That you may approve things that are excellent; that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.
I. A SUGGESTION THAT A SPIRIT OF DISCERNMENT IS REQUIRED FROM BELIEVERS IN CHRIST JESUS. The reference is founded on the common action of comparing one thing with another, so as to find the best. A capability to prove which is best for us bodily in food, e.g., would save us from many physical ailments. How many spiritual troubles might be avoided if, in prayer and preaching, we always fixed upon what best presented the glory and grace of Christ. Possessing this faculty we should —
1. Know what course it would be right to take in spiritual difficulties. The banker draws his finger across a bank note and says, "That is forged," or "That is genuine." His senses are exercised to prove them. So we ought to be able to perceive the signs of evil, however covered up, and the marks of God's will, however faint.
2. Understand the relation between duty and comfort.
II. A PURPOSE PLACED IN VIEW OF THIS SPIRIT OF DISCERNMENT.
1. It has respect to the day of Christ, when every man's work will be tried.
(1) So we are not to purpose our own satisfaction. Many endeavour to attain certain excellencies so that they may stand well with themselves.
(2) We are not to purpose to be satisfied with the opinions of the world. There are men who think that if they secure the approbation of their neighbours, they are as good as they need be.
2. It has set before it sincerity and blamelessness.
(1) The Christian is seen standing in the light, and gives no occasion for others to stumble against him. Seeing him in family, business, party, or Church, they have no cause to say, "He acts so as to stand between me and Christ."(2) To be counted sincere and without offence is the proof of a high attainment. The Christian must not be behind, but before men of the world in good points of character and conduct.
(D. G. Watt, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;