Only let your conversation be as it becomes the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent…
I. WHAT IS THAT DEPORTMENT WHICH BECOMETH A PROFESSOR OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST?
1. With respect to the world.
(1) He must not worship its god — mammon (Matthew 6:24; 1 John 2:15; 1 Timothy 6:9-11).
(2) He must shun its company (Psalm 1:1; 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
(3) He must avoid its pleasures and fashions (Romans 12:2). True, Christ attended the wedding at Cana, etc., but good people were there, and it was to manifest His glory; but whoever heard of God's glory being promoted at card parties, etc.
2. With respect to his prevailing sentiments.
(3) Joyful hope.
(4) Patience and cheerful acquiescence.
3. With respect to sin.
(1) He must not commit it.
(2) He must hate it.
(3) He must struggle against it in every form and everywhere.
4. With respect to the aim and business of his life. To promote the glory of God (Matthew 5:14-16; 1 Corinthians 10:31-32).
II. WHY SUCH A DEPORTMENT SHOULD BE MAINTAINED.
1. Because it would bring joy to those who watch for your souls (Philippians 2:1; Philippians 4:1).
2. Because of the advantage — "the witness in yourself" of your conversion.
3. Because it prepares the mind for the season of affliction and the solemnities of death.
4. Because it is the will and commandment of Christ.Conclusion:
1. The world vigilantly watches and judges the character and conduct of professors. The want of consistency in Christians has done more harm to Christianity than all the ravings of infidels.
2. God's eye is constantly upon us.
3. The plea of not being a professor will be no plea in the hour of death for a sinful life.
(I. Spencer, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
WEB: Only let your way of life be worthy of the Good News of Christ, that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your state, that you stand firm in one spirit, with one soul striving for the faith of the Good News;