Can the world point to you and say “Now that’s what a Christian should be like, that’s what Christ would do.” What a responsibility God has laid on us. In this passage of scripture, Paul is telling his young preacher boy Timothy the importance of maintaining the testimony of his leadership position. If Timothy was going to make it in the ministry he would have to maintain a blameless reputation. People do not accept, what they do not respect; therefore, leaders must live an exemplary life if they are going to make a difference in the lives of those they lead.
Today, as in the early days of the 1st Century church, it is still important that everyone that names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. We must be the example or pattern of Christ’s person and character. This word “example” carries the idea of a mold that wax would be poured into, to make the candle; or a cookie cutter that would stamp out every cookie the same. God intends for every one of his children to be the same as his dear Son. You may be the only Bible people read and the only image of Christ they ever see….what will they see?
Here is a list of areas we are to be examples…
1. “in word” = the things we say. God’s people should talk different and respond different to criticism and anger than the people of the world do. Our topics of conversation should be Christ honoring & clean. At any given time, our vocabulary should be clean enough for the church house.
2. “in conversation” = our behavior, the things we say with our actions. Truly, actions speak louder than words. We can talk the talk all day long, but if we do not walk the walk, Christ will not be pleased and the world will see us as just another “religious hypocrite”
3. “in charity”= benevolence, or the love we show through our giving. We should be examples of Christ’s giving. No one gave more than Christ, and we that have received the gift of his salvation know better than anyone what it is to be blessed by the charity of another. Be a blessing, and give.
4. “in spirit” = the state of our inner-man; our attitude. The Bible tells you to “rule” over your spirit, which is to have self-control. God’s people should be an example of temperance, longsuffering and patience. Don’t let the situation dictate how you behave; be Christ-like no matter what is going on around you.
5. “in faith” = conviction of God’s truth; our beliefs. What we believe about God’s word will be seen in our behavior, because belief affects behavior! When we believe God’s word it will cause us to live by the Bible and trust him for our every need. Live it like you believe it!
6. “in purity” = cleanness, in mind, body & spirit. In a world of lust and sexual immorality, perversion and immodesty; we need some examples of old fashioned, heavenly purity. Don’t live like the world, in the lust of the flesh and corruption of heart and mind; live in the purity of Christ. Keep yourself clean within and without. Adopt this mentality to help you stay in Christ’s purity; “Would Christ have done this, would his mind think this, would his lips say this?”
I am reminded of a plaque that hung in the little country church where I grew up; it said “What kind of church would my church be, if every member was just like me?”