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Matthew 5:14-16

“…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (v. 16)

The world is dark, so if Christians are the light of the world (v. 14), we are going to stand out.  We must live lives of noticeable piety so that God will be glorified by what we do in his name.

Our piety must have “right-wing” and “left-wing” virtues. James 1:27 says “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” As Christians, we cannot be against everything. We need to be for something–for the orphans and widows in affliction. That’s the “left-wing.” But we must be for more than the hurting or oppressed. We must also be for righteousness and moral purity. That’s the right wing. We need both if we are going to fly.

No matter our particular passion, we must keep our conduct honorable, so that even when we are spoken against as too soft or too intolerant, others will see our good deeds and glorify God (1 Peter 2:12). When we live God’s way no matter the cost, it shows to the world that God is more valuable to us than privilege or prestige, which brings him great glory.


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12 thoughts on “Glory of God: Conspicuous Christlikeness”

  1. Jeremy says:

    “We must also be for righteousness and moral purity. That’s the right wing”

    I’m probably one of the only democrats on here, but I have to say I found this comment really bothersome. As a Democrat, I’m completely for moral purity and righteousness. I just believe that moral purity and righteousness is found in making sure that people don’t have to physically suffer from no doctor just because they’ve temporarily lost their company health insurance. On the other hand, I don’t believe moral purity is found in making homosexuals second class citizens.

  2. KS says:

    Jeremy, Jeremy. I’m a Christian who is a Republican, and I care about widows and orphans in affliction. Should I find it “really bothersome” that for the sake of his illustration, Kevin labels that concern “left-wing”? Lighten up.

  3. Elj says:

    I particularly appreciate the last paragraph of your post.

  4. Greg Butler says:

    Excellent post,we all just need to be complete Christians.

  5. Joe Timmer says:

    This brings to mind Harry Blamires writing that you could not be someone who thinks Christianly and be a successful politician. Saying that there are “right” values and “left” values we need to embrace doesn’t sell very well to a lot of people.

  6. patriciazell says:

    If we make God’s absolute love our focus and if we take the time to seek Him for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, everything else will fall in place. Walking as a believer in Christ has nothing to do with political beliefs, but everything to do with pleasing Him with our faith.

  7. I really appreciate this post. The one thing that might concern me, though, is that the emphasis on keeping “our conduct honorable” might seem like a viable excuse for not concerning ourselves with anything. I think the motive given there is great: “so that even when we are spoken against as too soft or too intolerant, others will see our good deeds and glorify God.” But there may be a question of priority- if we are concerned with being righteous and pure before we are “about something” then its likely we will never get to being “about something.” But if we start with being “about something,” then perhaps our actions will speak louder and our imperfections and struggles will be overlooked by those appreciative of our work.

    Great post, again. Thanks.

  8. This articles will help people to know more about the meaning of real christian life. once we steped in to the christian life we will become a new creature,means a new personality in CHRIST by controliing fully by the LIGHT OF LIFE. GREAT POST. many thanks from India.to know about our ministry in india, contact on reachinggospel@gmail.com

  9. J. Dean says:

    Not to nitpick, but isn’t James referring to widows and orphans in the church, and not necessarily in the world at large?

  10. J. Dean says:

    “I just believe that moral purity and righteousness is found in making sure that people don’t have to physically suffer from no doctor just because they’ve temporarily lost their company health insurance.”

    Nothing’s stopping you from pulling out your checkbook and writing a check, dude. There’s nothing noble about holding a gun to somebody else’s head and making them pay for your cause.

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Kevin DeYoung


Kevin DeYoung is senior pastor of University Reformed Church (PCA) in East Lansing, Michigan, near Michigan State University. He and his wife Trisha have six young children. You can follow him on Twitter.

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