Whine or Shine

Let us see what verses we can find that will help us with “adorn the doctrine of God our Savior”.

First off my Bible cross references two verses with Titus 2:9-10 — Matthew 5:16 and Philippians 2:15.  An easy way to remember the point of these two verses is with the phrase “whine or shine”.

Matthew 5:16 (ESV) In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Our lives should shine so before others that they glorify the Lord because of us.  That is pretty easy to see how that would be adorning the Gospel.  But notice that our good works aren’t to lead others to praise us but to praise God.  How will they know about our Lord if we don’t tell them?


“A Christian’s whole life should be nothing but a visible representation of Christ”


Thomas Brooks

Men may not read the gospel in sealskin,

or the gospel in morocco {rich leather}, or the gospel in cloth covers,

but they can’t get away from the gospel in shoe leather.


Donald Grey Barnhouse


Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV)

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

Now that is difficult!

1. Do all things without grumbling or questioning,

Philippians 2:9 (ESV) Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.

2. Be blameless and innocent

Psalms 19:13 (ESV) Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.


Psalms 101:2-3 (ESV)

2 I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;

3 I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.

3. Without blemish

Ephesians 5:25-27 (ESV)

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,
26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,
27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.


Jude 24-25 (ESV)

24  Now to him who is able  to keep you from stumbling and  to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

25 to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 Christ is who cleanses us and makes us without blemish.  We can’t do that for ourselves.

 4. Shine as lights in the world,

John 8:12 (ESV) Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Notice “will have the light of life”; not maybe, not will one day obtain it, but will have if you follow Him.

5. Holding fast to the word of life

This expression is different in different translations.  The ESV has “holding fast” and the KJV has “holding forth”.

We are to do both.  Hold fast to the Lord – the Word.

Deuteronomy 10:20 (ESV) You shall fear the Lord your God. You shall serve him and hold fast to him, and by his name you shall swear.

And hold forth, proclaim, God’s Word.

Acts 5:20 (ESV) “Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”

Notice that as difficult as all of the above are they aren’t “great” works in the typical sense.  They don’t require dying on the mission field or preaching to great crowds.  They don’t require leaving your family behind to evangelize the world.  The character qualities in the Philippians passage are all attitudes of the heart.  Our attitudes of the heart is what we are to “adorn the doctrine of God” with.  No matter where you are in life; a child in an unbelieving family, a wife married to an unbeliever or as Titus 2:9-10 and 1 Peter 2:18 say a slave with an unbelieving, unjust master are called to “adorn the doctrine” with their goods works of the heart.

For the full series of posts in order click below:

Renewing the Attitudes of our Heart Series


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.