An attractive life

Titus 2.5, 8, 10

Philip said, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.’ Jesus answered: ‘Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, “Show us the Father”? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work. John 14.8-10

The reason Jesus was such an attractive person to so many was that he revealed God the Father through his character.  It was also the reason people were hostile towards him because their hearts were hostile to God and godliness. Similarly, the transforming work of the grace of God in Christians lives is intended to be a means by which Jesus is revealed to those who do not yet have faith. Titus 2.10 There are many scriptures that capture how as children of God we are to grow into Christ likeness.  An outcome of this process is to draw others into relationship with God that they also might be recipients of salvation. Jesus said, ‘Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven’. Matthew 5.16

In Crete the Christian life was in stark contrast to the surrounding culture where over indulgence and idolatry were the norm. Paul was insistent that the conduct of Christians’ private lives should not detract from the gospel.  His advice reflected life in Crete but it is not restricted to that time and place. He wanted older women to be reverent in their behaviour, careful in the way they speak and not addicted to alcohol. v2.3 The impact of excessive alcohol is to reduce self-control and therefore lead on to behaviour that is offensive to God.  The same advice is equally appropriate to all including older men who were taught to be dignified, sober-minded, self-controlled, sound in faith and in love. v2.2 The repeated message for all groups within the church whether they were older or younger, free or bondservants, was to be self-controlled, trustworthy, careful in their speech, loving in their relationships, full of good works.  All of this for the sake of the gospel. For young women it was, ‘that the word of God may not be reviled’. v2.5 In the case of young men it was, ‘So that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us’. v2.8 In regarding the relationship with bondservants and their masters it was, ‘so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour’. v2.10

It is a false reading of chapter 2 if it is taken to advocate either the oppression of women in marriage or the endorsement of any form of slavery. Here the emphasis is on the ongoing saving work of the grace of God in believers’ lives and how that in itself is a witness to Jesus as the gospel.

What is it that you find attracts you to Jesus in other believers’  lives?

Is the Lord prompting you through the gospel to become more Christ like?

Are you in a relationship (e.g. sister, husband, friend) with an as yet non-believer and how can your life make Jesus more attractive to them?

How deep the Father’s love – Fernando Ortega

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