As ministers of Christ, we must be a pattern of good works

I have said this several times over the years in my posts, but it bears repeating. Everyone who believes in Jesus is a minister to some degree even if we have no degree from a university. Peter taught this in 1 Peter 4:10 which says, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” When we must minister one to another, Paul gave Titus some excellent guidelines that all of us should apply in Titus 2:7-8, stating:

In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: 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.

Our lives and teachings should be an example of the true gospel, setting a pattern of good works that agree with scripture. Without having a heart purified by the blood of Jesus, godly works will not automatically flow from our lives as proof of that. “In all things” we do, there should be legitimate effort, tenacity, and teaching for the sake of the gospel.

The pattern we establish will not only have substance, but will reflect the Spirit behind it. Reliable doctrine doesn’t promote corruption and is sincere as well as serious. Having gravity, or seriousness, doesn’t mean we cannot share humor. It means if we share humor, that humor has a principle behind it that lines up with scriptural truth. Our sincerity is not boxed in by applause of men and self-obsessed ulterior motives, but reflects how serious we are in desiring to please God in our purposes–whether spoken or acted out.

What we say should be above any justifiable condemnation from others. Sound speech has the ability to convince skeptics. It goes with the territory of being God’s ministers that sooner or later sharp criticism or antagonistic actions will be hurled our way, but our pattern of good works through sound speech will expose those attempts at condemnation as completely unreliable and unfounded. Clinging to sound speech puts our detractors to shame and invalidates as well as silences any evil thing they may say about us.

Having sound speech would also include the idea of avoiding indecent language. In other words, what Paul elsewhere called “foolish jesting” encompassing double entendre, dirty jokes, curse words, or using God’s name in vain. All of these tenets of showing a pattern of good works have become uncommon in so many Christian circles nowadays, but if we determine in ourselves to be the example God would have us be, the Lord may surprise us by using us to reverse that negative trend.

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