In verse 15 of Philippians 2 Paul reaches his conclusion for a series of admonitions and instructions he has given the believers.
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
To summarize the chapter up to verse 15:
- 1-2 – Be of one mind
- 3-4 – Humble yourself and elevate others
- 5-8 – Consider Jesus’ example of humility and His future exaltation
- 12-13 – Live out your salvation
- 14 – Do not murmur or dispute
Why? What did God intend as the purpose for this unity among the people of God?
Verse 15 gives the answer, that as Sons of God we would shine as lights!
Sons of God
The Body – The focus here falls on the body of believers, not individuals. In a hyper-individualistic society, many risk going it alone. By our unity in Christ we can reveal the wisdom and glory of God!
Because, Not Becoming – The way Paul structures his words indicate that we do not behave without blame, without harm, and without fault to BECOME the children of God, but rather we live that way BECAUSE we are the children of God.
In the Greek we have three Greek words with the prefix, alpha. This forms the root word into a negative and has a great flow and rhythm – no blame, no flaw, no fault.
Our collective testimony should make us stand out from a crooked and perverse generation. My individual testimony has power, but our collective testimony must serve God’s purpose too. One is incomplete, perhaps impossible, without the other.
As we live out our salvation, without blame, flaw, or fault, we will shine as lights in the darkness!
We do not generate the light by our own effort or energy, but rather we reflect the glory, the light of God Himself (Matthew 5:14-16).
May we live out the reality of who God has created us to be and in so doing, manifest the glory of God as lights in a dark world!