Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Blameless on the Day of Christ

This is taken from "The Heart of the Bible" Explore the Power of Key Bible Passages by John MacArthur. His website is  The book is published by Thomas Nelson  Publishers,
their site is

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, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
                                                                         - Philippians 2:15-16

Paul's motive as he exhorts believers is that he wants to rejoice in the day of Christ. The day of Christ is the day when we all get to heaven and see Him face to face. What would make that a day of rejoicing for Paul? He says that a source of joy on that day will be seeing the believers with whom he had ministered standing in the Lord's presence, seeing them rewarded because they had lived blameless and harmless lives and shined as lights in a wicked world. Later in this letter (4:1) Paul calls the Philippian believers his joy and his crown. In 1 Thessalonians 2:19 he says that his joy and crown of rejoicing will be seeing the believers he served standing in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming. What a wonderful perspective on ministry! It is an eternal perspective, oriented toward that future day of accountability, and not simply wanting to be judged blameless himself but wanting to see those he taught being judged blameless.
Paul did not say, "I want to have a big church. I want to have success in ministry so that people will see that I am effective." He did not care about his reputation. He had a heavenly perspective. He said, "When I get into the presence of the Lord, I want to know that my efforts had eternal consequences." That was why he wrote his letters, why he preached the gospel, why he exhorted the churches. He wanted to see changed lives, lives that would be pleasing to Christ on that day. He wanted these children of God to live blameless, harmless lives - which means lives that were innocent, unmixed with sin. He wanted them to live without God's reproach in the midst of a crooked generation. The Greek word for "crooked" is the one from which we get "scoliosis;" it means twisted or preverted. If Paul's generation was twisted, ours certainly is as well. He wanted the believers to shine as lights in a dark world. The way you do that is to hold out the Word of life, proclaiming the gospel from the Word, He wanted his people to live like that so that they could share an eternal reward from Christ.
Don't you want to hear the Lord say, "Well done, good and faithful servant"? I do. I need to keep a heavenly perspective like Paul. I want to live my life, not for approval of men but for the approval of the Lord Himself. I want to minister to people, not so I can enjoy their respect but so I can rejoice in their reward in Christ's presence. Today there is so little of living in the light of the day of Christ. We get caught up in pleasing people and making this life comfortable. Those things are so unimportant from an eternal perspective. We need to lose our lives in anticipation of the day when we see Jesus Christ and can rejoice over the fruit of a life lived as a shining light in the world, faithfully proclaiming the Word of life.

This is a humbling reading - our priorities must focus on that future day when we stand before the Radiant, Glorious, Eternal Lord. We must realize that the choices we make today have eternal consequences, and that the true religion of God is the kind that changes lives. Lets meet the Spirit of
God in prayer and plead with Him to change our hearts, to give us a soul that followeth hard after him.

Read, reread and meditate on Psalm 63, and then pray it unto the Lord, God bless you.

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