Are you an ‘attractive’ Christian?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, February 21, 2009

Louise and I have two young adult friends who are Christian medical doctors serving in a Muslim population with their little children. Their primary prayer request for us is that the Muslim people might be “attracted” to them and inquire why they left the U. S. to give their lives and skills so far away from home and family. By being “attractive”, the doctors then desire that the citizens will want to know about Jesus and desire to know Jesus as personal Savior and Lord. The desires of the two doctors are expressed in the Book of Titus, chapter two and verse twelve: “So that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive” (NIV). I will return to my article’s title question in a later paragraph.

In Titus in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul enables us to get the simple truth straight about saving grace and good works. Five statements will summarize the teaching of the Book of Titus and the New Testament concerning the relationship of grace and good works. Don’t quit on me; read all five.

First, a person is saved by grace alone completely apart from good works. Titus 3:5-7 says, “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, which He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

Second, the purpose of God’s saving grace is to produce persons zealous of good works. Titus 2:14 tells us, “Jesus Christ gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (good works)” (NIV).

Third, good works do not automatically follow saving grace. The churches have often failed in their responsibility to teach what must follow saving grace, and that is a life of good works and righteous and godly living. Paul writes to Pastor Titus, “I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives” (3:8,14).

Fourth, a professing Christian without good works is denying that he/she knows the Lord. Titus 1:16 says, “They claim that they know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.” This reminds us of the teachings in James that “faith without works is dead” and actions are the proof and purpose of a saving faith.

Fifth, in all things we are to be an example of good works. Titus 2:7 says, “In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” No area of our life is left out: “in everything set them an example by doing what is good.”

Now, the searching title question: Are you an “attractive” Christian? Of course, the question is referring little to your outward appearance but rather to your actions, attitude, spirit and commitment. It refers to your “works”. Is your life making Jesus Christ attractive? Is your life making the church attractive? In your home, in school, at the work place, at recreation and in other relationships, are you an attractive Christian? Are you attracting persons to Jesus Christ, to his Word and to his church? The prayer request that reveals the desire and the need of our two young doctor friends is the need and should become the prayer request of each of us. It must also be our personal prayer: “Lord, make me an ‘attractive’ believer. Attract persons to Christ and His church through me. May my life never be a detraction relating to Christ and His church.”