“That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world”
The fourth standard to keep in mind when tempted with schism is “without fault” mentality. Do we have something in our lives that non-Christians use not to believe the claims of Christ?
“that you may become . . . without fault”
“Without fault” means without blemish and, therefore, not open to censure. This speaks of one in whom there is nothing reprehensible or shameful. This person has no stain or disgrace upon his life. Again, this is not teaching sinless perfection. It means that the believer should not live his life in a way that opens it to criticism from the world.
This is the fourth area the church needed to “become” what they were not before. Paul obviously felt that the Philippians had a stain upon the life of the congregation. By allowing the schism to continue, that left disgrace upon them and the Lord.
People outside Christ wrote them off. If Jesus Christ made such an impact on them, why were they so divided? They lived amid a “crooked and perverse generation.” That generation would look on them with twisted eyes. They did not expect to hear anything useful from the Philippian church. They viewed Christianity with skepticism and cynicism.
Schism among Christians will reinforce skepticism and cynicism among non-Christians.
If our non-Christian neighbors were to examine our lives, would we be open to censure from them? Is there a stain or something reprehensible in our testimony they can use as an excuse not to receive Christ?