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; ~Philippians 2:15
How highly do you esteem your testimony in the Lord? Our testimony is how we live and talk our Christian life. The city of Philippi was the chief city of the Macedonian colony. The church that Paul and Silas started there made good inroads in its witness. Paul wrote Phil. 2:12-15 to remind them of the importance of having a testimony “without rebuke.”
We see the purity of a Christian testimony.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke.” Paul uses three different words in the Greek to describe how we should live our lives. The first two words are translated “blameless” and “without rebuke.” These two words basically mean to live your life without blame. It means to not be accused of anything that would bring question upon your relationship to God. The third is translated “harmless” and mean to not add something that will result in adulteration or pollution. All three words convey truthfulness, honesty, holiness, circumspection, kindness, patience, and self-restraint. Let us avoid being found at fault in anything that would hinder our testimony.
We see the peculiarity of a Christian testimony.
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation.” Christians are a peculiar people. This does not mean “strange”, or “weird.” It has the implication that as sons of God, we are different than the unsaved. We live in a world that is wicked, unrestrained, idolatrous, dishonest, perverted, and worldly. It is a depraved world accepting of practices that can be disgusting and sickening. In being peculiar, a godly testimony stands out against unrighteous living. It is telling the world that we are not going in the same direction, nor are we being conformed into its image. We differentiate ourselves in our speech, our modest apparel, our associations, our attitude, and separation to godly living. The more we are like the world, the less we impact this world.
We see the penetration of a Christian testimony.
“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.” The goal of our testimony is to penetrate this society with the gospel. Now, this does not mean we advocate a “lifestyle evangelism” method to winning this world to Christ. However, it does mean that a blameless testimony shines brighter and uninhibited than a testimony that is compromised and questionable. The unsaved might disdain our message, but when we shine brightly through a godly testimony, we are making our witness compelling. Going to church is not enough: the unsaved need to us brightly shine in every area of our lives. The best marriages should be Christian marriages. The best students should be Christian students. The best employees should be Christian employees. Our light must penetrate the darkness of this world.
We see the power of a Christian testimony.
When Paul wrote this epistle, two things were happening in the church at Philippi. The first was that the believers were losing their joy. The second was a well-known feud between two women in the church. Paul reminded these believers that they would bring reproach and discredit their testimonies. It takes a lifetime to build a credible testimony. It takes one wrong word, one wrong attitude, and one compromised decision to hinder an effective testimony.
Assess your testimony and its impact this morning. Make some decisions to guard it and not allow it to be questioned. Let your testimony make it evident that that Jesus is Lord of your life!
Have a Christ-honoring God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Zechariah 1-7