Philippians 2:15
so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine as lights in the world
Sermons
All Christians Must ShineH. W. Beecher.Philippians 2:15
Children of God Without RebukePhilippians 2:15
Christian InfluencePhilippians 2:15
Christians are LightsC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:15
God's PeopleJ. Lyth, D. D., J. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:15
HarmlessJ. Daille.Philippians 2:15
Hiding His LampPhilippians 2:15
In the Midst of a Crooked and Perverse NationJ. Daille.Philippians 2:15
Insincere ProfessorsJ. Daille.Philippians 2:15
LightsW.F. Adeney Philippians 2:15
Moral CourageHomiletic MonthlyPhilippians 2:15
Shine for OthersJ. L. Nye.Philippians 2:15
Shining ChristiansHomiletic MonthlyPhilippians 2:15
The Christian in the WorldA. H. Moment.Philippians 2:15
The Christian's Carriage in the WorldPhilippians 2:15
The Sons of GodBaldwin Brown, B. A.Philippians 2:15
Divine HelpA. H. Moment, D. D.Philippians 2:12-18
ExhortationsR. Finlayson Philippians 2:12-18
The Obedience of the Christian LifeW. B. Pope, D. D.Philippians 2:12-18
Working Out Our Own SalvationJ. J. Goadby.Philippians 2:12-18
Believers' Lights in the WorldC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:14-16
ChristianityT. Page, M. A.Philippians 2:14-16
Church ActivityD. Thomas Philippians 2:14-16
Controversy Hushed in the Presence of HeathenismBishop Patteson.Philippians 2:14-16
Don't Spoil Your PortraitJ. R. Howat.Philippians 2:14-16
Evil of DisputingsC. H. Spurgeon.Philippians 2:14-16
Murmuring the Cause of DisputingsH. Airay, D. D.Philippians 2:14-16
Murmurings and DisputingsR. Sibbes, D. D.Philippians 2:14-16
Negative and Positive ChristianityJeremy Taylor., J. Lyth, D. D., J. Lyth, D. D.Philippians 2:14-16
The Christian Life: its Effect Upon the WorldV. Hutton Philippians 2:14-16
The Cultivation of a Christian DeportmentJ. Parsons.Philippians 2:14-16
The Duties of a Church Towards its NeighbourhoodS. Martin.Philippians 2:14-16
The Duties of Church MembersJ. Stoughton, D. D.Philippians 2:14-16
The Folly of Contentions on the Mission FieldJ. L. Nye.Philippians 2:14-16
The Importance of a Contented and Peaceful Habit of SoulT. Croskery Philippians 2:14-16
The Inward Principle and Outward Forth of ChristianityS. T. Coleridge.Philippians 2:14-16
Things Best DroppedJ. R. Howat.Philippians 2:14-16
Inspired to be Blameless SonsR.M. Edgar Philippians 2:14-18

I. CHRISTIANS ARE LIGHTS. Such was their appearance in St. Paul's time. It was a dark age for the world. Old faiths were lost; horrible vices overshadowed society; gloom settled down on the most thoughtful minds. In this spiritual midnight the Christians appear like stars, each with the light of truth and goodness. A similar position always belongs of right to Christian men and women,

1. The light that comes with Christ is not confined to him. He is first of all the Light of the world. But through him his disciples, reflecting his light, become also the light of the world (Matthew 5:14).

2. This light is not diffused through the atmosphere as a vague radiance. It is focused and concentrated in Christian men and women. The truth influences the world through the persons who hold it.

3. This light is in individuals. It, is not the general illumination of the Church, but the particular light of each Christian, that enlightens the world. Every Christian is a distinct luminary.

II. CHRISTIANS ARE LIGHTS BECAUSE THEY HOLD FORTH THE WORD OF LIFE. They do not shine in their own goodness, nor merely to spread abroad their own notions. They are the lamps; God's truth is the flame. Christians, then, like the Jews of old, have the custody of "the oracles of God;" but not merely in the literal sense of possessing the Bible. Rather they declare and interpret the truth of revelation by manifesting the character and power of it in their own lives. The truth thus revealed is a word of life. It is a vital truth, the secret of the Christian life, the promise of life to the world.

III. THE CHRISTIAN LIGHTS ARE SEEN BY THE WORLD. "Ye are seen as lights in the world." It is our duty to let our light shine, not to hide it under a bushel. The Church exists for the good of the world. She receives light that she may give it to the people that sit in darkness. This is the most effectual way of commending the Word of life to the world. Moreover, whether we shine well or ill, the eye of the world is upon us.

IV. THE CHARACTER OF CHRISTIANS DETERMINES THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS LIGHTS IN THE WORLD. The Church has made too much of orthodoxy to the neglect of goodness. We may have the best oil, and yet, if the lamp be out of order, the flame will flicker painfully, and if the glass be foul, the light will be dull. Christians may have the pure Word of life within them, but they will only hold it forth clearly to the world when the lamp is trim and the glass clean - when their own life is healthy and no earthly-mindedness checks the outflow of the Divine radiance. Nothing is more fatal to the clear shining of the Christian light than quarrels among Christians (ver. 14). Love in the Church is an essential condition of light in the world. - W.F.A.







That ye may be blameless and harmless
I.THEIR TRUE CHARACTER.

II.POSITION.

III.OFFICE.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

I.The believer's SPHERE — in a dark world, a perverse age.

II.His OFFICE — to dispense knowledge, grace, life.

III.His DUTY — to hold forth, etc., by precept — example.

(J. Lyth, D. D.)

Why is not the Christian, as soon as converted, taken to heaven? Enoch walked three hundred years with God before he was translated; Moses for forty years led Israel ere God took him to be with Himself. Our remaining in the world gives rise to the scheme of Christian duties.

1. In speaking of duties, we must remember that there is no conflict between them. They all harmonize. They are so related that we cannot fully perform any one of them without being led on to the performance of others.

2. All our duties may be classified around three entrees.(1) Our duties to God. These relate (a) to worship and (b) to service. They are contained in the first table of the law.(2) Duties to our fellow beings. These are contained in the second table of the law.(3) Duties to ourselves. These relate to securing a title to heaven and a fitness for heaven. They are practically secured when we bind the two tables of the law together.

3. Are we as Christians in the world fulfilling the plan and purpose of God? Are we blameless and harmless? Are we the sons of God? Do we shine as lights? Are we consumed with zeal for our Father's house, and are we constantly about our Father's business?

(A. H. Moment.)

If I had been made a firefly, it would not become me to say, "If God had only made me a star, to shine always, then I would shine." It is my duty, if I am a firefly, to fly and sparkle, and fly and sparkle; not to shut my wings down over my phosphorescent self, because God did not make me a sun or a star.

(H. W. Beecher.)

A labouring man, soon after confessing Christ and joining a Church in a rural district, had occasion to leave his home for a few weeks, to obtain work during harvest in an adjoining county. On returning home, he was congratulated by his fellow Christians, who expressed their hope that he had been able to stand firm to his profession of Christ, and the opposition and persecution to which they justly concluded he must have been subjected by the ungodly workmen with whom he had been compelled to labour. "Oh, no," he replied, "I had no persecution at all, for though I was working with them for five weeks, they never found me out." "So much the worse for you," they replied, "for if your light had shone before them, and you had borne a witness for Christ, they certainly would have found you out."

Lights have a very cheering influence, and so have Christians. Late one night we had lost our way in a park not far from the suburbs of London, and we were walking along and wondering where we were. We said, "There is a light over there," and you cannot tell what a source of comfort that candle in a cottage window proved to us. I remember riding in a third-class carriage, crowded full of people, on a dark night, when a woman at the end of the carriage struck a match and lit a candle; with what satisfaction everybody's face was lit up, as all turned to see it. A light really does give great comfort; if you think it does not sit in the dark an hour or two. A Christian ought to be a comforter; with kind words on his lips, and sympathy in his heart, he should have a cheering word for the sons of sorrow.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

I. BLAMELESS.

1. This if taken generally is impossible. Even Christ did not live without blame (Hebrews 12:3). The best people are subject to most blame, for wicked people will quarrel with them.

2. But the meaning is so behave yourselves that you give no occasion of offence to your own conscience, or that of others.

II. HARMLESS. The property of Christians is to do no harm, because our nature is changed. The gospel makes us Came. Among birds, the wicked are likened to ravenous eagles, the Christians to harmless doves; among beasts, the one are like lions, the other like lambs; among plants, briars — lilies.

III. Christians that are blameless and harmless are THE SONS OF GOD.

1. The ground of this is the love of God (John 1:12; 1 John 3:1).

2. Those who are His sons —(1) He renews to do His will and commandments (1 Peter 1:16).(2) He gives them the spirit of prayer (Acts 9:11), by which we have constant access to Him (Ephesians 2:18; Ephesians 3:8).(3) He affords them sweet consolation (Romans 5:1).(4) He saves from overmuch carefulness.

3. God's sons live without rebuke.

IV. The blameless and SONS OF GOD LIVE IN THE MIDST OF A CROOKED AND PERVERSE NATION.

1. The nature of this crookedness.

(1)It is in the will (Jeremiah 27:13; Matthew 23:37).

(2)In the affections. Men love their bane.

(3)In the life.

(4)As regards religion.

2. The signs.

(1)Bring thyself to the rules of God's truth; if thou do it unwillingly and shun the means of salvation, it is a sign thou art crooked.

(2)Do you tremble when the rules are applied to your lusts and corruptions.

3. The cure.

(1)Obedience to God's ordinance.

(2)Especially when young.

(3)Keep good company.

(4)Pray with the Psalmist (Psalm 119:5).

4. Why are Christians so placed?

(1)God hereby shows His power in that He can and doth preserve His children among lions.

(2)That condemnation of the wicked is hereby justified. They cannot say they were "without good examples."

(3)That ungodly men may be won.

(4)That Christians may be refined.

5. Directions for Christians so placed.

(1)Remember your calling as sons of God: don't disgrace it.

(2)Observe the people with whom you converse.

(3)Beware how you give them offence.

(4)Be warned by the example of David.

(5)Look to the duties of the second table.

(6)Use a loving carriage towards all.

V. In the midst of this nation THE SONS OF GOD ARE TO SHINE AS LIGHTS.

1. Light is —

(1)Excellent, showing the excellences of all creatures.

(2)Pure.

(3)A most comfortable thing in darkness.

(4)A quality of the surest motion.

(5)Hath a secret influence wherever it is. Herein Christians resemble light.

2. How to be a light.

(1)Communicate with the chiefest light.

(2)Use the means.

(3)Have no connection with the unfruitful works of darkness.

(4)Follow the example of those that He lights.

(5)Pray that thy light may grow more and more unto the perfect day.

(6)Enlighten thy brethren.

(R. Sibbes, D. D.)

This word probably means sincere, that is to say, pure, not mixed, not sophisticated, that is entirely of one kind, without the true and natural constitution having been altered by anything foreign. And it appears that, to set forth this simplicity and sincerity, God formerly forbade His ancient people to plant a vineyard with different kinds of plants, and to unite under the same yoke animals of different species, and to clothe themselves with a cloth of linen and woollen mixed together, to teach us by the enigma of these figures that He hates a mind and life double and variegated, in the composition of which enters vice and virtue, good and evil, piety and superstition. He wishes us to be entirely Christians, and that there should be nothing strange in the whole range of our conversation; that the outside and the inside should be of the same nature, the one exactly corresponding to the other; that the form, colour, and substance of our lives should be simple, and not mixed. And although this virtue is very extended, it may, nevertheless, be referred to four principal heads.

I. WITHOUT HYPOCRISY BEFORE GOD, acknowledging and confessing ourselves such in His presence as we are in truth, without lessening the good which there is, without also hiding interior defects with the paint and false colouring of our artifices, imitating the coarse fraud of our first father, who, having renounced the naked simplicity in which he had been formed, wished to disguise himself before that sovereign Majesty by covering himself with fig leaves.

II. NOT TO COUNTERFEIT BEFORE MEN, giving up frauds, pretences, and dissimulations, crooked and equivocal ways, which the people of the world use, to make their neighbours believe of them the contrary of what they really are.

III. GENTLENESS AND MEEKNESS OF MIND; it is not easily irritated, or if irritation should sometimes arise, it is soon appeased, and in reality loses the remembrance of the offences that have been committed against it.

IV. FREEDOM FROM CURIOSITY; it only employs itself on its own business; and, entirely turned within, does not observe very carefully what passes without, from whence it is neither suspicious nor distrustful.

(J. Daille.)

1. There was nothing strange to the ear of a heathen in this title. The gods of the Gentiles were fabled to be the parents of earthy heroes, the fathers of races. One belief of man stands out in all ages, that man and God are related as no creature is related to either God or man.

2. Communion on some level man would have, and so the gods of the Gentiles played the part of the murderer, the adulterer, etc. "Sons of God blameless and harmless" was quite a new collocation of ideas. The sons of God up to that time had been too largely the tyrants, deceivers, roysterers of the world.

3. The atheism of the times was largely a reaction against these degrading conceptions. The mind of all thoughtful men was thoroughly unsettled when Christ appeared, and by living as the Son of God effected a revolution. The seed of this revolution is in vers. 5-11. God dwelt among men at last not corrupting, thieving, or destroying, but healing, purifying, blessing. The end of God is to surround Himself with sons after this pattern.

I. SONS OF GOD: THE NATURE OF THIS RELATIONSHIP.

1. The sons of God are clearly distinguished from the world. It is a title which man as man has no right to share.

2. But how does this square with the doctrine of universal Fatherhood taught, e.g., in Hebrews ii? Children and sons are not coordinate there. The latter is higher than the former, although the former is the base out of which the latter is evolved. In the home the natural relation is one thing, and confers certain rights and claims. The spiritual relationship is another, that is the condition of the child as a being of will, thought, and affection with regard to the parent. And so man may be a child of the Great Parent, but sensual, rebellious. To such God fulfils a Father's duties and feels a Father's sorrows; but sons they are not until the spirit of sonship be in them.

3. This is what regeneration means. It is the carrying up the child's relation through all the higher powers and faculties, and yielding to God the child complete (1 Peter 2:1-11; 1 John 3:1-4). It is in view of this that our Saviour delivers to Nicodemus the deepest doctrine of His kingdom. The new birth is the only way by which the unfilial child can pass into the freedom, joy, and spiritual life of the son.

II. THE MANIFESTATION OF SONSHIP AND ITS FRUITS.

1. Blameless and harmless (1 Peter 2:18-25; 1 Peter 3:8-18; 1 Peter 4:12-19). Goodness is the most powerful appeal to man. Revenge may terrify, but forgiveness will awe and control. In the multitude there is a hidden sense of the beauty of goodness that only wants appealing to by some act of goodness. Bold men stood and trembled before an agonized child as they never trembled before the foe. Why? Because goodness, patience, faith, are heavenly.

2. There is nothing exclusive in this sonship — "Holding forth the word of life," that men may live also. The sons are to be magnets to draw the children to the Father, that they may be received as sons.

(Baldwin Brown, B. A.)

As you see that in the world art counterfeits precious stones and drugs, exchanging them for others of little value, which they pass off for good by favour of some apparent resemblance which they have to the true; so also in the Church there has always been found a number of cheats, who, deceiving themselves and others, take the colour and form of the children of God, although in reality they are not so. And as there are certain means by which adulterated goods, such as the gold and stones of alchemy, are discerned from the true; so also in religion there are marks and certain proofs whereby those may be known who have only the name of the children of God from those who are so in reality. Those who sustain these trials, and in whom are really found all these marks, are they whom the apostle here very elegantly calls "children of God, without rebuke;" those whom the crucible cannot make to blush; those in whom neither the calumny nor the cunning of the enemy can find anything to lay hold of; such as the Scripture sets forth in a Job, who confounded all the artifices of Satan, and justified most fully by his trials the glorious testimony which God had condescended to bear to him with His own mouth.

(J. Daille.)

As naturalists say that there are rivers which run through lakes without mingling their waters with them, may we flow together in this world without uniting in its ways, preserving all the colour, strength, and substance of our Divine source; may we be truly that people of God, of which Balaam formerly said, "They shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations;" always strangers in the world, although living on the earth, and breathing its air; floating in the midst of its waters without being confounded with them; walking in its fires without being burnt; constantly remaining upright, perfect, sincere, and unrebukable in the midst of all its obliquities and perversities.
Children of God without rebuke
Homiletic Monthly.
When the late Commodore Foote was in Siam he had, upon one occasion, the king on board his vessel as a guest. Like a Christian man as he was, he did not hesitate in the royal presence to ask a blessing as the guests took their places at the table. "Why, that is just as the missionaries do," remarked the king, with some surprise. "Yes," answered the heroic sailor, "and I am a missionary too."

(Homiletic Monthly.)

Homiletic Monthly.
A friend told me that he was visiting a lighthouse lately, and said to the keeper, "Are you not afraid to live here? It is a dreadful place to be constantly in." "No," replied the man; "I am not afraid. We never think of ourselves here." "Never think of yourselves! How is that?" The reply was a good one. "We know that we are perfectly safe, and only think of having our lamps burning brightly, and keeping the reflectors clear, that those in danger may be saved." Christians are safe in a house built on a Rock, which cannot be moved by the wildest storm, and in a spirit of holy unselfishness they should let their light gleam across the dark waves of sin, that imperilled ones may be guided into the harbour of heaven.

(Homiletic Monthly.)

Unless we let our light shine we are hidden from recognition, and may be only stumbling blocks. A blind beggar, sitting on a sidewalk one dark night, had a bright lantern by his side. Whereat a passer-by was so puzzled that he had to turn back with, "What do you keep a lantern burning for? You can't see." "So that folks may not stumble over me," was the reply. We should keep our light burning for the sake of others as well as for the good of being in the light ourselves.

(J. L. Nye.)

When Lord Peterborough lodged for a season with Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray, he was so delighted with his piety and virtue that he exclaimed at parting, "if I stayed here any longer, I should become a Christian in spite of myself."

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