golter's musings

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17)

  • Your Practice preaches.

    dECEMBER 1, 2018

    Don’t be naïve. Your practice preaches.

    What you do preaches louder than what you say.

    People especially watch Christians. They look for consistency.

    If a believer in Jesus spends the majority of their time consumed by entertainment, while occasionally attending church, well, this preaches. If a believer is using their tongues to slander others or gossip, well, this preaches. A gutter mouth is no different than this culture.

    The Holy Spirit preaches consistent, modest living for followers of Jesus. He often uses the word “self-control.”

    Solomon compares a man who “lacks self-control” to a “city broken into and without a wall,” (Proverbs 25:28). He is not able to control sin, but lets his sinful desires have free reign. In the end, he leaves his soul vulnerable for a fall, like a city without protective walls.

    “Self-control” is the Spirit-worked restraint of ungodly emotions, impulses and desires. It’s a fruit of the Holy Spirit worked through the Word (see Galatians 5:23), along with love, joy and peace.

    Peter reveals what out-of-control looks like, after urging “self-control” in 2 Peter 1:6, he writes of: Uncontrolled mouths (2 Peter 2:12, 18); adulterous eyes (2 Peter 2:14), and unbridled desires (2 Peter 2:13, 18).

    The Christian life is different. There’s a new Master in town, the Lord Jesus Christ. He rules with the surprising power of mercy, forgiveness and grace.

    Peter even urges constraint in dress, as he instructs believing wives who have unbelieving husbands, (1 Peter 3:1-6): “Do not let your adorning be external — the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear; but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable, beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious,” (3:3).

    Faith in Jesus with outward modesty in all areas of life preaches, perhaps even persuading others.

    This Advent and coming Christmas season gives opportunity to show self-control. Believers are more giddy over the Giver than the gifts.

    Pastor Golter is the Senior Pastor at Trinity Lutheran