- 5 … that the word of God may not be reviled.
- 8 …so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.
- 10 …. so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
Obedience to the requirements in this chapter are essential, Paul points out, not only for their own sake which is a given for you can then know the blessing and the joy of Christian living, but because it has such powerful effect on others.
Now this is stated in three purpose clauses in the chapter. One is in verse 5, the second is in verse 8 and the third is in verse 10 and they are potent. Let’s look at verse 5. All of this matter of behavior, end of verse 5, is in order that or for the purpose that the Word of God may not be dishonored. That’s it. The first compelling issue here is the honor of the Word of God. Back in 1 Timothy 5:14, younger widows are instructed to get married and bear children and keep house. Why? To give the enemy no occasion for reproach for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. In other words, how you live is going to impact how people view Christianity and it makes Christianity attractive or turns them away into the path of Satan. The Word of God, he says, may not be dishonored. That’s what holy living produces. The word here is really the word for blasphemed at the end of verse 5, disdained, rejected, treated as a lie, disregarded, mocked, shunned, ignored.
In other words, how you live will directly determine how people feel about the Word of God. Amazing. A Christian wife who is not what she ought to be, a Christian young man who is not what he ought to be, a Christian older man who is not what he ought to be, a Christian older woman who is not what she ought to be is going to give reason for people to blaspheme God’s Word. You see, the world doesn’t judge us by our theology, the world judges us by our behavior, right? And they judge the validity of the Scripture by our behavior. They…they judge whether Scripture is really true and powerful and life changing by whether it changes our lives.
I remember Sam Ericcson telling me that time some years back that he had invited a lawyer, he was working for a law firm in L.A., he invited a lawyer to come to church and he said, “We want you to come because our church teaches the Bible, we have a pastor who teaches the Bible and I think you’d appreciate it.” And he said, “What church is it?” And Sam said, “Grace Community Church.” He said, “Ha,” he said, “I don’t go to any church but I sure wouldn’t go to that church, the most crooked attorney I know in the city goes there.” End of discussion. The Word of God was blasphemed in that man’s life and consequently this man turned his back on the truth. I mentioned that, by the way, on the following Sunday to our congregation without naming which lawyer it was and I think 25 lawyers repented. But that’s the simple illustration of what happens when you don’t live the life, you bring reproach on the truth. If it’s life‑changing truth, then it ought to change your life. Why should people believe it’s life‑changing truth if your life isn’t changed?