Thursday, April 5, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: kos-MEH-oh
Strong’s Number: 2885
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 3175
Key Verse: “… so that they will adorn the doctrine of God our Savior …” -- Titus 2:10

Kosmeo is a verb that is generally translated as “adorn, garnish,” or “decorate.” From this root word comes the English word “cosmetic.” In ancient times, it was used of arranging jewels in a brooch, necklace, or ring in a way that best displayed the beauty of the gems. The verb appears 10 times in the New Testament.

In Matthew 12:44 (and Luke 11:25), Jesus’ parable of the house being “put in order” is in reference to Israel not truly repenting and turning to Jesus. The nation would be no better off than a clean but empty house.

Matthew 25:7 is Jesus’ parable of the virgins who “rose and trimmed their lamps.” The trimming is equivalent to making ready to meet the bridegroom.

Matthew 23:29 spoke of the Pharisees who “adorn the monuments of the righteous.” Luke 21:5, Revelation 21:2 and 19, reference the temple and city as being adorned.

In 1 Peter 3:5, holy women used to “adorn themselves,” as models of inner beauty to their husbands. In 1 Timothy 2:9, women are to “adorn themselves with proper clothing.” [Note: The word “proper” in this verse is the adjective form of kosmeo, and is used only here and in 1 Timothy 3:2, regarding the overseers being “respectable.”] John MacArthur says that “a woman should arrange herself appropriately for worship service, which includes wearing clothing which reflects a properly-adorned chaste heart.” We may be fundamental in our doctrine, and yet defeat the power of the Word by our inappropriate appearance.

In our key verse, TITUS 2:10, the idea is that the excellent behavior of the bondslaves should be seen and make the doctrine of God attractive or beautiful to unbelievers. This exhortation applies to all believers. Paul drove home the fact that a believer’s behavior (God’s “jewels”) is to be in accord with sound doctrine.

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