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Read Introduction to Philippians


“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


Having set forth four standards for Christians to overcome schism, Paul presented why these criteria are necessary.

“in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation”

“Crooked” means that the non-Christian world does not hue to a straight line. Non-believers have no absolutes. They themselves do not have standards.

“Perverse” means twisted and distorted. Not only do they not have standards, but they have perverted principles. They are unscrupulous.

The phrase “in the midst” indicates the believer’s relationship to the world is insulation, not isolation. God does not want us isolated from the world but insulated from its influence. We are in the world, but we are not of the world.

 “among whom you shine as lights in the world”

In a “crooked” and “perverse” world, Christians should shine as lights. Darkness is where the light is needed. Therefore, Christians should not be religious recluses. God’s sovereign plan is to use His people to reach distorted people. An attitude that militates against sharing our faith is that people with twisted thinking will never be open to receiving Christ. However, these are the very people, God says, to whom we are to witness. The only light this world has is the believer. That is why it is so dark. We must think, “I am the best Christian some people know.”


The place for light is darkness, where it is needed.


God calls Christians to shed luminosity as widely as possible. Are we daunted by darkness, or are we challenged by it? This passage’s challenge is that we are to go into the teeth of a “crooked and perverse” generation with a transparent testimony.