The Testimony of a Quiet Life


Amongst the incred­i­ble empha­sis on evan­ge­lism and mis­sions that is nor­mal­ly tout­ed in evan­gel­i­cal chris­tian­i­ty, it’s inter­est­ing to run across pas­sages of scrip­ture such as 1 Tim­o­thy 2:1–4: (empha­sis mine)

1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, peti­tions and thanks­giv­ings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in author­i­ty, so that we may lead a tran­quil and qui­et life in all god­li­ness and dig­nity. 3 This is good an accept­able in the sight of God our Sav­ior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowl­edge of the truth.

It’s hard to read that and not come to the con­clu­sion that Paul is say­ing that God, who desires for all men to be saved and come to the knowl­edge of the truth, thinks that the saints in his body lead­ing a tran­quil and qui­et life togeth­er aligns per­fect­ly with that desire.

Or how about 1 Thes­sa­lo­ni­ans 4:10b-11:

…But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambi­tion to lead a qui­et life and attend to your own busi­ness and work with your hands, just as we com­mand­ed you,

Real­ly? Our ambi­tion should be to mind our own busi­ness and do our jobs? Frankly, that is not the ambi­tion I have found taught in chris­tian­i­ty today.

Now, I’m not say­ing that evan­ge­lism is wrong, or that no good has come from it. I’m sim­ply point­ing out that the empha­sis on evan­ge­lism that is taught today is some­thing you’ll be hard-pressed to find taught in the scriptures.

Think about it: Jesus gave what we call the Great Com­mis­sion to the apos­tles right before he ascend­ed. Their response then, in our mod­ern way of think­ing, should be to go out preach­ing to all the ends of the earth.
And yet, it seems that they camped out in Jerusalem, tend­ing to the needs of the church for around eight years until per­se­cu­tion caused the church to scat­ter and spread.

Or, look at Paul’s let­ters to Tim­o­thy and Titus, which are com­mon­ly called “the pas­toral epis­tles” (and should like­ly be called apos­tolic let­ters, since Tim­o­thy and Titus were apos­tolic work­ers with Paul): In all the instruc­tions Paul gives to these broth­ers about the impor­tant things to teach hese church­es, do you find the com­mands to have the saints go out and wit­ness to the lost on thte street? Go on mis­sions trips? No.

Today, there seems to be empha­sis placed on two impor­tant aspects: Get­ting saved, and get­ting oth­ers saved. I agree that these are impor­tant. But my point is that there is some­thing crit­i­cal­ly impor­tant which tends to be either glossed over or ignored: The Church, which is the Body of Christ.

Eph­esians 4:11–13 specif­i­cal­ly men­tions evan­ge­lists as hav­ing an impor­tant role in the work of build­ing up the Body, and there’s a goal in that work: That we (the Body of Christ) would grow up into the mea­sure of the stature that belongs to the full­ness of Christ–we’ll be matured togeth­er and look like Christ Jesus, together!

That is why the “qui­et life” can be such a pow­er­ful wit­ness to the world around that it aligns per­fect­ly with the desire of God for all men to be saved and come to the knowl­edge of him. The Church is the tes­ti­mo­ny of the life of our King. It’s what Jesus staked his rep­u­ta­tion on in John 17:20–23:

I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me; The glo­ry which You have giv­en Me I have giv­en to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; I in them and You in Me, that they may be per­fect­ed in uni­ty, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.”

My friend Paul has writ­ten more in depth on this sub­ject here.

1 comment

  1. Well, thank you for men­tion­ing me. I was just going to com­ment that this is writ­ten from the per­spec­tive I found unique. Even though I teach on this all The time, your per­spec­tive here just seems unique and helpful.

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