Sunday, July 14, 2013

Need A Shower?

[Exhort] bondservants to be obedient to their own masters, to be well pleasing in all [things], not answering back, not pilfering, but showing all good fidelity, that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things. Titus 2:9-10 NKJV

When is the last time you took a shower or a bath? Now before you think I am getting a little too personal, take another look at the passage from Titus while I explain the reason for my question today. We have been talking about the rapture of the Church, and just how close to occurring many seem to believe that it is. The picture we are given in the New Testament of Christ returning for His Church is one of a bridegroom coming to receive his bride. In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells us this;
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present [you as] a chaste virgin to Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:2 NKJV

Now I may have mentioned a time or two that I was blessed with three daughters, so as you might imagine, I know a thing or two about a wedding, and all that goes into preparing for one. Especially noteworthy, however, is just what is involved in the bride preparing herself to meet her future husband on the day of the wedding. Although I may have had some idea of what went on, it was enlightening to see just how many hours are expended in the process of taking a shower, getting the hair done, having the makeup applied, and finally putting on the wedding dress.
As I thought about the subject of Christ returning for His bride, I couldn’t help but think back to those weddings and wonder if maybe we as members of the body of Christ should be a little more concerned with the state of our spiritual hygiene than we possibly are? Could we honestly say we are as prepared to meet the bridegroom as we should be, or is there room for improvement? As I thought about these things, I remembered that Paul uses an interesting word in the passage from Titus and it is the word translated “adorn”.

In the Greek, the word for adorn is “kosmeo” which means to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare, to ornament, adore, to embellish with honor, gain honor. If the word sounds familiar, it is because this is where we get our English word cosmetic. So knowing this, when we look more closely at this passage, it would appear Paul is telling Titus and all believers that we have a responsibility to examine ourselves closely to see if we are reflecting the doctrine of God in our personal lives so that others might see and understand that we are different.
I can’t help but recall occasional articles that regularly appear in the media showing famous people with and without their makeup on, and noticing just how obvious the difference is. If I had to attempt to write a definition of kosmeo without offending my daughters, (or any other women who may read this) I would have to say it is a lengthy process with many steps resulting in an attractive presentation in the best possible light. To me, this gives this passage of scripture, and this particular verse, a whole new meaning. Yet there is another part of this admonition we need to notice and that is what we are told that we need to adorn ourselves with which is the “doctrine of God”.

In the Greek, the word for doctrine is didaskalia, which is translated as teaching, instruction, that which is taught, doctrine, teachings, precepts. Now how do we as believers “adorn” ourselves with the “doctrine” of God? Well I believe the obvious first step is to study and learn what God has revealed to us in His Word.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV

When believers begin to study the Word of God and commit to memory the “teachings and precepts” that we find there, we begin the process of putting on our spiritual makeup. Why a process? Because it appears that what Paul is telling us here is that when we take the first step of learning what God has revealed to us through His Word, it has an effect on our outward appearance. How so? The obvious answer from this passage is that our actions, what others see us do and say, begins to change.

If we look back at the first chapter of Titus, we see that Paul has written this letter to Titus because there are obvious problems in the Church. How obvious? Read how Paul chooses to describe them to Titus.

For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain. They profess to know God, but in works they deny [Him], being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.              Titus 1:10-11,16 NKJV

Sadly it would appear that many were not examining themselves to be sure they were putting on their makeup the right way! How do you know if your makeup is on right? Your actions, what others see you do and say, will reveal your understanding and application of His teachings. Paul makes it pretty clear, however, that we can put our makeup on wrong. Just as you can look at someone and tell if they are wearing makeup or not, you can also look at someone’s actions and tell if they are “adorning” the doctrine of God. Paul’s advice to Titus concerning those who were having a little trouble with their “kosmeo” was this;

Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men. For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,          Titus 3:1-6 NKJV

The bridegroom is coming. Do you need a shower? Examine yourself to see if you are truly ready for the wedding.

Keep watching.