Worthy Conduct

Sometimes we see people in positions of authority that do things that are inappropriate for the positions that they hold.  Maybe it is a government official that accepts bribes or spends public funds for his own benefit.  Maybe it is a police officer who violates the law.  Maybe it is a teacher that has an inappropriate relationship with a student.  We can easily see that their conduct is not worthy or fitting of the position that they hold.  In the same way, we may see people that call themselves Christians with conduct that is inappropriate for Christians.  Here is what the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi.  Philippians 1:27 “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”  If someone were to give a report about you or your congregation, would they report that your conduct is worthy of the gospel?

The gospel message is described by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-5 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.  For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.” The essence of the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Since Christ died for us, we can have the forgiveness of our sins and receive eternal life.  When we obey the gospel, we die to our sins, we are buried in baptism, and we rise to walk in newness of life.  Romans 6:4 “Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”  To me, conduct worthy of the gospel of Christ would be conduct that demonstrates a death to the old, sinful way of living and also demonstrates righteous conduct that demonstrates a newness of life.

Before the ministry of Jesus, John the Baptist came preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.  Luke 3:7-8 “Then he said to the multitudes that came out to be baptized by him, “Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?  Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, and do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.’”  Notice John’s words to the multitudes.  “Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance.”  Repentance literally means to change one’s mind or purpose.  John was telling the multitudes that to bear fruit worthy of repentance they needed to demonstrate their changed mind and purpose with changes in their life.

We are saved by God’s grace.  It is a gift from God.  But that grace should teach us something.  Titus 2:11-14 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”  Conduct that is worthy or fitting of God’s grace is conduct that denies ungodliness and worldly lusts and is conduct whereby we live soberly, righteously and godly.

The apostle Paul implored the Ephesians to walk worthy of their calling.  Ephesians 4:1-3 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”  That worthy conduct was described as including lowliness, gentleness, longsuffering, love, and working for unity and peace.

The apostle Paul prayed that the Colossians would walk worthy of the Lord.  Colossians 1:10 “That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”  That worthy conduct was described as fully pleasing Him, fruitful, and increasing in the knowledge of God.

Finally, the apostle Paul charged the Thessalonians to walk worthy of God.  1 Thessalonians 2:11-12 “As you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.”

To have worthy conduct or to walk in a worthy manner does not mean that you earn your salvation.  No one can earn his salvation; it is a gift from God because of His love, mercy and grace.  Worthy conduct simply means that your conduct is consistent with a transformed life. Here is the apostle Paul’s appeal in Romans 12:1-2 “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

My encouragement to you is that you decide to have your conduct worthy of the gospel, worthy of God’s grace, worthy of your calling, worthy of the Lord and worthy of God as the scriptures have described.

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