by the Rev. Andrew Kuyvenhoven
In September we read Paul's letter to Titus and his very last letter, called 2 Timothy. Paul's concern is that the true gospel be preserved and proclaimed by a faithful church.
... so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive (Titus 2:10).
The good works of Christians underline the good words of the gospel.
Three times in as many paragraphs Paul makes the point that the behavior of Christians either advertises or discredits the gospel of grace. First, Paul says that if women don't behave in a manner that is sensible, chaste, or lovingly submissive, God's Word will be maligned (vv. 3–5). Second, he says that if Titus combines impeccable behavior with good teaching, he will silence his opponents (vv. 7–8). And third, if Christian slaves are the best workers, they will commend the gospel to all who have eyes to see (vv. 9–10).
By their behavior, the congregation can decorate the doctrine of God our Savior. While this adornment does not add to the gospel, the beauty of this behavior will attract people to the gospel.
These last words—"so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive"—are addressed to slaves. The core of the gospel is opposed to slavery, and in later years this gospel demanded that Christians abolish the institution of slavery. But Paul did not yet counsel anyone to rise in rebellion, to go on strike, or to take up arms. In the same way, Paul's words on women's behavior also make concessions to what his environment considered proper.
At all times, more is at stake than your and my rights. The real issue is that we reflect the attractiveness of the gospel.
Andrew Kuyvenhoven's Daylight, a modern devotional classic, was originally published in 1994. This edition is copyright by Faith Alive Christian Resources, from whom may be ordered Daylight, the predecessor of Twilight.
A man of many accomplishments, Andrew Kuyvenhoven is probably best known for his contributions to Today (formerly The Family Altar), a widely-used monthly devotional booklet associated with the Back to God Hour. Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations for this edition of Twilight are from the New International Version