Representing Christ WELL
Category : General
1 Thess.2: 10 (KJV)
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe.
It has been noted, ‘The life of the Christian is taken as a kind of representation of the doctrine of Christians; the life of the Christian is taken very commonly by the world as a kind of incarnation of the faith of the Christian.’
This verse is designed to represent in a summary manner the conduct of the apostle among the Thessalonians, which was hitherto only represented by special features; but as thereby not merely what was patent to external observation, that is, the visible action on which man can pronounce a judgment, but likewise the internal disposition, which is the source of that action, was to be emphasized. Here he practiced his own precepts, Titus 2:12. Paul naturally appeals for the truth of his assertion not only to his readers, but to God. The apostle, however, proceeds without a particle of transition, on account of the warmth of emotion with which he speaks. He did not imply by this that his conduct toward unbelievers was any different, but that the focus of his godly living was to set a righteous example in the presence of believers. He calls God and them to witness, with the view of affirming his integrity, and cites, on the one hand, God as a witness of his conscience, and them, on the other hand, as witnesses of what they had known by experience. How holily, says he, and justly, that is, with how sincere a fear of God, and with what fidelity and blamelessness towards men; and thirdly, unreproachably, by which he means that he had given no occasion of complaint or obloquy. This seems to refer to his duties both to God and man. In reference to all those duties no one could bring a charge against him. Every duty was faithfully performed. This is not a claim to absolute perfection, but it is a claim to consistency of character, and to faithfulness in duty, which every Christian should be enabled to make.
And herein lies the difference between divinity and other sciences, that it is not enough to prescribe it, but you must practice it, as lessons of music, and as a copy must not be read only, but acted also. Every one professing religion or Christianity should so live as to be able to appeal to all who have had an opportunity of knowing him, as witnesses that he was consistent and faithful, and that there was nothing which could be laid to his charge. The servants of Christ cannot avoid calumnies, and unfavorable reports; for being hated by the world, they must of necessity be evil-spoken of among the wicked. Hence, he restricts this to believers, who judge uprightly and sincerely, and do not revile malignantly and groundlessly.
Moreover, every Christian has a work in this respect in the world, and there are some whom he needs to instruct, to exhort, to admonish, to warn, or to rebuke. To do this effectually it is necessary that there should be some wisdom in the choice of time, and in the choice of circumstances, and in the choice of subject, and in the manner of speaking; and it is more than all necessary, to speak effectually to others, that there should be a life more or less in harmony with what is spoken. This is the reason why many professing Christians speak so little to others on the subject of Christian faith and on the subject of Christian practice; this is the reason—a want of harmony between their own life and that which they would have to speak.
‘The only way of getting to heaven, the only way of being participators in Christ hereafter, in His glory and felicity, is by being associated in life with Him here. He said Himself it should be so; that they who served with Him should reign with Him; that they who confessed Him here should be acknowledged by Him there; that they who lived with Him here should live with Him there. He said so: He cannot deny Himself! He cannot recall His word! He cannot violate His promise! He would not do it if He could; He could not do it if He would! He cannot and would not because of His own nature! “Heaven and earth may pass away, but His Word cannot pass away.”’
Have a great and godly day!