heart glad, that I may answer him that reproacheth me.
Dan 6:4-5 Then the presidents and princes sought to find occasion against Daniel concerning the kingdom; but they could find none occasion nor fault; forasmuch as he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him. Then said these men, We shall not find any occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law of his God.
Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:15-20 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Luk 23:14-15 Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
John 13:35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Acts 9:39 Then Peter arose and went with them. When he was come, they brought him into the upper chamber: and all the widows stood by him weeping, and shewing the coats and garments which Dorcas made, while she was with them.
Acts 25:7 And when he was come, the Jews which came down from Jerusalem stood round about, and laid many and grievous complaints against Paul, which they could not prove.
Rom 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
Rom 2:24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Ro 12:17-18 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
I Corinthians 9:19,22,23 For though I be free from all men, yet have I made myself servant unto all, that I might gain the more. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.
1Cor 10:32 Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God.
Gal 1:23-24 But they had heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth the faith which once he destroyed. And they glorified God in me.
Gal 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.
Phil 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.
Phil 2:15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Col 4:5 Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.
I Thess 1:7-9 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Thess 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
1Thess 5:15 See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.
1Thess 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
1Tim 1:10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine.
1Tim 2:9-10 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
1Tim 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
1Tim 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
1Tim 5:14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.
1Tim 6:1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine.
Titus 2:3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;
Titus 2:5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2:8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you.
Titus 2:9-10 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.
Titus 3:2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men.
1Pet 2:12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
1Pet 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
1Pet 2:16 As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
1Pet 2:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.
1Pet 3:1-2 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear.
1Pet 3:16 Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.
1Pet 4:15-16 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
- It is your duty to examine yourself with a Bible and natural microscope for any areas of offence to others.
- This examination must be highly critical, for the odious person never smells their own odiousness, etc., etc.
- We are expressly told to be without offence before all men, even in matters of liberty and social preference.
- If the President were to assign us as ambassadors to an antagonistic nation, we would be dedicated to live perfect lives before the whole nation. But we are assigned to be the sons of God in this perverse nation.