Monday, April 1, 2024

 Adorning The Gospel

Earlene Davis

In Titus chapter 2, Apostle Paul gives spiritual advice to different ages of believers and to workers. V. 10 gives the reason for this instruction – “…that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.” Webster’s dictionary gives this meaning for the word “adorn” – ‘adding beauty to something by gracing it with its own beauty, to render attractive, to enhance or heighten the beauty of. It is God’s will that we adorn the Gospel by the way we live our life. So let us read these instructions.  

“But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine” - V. 1. If we speak the truth, it will benefit others. It will build up believers, so they will be scripturally and spiritually healthy, which enhances the Gospel.

V. 2, “That the aged men be sober (or vigilant), grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity (love), in patience.” All these things are evident in spiritual mature men, they are sound in faith, having heeded sound doctrine mentioned in V. 1. Such a living testimony renders the Gospel attractive. 

V. 3, “The aged women likewise (what was said for the aged men applies also to the aged women), that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things.” By their behavior, which speaks louder than words, proving their speech to be sound, they are teachers of good things to the younger women. 

V. 4, “That they may teach the young women to be sober (or wise), to love their husbands, to love their children.” That sound teaching is passed on to following generations, from the aged to the younger and the younger to their children. What do the younger ones learn?

V. 5, “To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the Word of God be not blasphemed.” May our children never be able to say, ‘My parents are not what they seem.’ We don’t want to be a reproach, especially to our own children. Our lives should outwardly manifest that God is doing a work in us by the Holy Spirit. That puts God’s Word on display as it were, giving substance to the message, that it works in us.

Vs. 6-8, “Young men likewise  (as the young women) exhort to be sober minded (or discreet).  In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works (an example): in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 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.” Good works (are works of faith), they can be a powerful testimony to unbelievers.

We can clearly see a progression here, sound doctrine makes sound faith, sound faith makes sound speech and sound speech makes good works and God is glorified. God has ordained good works for His  people and He gives us power to walk in them by the Holy Spirit.

V. 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.” This exhortation to servants applies to workers, to employees. Bad conduct on our jobs could make the Gospel appear repulsive. But If we do our duties as unto the Lord, we can be an adornment that draws others to the Lord. In Mt. 5:16, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” And in Phil. 1:27 we read, “…let your conversation (which means manner of life) be as it becometh the gospel of Christ.”

Vs. 11-15, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.” It is truly awesome and marvelous, that God takes such hopeless material and makes a people for Himself, purchasing us at such a great cost; a people over and above man’s expectations. Does this not make the gospel appealing? Oh, yes.

God does an inward work, as ye yield to His Word and let the Holy Spirit work that Word in us, then it becomes outwardly manifest in our lives. Paul’s life is an example to us, his life adorned the Gospel He preached. I Thess. 1:5, “For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” II Thess. 3:7, “For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you.” 

Paul said in Phil. 4:1, that those Philippian saints were his joy and crown, they received his teaching and were running the race with him for the Prize of the high calling. They were an adornment to Paul. He admonished them to “stand fast,” not in their own wisdom and strength but “in the Lord.” They were the fruit of his labor in the Gospel. Paul also said of the Thessalonian saints that they will be his joy and crown when the Lord comes - I Thess. 2:19-20. We may also add to Paul’s rejoicing in that day by adorning the gospel he preached.

Consider these verses: Proverbs 12:4 says “a virtuous woman is a crown to her husband.” If we adorn the gospel, we shall adorn Christ as His bride. Rev. 10:1, describes Christ descending our of heaven in grandeur and power to assume control of things on earth. He is seen clothed with a cloud and a rainbow is upon His head. It is the saints, associated with Him (His adornment). Also in Rev. 21:2, the holy city, the new Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven, prepared a bride adorned for her husband. The Greek means ‘marshaled, decked, embellished, honored, ornamented.” we read in Rev. 19;7, the Lamb’s wife hath made herself ready. She hearkened to the voice of the Father, inclining her ears to His Word, putting Christ first in her devotion. The 45th Psalm tells us her clothing is of wrought gold. She will be adorned by a company of saints, just as she is a company of saints (a bride adorned).