Posted by: thaishin | May 26, 2011

Light of the world or live quiet lives?

Question:

Matthew 5

14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. -niv

1 Tim 2

1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— 2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, -niv

Are we suppose to be the light of the world which sometimes stirs up controversies or are  we suppose to lead quiet lives?

Answer from Pastor Hollister:

It is perhaps most helpful to begin with the 1 Tim 2 passage, framing its particular focus. We are urged to pray for “kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” In other words, we are to pray for governing authorities, that they would govern in such a way that the Church in her worship and service can prosper undisturbed. Such a situation is good for the whole of society. When governments oppress and persecute the Church, it is invariably bad for the society. But God uses both providences for His glory and for the good of His people.

We know that “all those who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” Persecution, which comes in many and varied forms is an inevitability. And the whole spectrum of persecution may be seen throughout the world in its various cultures and societies. There is that most extreme form of imprisonment and death, but there are a multitude of lesser and more subtle forms (shunning, being bypassed for promotions, severe and biased work critiques, etc.).  As we have seen from Romans 12:18 (nkjv), the exhortation there is: “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Again, it is not always possible! Why? Because if we live godly lives according to godly convictions, our “light shines!” And men love the darkness rather than the light because their deeds are evil. Our godly lives –yes, lived graciously and in kindness –invariably expose the godlessness and moral bankruptcy of the unbelieving. Paul writes, “as much as depends on you, live peaceably.” Our lives and behavior should not present any JUST cause for offense and antagonism. (For example, some professing Christians can be just plain rude and obnoxious in their behavior!).

We are exhorted to “let our light shine before others, that they may see our good deeds and glorify our Father in heaven.” We should live in such a way that we are not exalting ourselves or pointing to our own “great” righteousness, but rather our lives are continually pointing others to Christ and to His righteousness. As we live lives of godliness and humility –again, ever pointing away from ourselves and to Christ — people will indeed be confronted with Christ; God will be glorified. Yet it is inevitable that some persons will then respond with antagonism.

So there is really no contradiction between the passages you cite. Both principles are true. The light which shines from our lives will indeed at times provoke an antagonistic response from men. At the same time, we seek to be at peace with all men, treating them with grace and kindness, even as we speak the truth in love. But we cannot control how they will react to this light.

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Responses

  1. The above scriptures are indeed true and from the Bible. I know I should pray more for Obama and the Crooks in our government. What really bothers me is ALL the politicians are taking God out of everything. For the very first time Our US Mint has made an American Coin without the words “in God we Trust.” This troubles me greatly. According to the scriptures I should not be troubled and worried about the government. This may take me several years to totally do this even with God’s strength and help.

  2. Thanks Robert for your comment. I understand what you are saying. Just keep on praying
    The verse that says about persecution
    2 Tim 3:12 :
    Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.


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