Pastoral 2017

Christians’ Conduct Among Non-Christians

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 19 February 2017

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Colossians 4:5 exhorts us that we “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.” Christians are instructed here concerning their conduct “toward them that are without” the church.

Relating to people outside the household of faith poses peculiar challenges to the Christians. Unbelieving family members, colleagues at work, fellow students, neighbours and other associates – all have principles or philosophies of life and conduct that are contrary to the biblical counsels that God has given for believers to live by. Many things that are lawful in this world are unlawful according to God’s Word. For example, while there exist legalised gambling and prostitution in our societies, Scripture prohibits them completely. While many think that participating in different religious worship ceremonies / activities is good, such conduct is condemned in the Bible as abomination. Christians cannot join those who practise things that are prohibited in the Bible.

So, Christians are admonished to “walk in wisdom toward them that are without”. Our lives must be guided by the highest wisdom of God’s Word. God has said in Deuteronomy 4:6, “Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” In the same manner, Psalm 111:10 instructs His people, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” By living wisely according to His Word, we seek not the honour and praise that cometh from man, but from God (cf. John 5:44; 12:43). The praiseworthy conduct of a Christian is that he walks in the wisdom of God’s Word.

In Romans 16:19, the apostle Paul commended the Roman Christians who walked in obedience to God’s Word as wise. He said, “For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” Christians’ conduct must always be a testimony to the righteousness and goodness of their Lord and His counsels.

We also should not give opportunity to the unbelieving to malign our faith because of our unwise conduct. But we must “buy up” (“redeem”) every opportunity to bear a good testimony for the Lord. Let us not just wait for opportunity to fall into our lap. Let us arise and shine for Christ! ■

 

Christians’ Speech Among Non-Christians

Colossians 4:6 exhorts us, “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”

A Christian’s speech, as much as his conduct, must befit his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our speech must not be like that of the unregenerate people. Our speech should never be channels of boasting, arrogance, lies, deceit, lust, profanity, hatred, curse, intimidation, violence, vanity, flattery, foolishness, idle talk, swearing, slander, gossip, or false teaching.

Our Lord’s speech was impeccable. There was never an imperfect or condemnable word that had proceeded from His mouth. In Luke 4:22, we have a record concerning Christ’s speech: “And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth.” Yet, His enemies were “laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him” (Luke 11:54; cf. Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13). In the end, they could not find anything wrong with His speech, and resorted to engaging false accusers against Him. Our conformity to Christ demands our conformity to His speech; hence the divine imperative: “Let your speech be alway with grace”. This is an exhortation to cultivate speech that is spiritually wholesome, fitting, truthful, loving, kind, sensitive, encouraging and gracious as well. Our speech must demonstrate the grace of God that is operative in our hearts.

At all times, we must maintain gracious speech. Gracious speech must be a habitual characteristic in our interactions with fellow men. In all circumstances of life, we must learn to maintain gracious speech. Whether it be a casual conversation with family members or friends, a stressful situation at home or work, a time of provocation and persecution, a time of Bible Study, a time of giving counsel, or a time of play, let us be careful to maintain gracious speech. Our speech should never be abrasive, rash, vitriolic or nasty.

Now, this does not mean that our speech must be “dripping” with undue words of niceties. But as Paul adds, it must be “seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man”. Our speech ought to be not only gracious, but also effective like the seasoning effect of salt. As salt penetrates the meat to give it taste and prevent decay, so must our speech be reproving, correcting and instructing. We must speak wisely, with spiritual discernment, in order to answer every man appropriately. ■

 

News from Gethsemane Mission Church in Bogo

Dear Pastor Koshy,

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Praise the Lord for the provision of a place for relocation of the Bogo Church.

The place is still in the heart of the city of Bogo and within walking distance from the current place.

The place is on the second floor, which covers a total area of approximately 160 sq. metres (21m x 8m). The worship place is able to accommodate 30-40 seats, which is approximately 7m x 7.5m in area. The place has a room for the Children’s Ministry and a room for Sis Arlaine and me to stay. Presently, we are doing some renovations of the place and making partitions for the Children’s Ministry and the room for us to stay.

Attached are photos of the place.

In Christ,
Eld Eliezer Ortega