Pure and Blameless for the day of Christ
Pure and Blameless for the day of Christ
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
"so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ." (Philippians 1:10, ESV)
1.Last week we seen that the prayer Paul prays with "joy" (v 4, 9) is a prayer that our love will abound more and more - but this love is not some gushy feeling. It is "love with knowledge and all discernment." In other words, Paul prays that they will not receive any corrupted doctrine under the pretense of love.
2.How can they "approve what is excellent" without "love that is guided by knowledge and all discernment." The answer is they can’t. Love, knowledge and discernment is required for every believer in Christ. The world wants you to have no discernment or knowledge they want you to have love without "strings" and this is not Christian love - instead it is some kind of hippie love.
3.The Greek word for approve here is Dokimazo - which means (1) as making an examination, put to the test, examine, prove (by testing) (Luke 14.19); as testing or proving the will of God prove (Rom 12.2); as testing oneself by self-examination test, examine (2 Cor 13.5); as being aware of the progress of history test (the times) (Luke 12.56); (2) as accepting the result of an examination of a person regard as approved, consider qualified, approve (1 Cor 16.3); as accepting the result of examination of a thing think of as valuable or worthwhile (Rom 1.28).
4."So that you may approve what is excellent" - This is a man who "puts to the test" the things that are excellent. Because he has the Spirit of God living in him, he not only has the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil, godly and ungodly, but also actually chooses the things that are of God. He distinguishes and then he chooses, he has knowledge and discernment as his love abounds more and more and he does this with a view to being “pure and blameless for the day of Christ.”
5.To "be pure and blameless" gives us the image of precious metal from which the dross has been removed, unmixed and without alloy. Only fire produces these kind of results and therefore and as we have seen before, the Lord allows the fiery trials and tests [Greek word Peirasmois - God’s examination of man] to come into His children’s lives (putting them into the fire) for the purpose of purifying their faith:
"Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
(James 1:2-4, ESV)
6.And we should not be surprised when they come as though some strange thing was happening to us. Instead we are to count all of our trials with joy. As a believer in Christ we are either growing in grace and truth or we are under the discipline of the Lord.
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you." (1 Peter 4:12, ESV)
7.“In other words be made pure and blameless for the day of Christ.” The picture is that of arriving at one’s destination uninjured by any obstacles in the road; hence, morally uninjured, and so, not worthy of blame, blameless (the word is also used in Acts 24:16 and 1 Cor. 10:32).
"So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man." (Acts 24:16, ESV)
"Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God," (1 Corinthians 10:32, ESV)
8.The prayer, then, is that the Philippians, their faculties having been trained to prefer the good to the evil, and the essential to the trivial (cf. Heb. 5:14), may be pure and blameless with a view to the day of Christ.
"But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:14, ESV)
9.For the expression “the day of Christ” refer to the sermon on verse 6. Their whole life must be a preparation for that great day, for it is then that the true character of every man’s life will be revealed (1 Cor. 3:10–15), and everyone will be judged according to his work (Dan. 7:10; Mal. 3:16; Matt. 25:31–46; Luke 12:3; I Cor. 4:5; Rev. 20:12).
"According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." (1 Corinthians 3:10-15, ESV)
"Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops." (Luke 12:3, ESV)
"Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God."
(1 Corinthians 4:5, ESV)