“that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ,”
Verse 10 presents the second and third petitions of Paul for the Philippians. Today we will study the third petition: “that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ.”
“that you may be sincere”
To be “sincere” literally means to be unmixed, pure, unsullied. Therefore, this word means to be genuine or authentic. The term “sincere” comes from two Greek words: sun and to judge. It means to judge by holding up to the light of the sun. Broken pottery in the ancient world was often covered with wax and painted over. People were deceived into thinking they were buying a sound vase, for example. However, if a person were to hold this vase up to the sun, the sun would reveal the cracks.
The believer should be transparent when held up to the light of the sun of who God is. There is nothing to hide. No “wax” can be found in his life. There is no dilution or hypocrisy. God expects us to be the “real thing.”
“and without offense”
To be “without offense” is to be blameless. The word “offense” means a trap. The picture is of a crooked stick with bait fastened upon it, which, being struck by the animal, springs the trap. Therefore, an offense is anything against which one stumbles.
The believer is to be void of offense. This word also occurs in 1 Cor. 10:32: “Giving no offense, either to the Jews or to the Greeks or to the church of God.” One of the most significant criticisms the world has of the church is that it is “hypocritical.” This has become a standard, stock excuse that those without Christ have for not receiving Christ: “There are too many hypocrites in the church.” We admit that there are hypocrites in the church. Yet there are hypocrites at the office. Do we quit work because there are hypocrites? Do we turn in our membership at the lodge because people are inconsistent? There is hypocrisy about hypocrisy!
“till the day of Christ”
The teaching of the Word of God tends to create a spiritual atmosphere that is difficult for hypocrites to thrive in. They become annoyed by the hammer-like blows of the Word upon their lives. If we are not genuine, if we are counterfeit Christians (make-believe Christians) sitting under the conviction of the Word, we will become more of a counterfeit or move out from under the influence of God upon our lives.
The “day of Christ” is the day when Christ comes back again. This day terminates the Christian life in time for all Christians.
When people examine our lives, God wants to view us as authentic (“without wax”).
If people see that Christians are genuine, then they will not have an occasion for accusing us of hypocrisy. Have you moved into a mode of covering rather than confessing your sin? Is it more comfortable for you to rationalize sin than to deal with it?