With or Without?
That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; ~Philippians 1:10
As a kid, whenever I bought a hot dog from a vendor, they would ask, “With or without?” This meant: do you want your hot dog with mustard and condiments, or just plain? I like my burgers and dogs “loaded,” so I always said, “With.” However, there never failed to be a time, when other people were with me, that at least one said, “Without.” This morning, we see four things that Paul said we must do without.
We must be without offense.
“That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ.” Paul speaks of our duty regarding our testimony. Paul is saying that we should take the high road when it comes to our testimony. This is approving things that are excellent. “Without offence” means we should be blameless in our testimony and life. We are to be scintillating testimonies of Christ living in us. We are to be sincere, truthful, and transparent. We are to strive to be at peace with all men. Paul also speaks about the duration of our testimony. We should live above reproach until Jesus comes for us. Be careful of being a stumblingblock, or hindrance, through your testimony.
We must be without fear.
“And many of the brethren in the Lord, waxing confident by my bonds, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” One of the hardest things for many Christians is to be a bold witness of the gospel. Our tendency is to be shy about telling others about the Lord. However, we must ask God for holy boldness so that we can speak His Word and give a strong witness without fear. We can witness without fear by spending time in prayer for the salvation of the unsaved. The more we petition God about an unsaved person’s salvation, the more we are emboldened by the Holy Spirit. Another thing that helps us to witness without fear is to go soulwinning with a seasoned soulwinner who has overcome his fear through experience. Make witnessing a recurring discipline in your life, and you will be able to witness without fear.
We must be without murmurings.
“Do all things without murmurings and disputings.” This one is hard for a lot of Christians. We are admonished that in everything we do or are involved in, to do it without complaining or grumbling. We tend to complain about everything. The more we complain, the more habit-forming it becomes. We are highly opinionated and feel like we have to give our opinion on everything. We tend to see what a sincere person has overlooked and are critical that he was not more observant. Some of us are argumentative and argue for the sake of proving our point. God is telling us to stop it! We are to do ALL things without murmurings and disputings. All through the wilderness journey, Israel murmured. This is a reproach to our Lord and a discouragement to the person we are murmuring to.
We must be without rebuke.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world.” This last “without” is admonishing us to not be in the place where God or a spiritual authority has to rebuke us for murmuring or a bad testimony. When we are rebuked, it is intended to set us straight before God and man. Remember, we are called to be light, and not darkness, in this world. Let us be without traits that hinder and disable our testimony.
Have a blameless God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Kings 20-22