Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ.
The apostle's concern is not simply with our talk and conversation with one another, but with the whole course of our life and behavior in the world. The Greek word translated "manner of life" signifies the actions and the privileges of citizenship: And in this way we are commanded to let our actions, as citizens of the New Jerusalem, be worthy of the Gospel of Christ. What "manner of life" is this?
In the first place, the Gospel is very simple. So Christians should be simple and plain in their habits. There should be about our manner, our speech, our dress, our whole behavior that simplicity that is the very soul of beauty.
The Gospel is preeminently true. It is gold without dross; and the Christian's life will be lusterless and valueless without the jewel of truth.
The Gospel is a very fearless Gospel; it boldly proclaims the truth, whether men like it or not. We must be equally faithful and unflinching.
But the Gospel is also very gentle. We see this in Jesus: "a bruised reed he will not break."1 Some professing Christians are sharper than a thorn-hedge; such men are not like Jesus. Let us seek to win others by the gentleness of our words and deeds.
The Gospel is very loving. It is the message of the God of love to a lost and fallen race. Christ's command to His disciples was, "Love one another." We need more real, hearty union with and love for all the saints, more tender compassion toward the souls of the worst and vilest of men!
We must not forget that the Gospel of Christ is holy. It never excuses sin: It pardons it, but only through an atonement. If our life is to resemble the Gospel, we must shun not merely the grosser vices, but everything that would hinder our perfect conformity to Christ.
For His sake, for our own sakes, and for the sake of others, we must strive day by day to let our manner of life be more in accordance with His Gospel.
1 Matthew 12:20
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.