Philippians 2:14-16 ESV
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Shine as Lights
We are to do all things without grumbling (complaining) and disputing (strife, discord, fighting, hostility). This is not to say that we can’t have a discussion about something of biblical importance, and that we can’t oppose lies or false teaching, or that we can’t contend for the truth of the gospel.
For example, on social media, in the blogging world, and on Christian discussion forums, people discuss many different topics, and they don’t all agree. But we can present our beliefs in a way that does not end up in a heated argument with name calling and personal attacks on people’s characters. We can disagree without it turning nasty.
And this is so that we may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish. Yet, this is not saying we must be perfect. We are all clay vessels. We are all in the process of being sanctified and made holy, if indeed we are in that process by genuine faith in Jesus Christ.
But lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for continued, willful, deliberate, and habitual sin, which is often premeditated. For we are to be holy, pure, upright, and godly people. We are not to be guilty of willful and habitual sin and of living for the flesh. We are to be obedient children.
We are to be this way, and we are to live like this because Jesus died on that cross to deliver us from our slavery to sin so that we could become slaves of him and of his righteousness. For, he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life for us (Rom 6:1-23; 2 Co 5:15).
Also, it is imperative that we live godly and holy lives, set apart from this sinful world, because we are to shine as lights for the gospel and for Jesus Christ in the midst of a twisted and crooked generation. So, we are to hold fast the word of life, and not compromise with the world.
But too many who profess faith in Jesus Christ are just like the world.
A Twisted and Crooked Generation
We all live in the world, but Jesus has called us out of the world to be his holy people, unlike the world because we are being conformed to the likeness of Jesus Christ. But many today are teaching a false gospel which does not teach holiness and separation from the world.
In fact, they are teaching that we must immerse ourselves in the culture, and to become more like the world so that the people of the world won’t be offended by us; so that the people of the world will not think we are hyper-religious or self-righteous or judgmental.
It is the adulterous church in union with lasciviousness which is leading the naïve and the immature to this cheap grace gospel which demands no death to sin, and no living for God and for his righteousness. So, its adherents remain dead in their sins, still bound for hell, while being promised heaven.
So, those who are doing this are sucking the blood right out of the gospel. For Jesus shed his blood for us to buy us back for God so that we would now honor God with our lives. His blood was shed to deliver us from our slavery to sin, not to console us in willful and habitual sin (1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6).
So, when they profess that they are now saved from their sins, redeemed by the blood of Christ, and that heaven is their eternal destiny guaranteed, but they have not died with Christ to sin, nor have they surrendered their lives to him, nor are they walking in obedience to him, they aren’t saved.
And they aren’t shining as lights in this crooked and perverse generation because they haven’t actually come out of this perverse and wicked generation. Their righteousness is surface only. And they are not holding fast the word of God because they are diluting it or hiding it from sight.
The Holy Spirit is not living within them, for they deny him by their lifestyles. They deny him by refusing to die to sin and live to righteousness and to put their all on the altar in submission to Jesus Christ as Lord. And this is not my opinion. This is what the Scriptures teach (Rom 6:1-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6).
If you read their posts on social media, on blogs, or on Christian discussion sites, they aren’t shining the light of the truth of the gospel to the world around them, but they are blending in with the world, acting just like the world, doing and saying the same things the ungodly do.
But there are hypocrites, too, who portend the truth of the gospel but who are secretly living in sin. They are like the Pharisees who want to appear righteous and holy on the outside but who are denying Jesus Christ by refusing to turn from their sins and to obey his commands.
And there are those who did believe in Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, and who walked the walk for a period of time, but then they got caught up in the world, and they returned to the passions of their flesh, and so the Lord is calling them to repent (turn from their sins) and to return to him in truth (See: Rev 2-3).
Philippians 2:17-18 ESV
“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”
As a Drink Offering
So, if you are living a holy life in the power of God’s Spirit, and if you are shining the light of the gospel to the world, and if you are holding fast the word of God (the whole counsel of God) in this crooked generation, you are going to be opposed, sometimes strongly.
You will be hated. You will be ignored. You will be mocked, and criticized, and falsely accused. You will be called names, and your character will be attacked. You will be rejected and abandoned and discarded like trash. And you won’t have many friends, because people won’t want to be with you.
But if we really love the Lord, and if we really love his people and the people of this world (including professers of faith in Jesus Christ), then we are going to oppose the lies, and we will speak the truth in love, because many are dying and going to hell on a false promise of eternal life with God.
So, just know that if you live in sin, and you make sin your habit deliberately, without regard for God and for what he wants for your life, and so you are not living in obedience to him, it doesn’t matter what you profess with your lips, you will die in your sins. You will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10]
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So, I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.