Christianity is a life that must be seen from the outside as well as the inside.
We tend to live more closely to God in the presence of our brethren then we do on the outside.
Language is used on the "outside" that we would not normally use in the presence of other believers.
Actions are somehow different on the outside than they are in the presence of brethren.
Christians are urged to be the right example to "them that believe" - (I Timothy 4:12-16) - (Discussed later).
This does not mean that we are not to act accordingly to those without.
In this lesson, let's discuss the importance of a good testimony or report from those
without and try to understand how vitally important this matter is.
DEFINING THE TERM.
Report - testimony - MARTURION - "a testimony, witness, is almost entirely translated 'testimony'
in both A.V. and R.V. The only place where we have 'witness' is Acts 4:33. In Acts 7:44 and
James 5:3, the R.V. has 'testimony' (A.V., 'witness')."
"...testimony or witness born, a declaration of facts..." (Vine)
Some passages that use MARTURION.
I Timothy 3:7 - "reputation" - (N.I.V.)
Context: "so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."
I Timothy 2:6 - the death of Jesus testified of His Deity.
James 5:3 - "testify" - wealth itself, in its passing, will testify of its passing.
II Thessalonians 1:10 - "testimony" - concerning the preaching of the gospel message.
Acts 4:33 - "testify" - presenting the true facts about the resurrection.
THE PROBLEM PRESENTED.
People equate "hearing one thing and doing another" with hypocrisy.
Because of a "dual role" lifestyle, people are further confused about true Christianity.
People are usually repelled by hypocrisy but drawn by consistency.
The greatest problem: God is offended by such actions.
II Kings 18:16-46 (21).
SOME EXAMPLES OF GOOD REPORTS IN THE BIBLE.
Jesus - Acts 10:34-38 - went about doing good.
Paul - drew on the testimony about him.
II Corinthians 3:1-6.
Aquilla and Priscilla.
Bereans - Acts 17:11.
GOOD REPORTS ARE CONSISTENT WITH CHRISTIAN LIVING.
I Timothy 4:12.
I Timothy 3:7.
If the outside cannot see the qualities in the man, how can he be the leading influence on
a church that is trying to reach the world.
Many souls are lost because we try so hard to "play church."
I Peter 3:1-2, 13-16.
What good is Christianity if it is only seen within the confines of our fellowship with other Christians?
Can a world be won to Christ by inconsistent living?
Can we ever expect to please God without a good report?