When we live in a Christlike way, ‘those who oppose’ Christ and His Gospel will be ‘put to shame, having nothing evil to say of us’ (2:8). God wants us to live as ‘a people of His own who are zealous for good deeds’ (2:14). If we are to be ‘zealous for good deeds’, we must first be zealous for Jesus Christ. Do good – but never forget, ‘He saved us – not because of deeds done by us…’ (3:8,4-6).
‘He was useless… now he has become useful’ (11). This is the story of Onesimus (the name means ‘useful’). A runaway ‘slave’, he became ‘a beloved brother… in the Lord’ (16). It appears that Onesimus had stolen from his master, Philemon (18-19). He landed up in prison – and there, he was converted (10)! The ‘useless’ became ‘useful’ – in the service of God.