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Verse 16. Let your light so shine, etc. Let your holy life, your pure conversation, and your faithful instruction, be everywhere seen and known, Always, in all societies, in all business, at home and abroad, in prosperity and adversity, let it be seen that you are real Christians.

That they may see your good works. This is not the motive to influence us, simply that we must be seen, (comp. Mt 6:1); but that our heavenly Father may be glorified. It is not right to do a thing merely to be seen by others, for this is pride and ostentation; but we are to do it that, being seen, God may be honoured. The Pharisees acted to be seen of men; true Christians act to glorify God, and care little what men may think of them, except as by their conduct others may be brought to honour God.

Glorify your Father. Praise, or honour God, or be led to worship him. Seeing in your lives the excellency of religion, the power and purity of the gospel, they may be won to be Christians also, and give praise and glory to God for his mercy to a lost world.

We learn here,

(1.) that religion, if it exists, cannot be concealed.

(2.) That where it is not manifest in the life, it does not exist.

(3.) That professors of religion, who live like other men, give evidence that they have never been renewed.

(4.) That to attempt to conceal or hide our Christian knowledge or experience is to betray our trust, and injure the cause of piety, and render our lives useless. And,

(5.) that good actions will be seen, and will lead men to honour God.

If we have no other way of doing good—if we are poor, and unlearned and unknown—yet we may do good by our lives. No sincere and humble Christian lives in vain. The feeblest light at midnight is of use.

"How far this little calldie throws his beams!"

So shines a good deed in a naughty world!"


{k} "glorify" 1 Pe 2:12

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