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Living According to Sound Doctrine, Part 2 - Matt Postiff

Posted July 21, 2021 | Length: 00:45:07 | File size in bytes: 16244928

The results of the Christian lifestyle in every age and social group are found in verses 5, 8, and 10: “That the word of God may not be blasphemed.” “That one who is an opponent may be ashamed, having nothing evil to say of you.” “That they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.” We discern two directions in the purpose of Paul’s teaching. The first is toward God. It is not just the reputation of the church or the shame of an individual that is at issue: God’s honor and glory are even more important. If we behave badly, the world easily notices and this drags God’s word and name into the mud. That ought to be a deep concern to us. Compare this to Romans 2:23-24. If we live well, God’s teaching is “dressed up nicely” with our conduct and it makes God and His doctrine all that much more appealing to an outsider. The second direction in which a truly Christian lifestyle makes an impact is toward people. If we behave well consistently and in a loving fashion (not a haughty fashion) then we will have an impact on others around us. They may persist in denying Christ or saying that they do not believe like we do, but they cannot deny that our lives are well-lived and there is nothing evil to say. However, when a church has an incident of abuse or a split or does strange things in the community, that gives the people an excuse to reject not only the church, but God as well. The church family’s ethics must be superb. The church must stand out in a society that is unethical. But Paul’s concern is not just that the church be different so it is non-conformist. His instructions are not an expediency to keep the church alive in the Roman culture. His concern is the truth of God, the doctrine which is in agreement with godliness (Titus 1:1). It is applicable in every culture throughout all time. Truth supersedes culture and whether following truth means the church is well-thought-of or ill-thoughtof does not matter ultimately. What matters is that God is honored by faithful obedience to His word. When you examine your own life in light of the instructions for men or women and servants, how do you stack up? Is your life honoring your Savior and Lord, or is it dragging His name down?

Our Scripture reading was found in Ezekiel 1:1-28.

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