In my previous post, I discussed the agape love found in Philippians 1:9-10: “9 And I pray this, that your love may abound even more and more in knowledge and every kind of insight 10 so that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ.” I discussed exactly what kind of love we were discussing here, and how this kind of love was to increase.
Today we are going to discuss why we are to increase in love in the matter described in the previous verses.
“So that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ.”
So that you can decide what is best.
So that you can be sincere.
So that you may be blameless on the day of Christ Jesus.
Woohoo! We get to decide! Or do we?
What does it mean to say that we love with increasing knowledge and insight so that we can decide what’s best? Is Jesus handing the reins over to us? Is it like, once we study under him long enough, we get to now make the rules? Hardly.
The word here for “decide” is dokimazo. According to Strongs definition, this means “to try (test) to show something is acceptable (real, approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine).” This testing is done to “to demonstrate what is good, i.e. passes the necessary test” and does not focus on disproving something (i.e. to show it is bad).”
Testing is done after a completion of some kind. Either the completion of a unit in school, or in this case, the completion of good and evil. And I really like how it does not have the connotation of determining if something is evil. We are only looking for what is best. We know that Satan cannot make an evil apart from distorting something good. He is not quite creative enough. He can only pervert the good. Why would we ever want to study the perversion? Study what good was originally intended, and you won’t have to study the perversion.
There are way too many Christians who focus on the negative, trying to prove why something is wrong and making that their hobby horse. But walking as a Christian, we are not to even be about focusing on evil beyond the knowledge that it should not be mixed up with what is good.
So that you can be sincere
The Greek word for sincere is eilikrinés, which is often used as “(originally: unmixed), pure, uncontaminated, sincere.” The literal definition shows that this word is used someone what metaphorically in light (no pun intended) of its usages.
eilikrinḗs (from heilē, “shining of the sun” and 2929/krystallízō, “to judge”) – properly, rightly judged because seen in full light; (figuratively) judged in the rays of God’s light, i.e. with divine clarity (spiritual vision) which results in real insight (discernment).
eilikrinḗs (“sincere because transparent”) describes something proven because well-examined (totally scrutinized) – therefore, certified as sincere (inwardly pure). 1506 (eilikrinḗs) naturally refers to something completely clear, free from hypocrisy (deceit, wickedness) which stands in the full light of God’s approval. This term is used twice in the NT (Phil 1:10; 2 Pet 3:1).
I stand in awe when I realize that this passage is not referring to what I am “testing” or “discerning” or “approving,” but to who I am. So that I may be rightly judged when I am in full light. So that I am pure when studied with divine clarity. So that I am proven uncontaminated when well examined. So that I am unmixed, completely clear, free from hypocrisy when I stand in the full light of God’s approval.
I may have to stop here, the conviction is so strong. Thank you Jesus that I do not stand condemned, but that you still choose to reprove me through conviction.