Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, ‘children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.’ Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.
Philippians 2:14-16 (NIV)
Read: Philippians 2:12-30
Consider: It is interesting that Paul refers to the time he is living in as ‘… a warped and crooked generation’. We can relate to this, as we look at the changes that have taken place in our generation. Perhaps things haven’t really changed that much since Paul’s day. There are still people who have a warped view of right and wrong and those who reject God as being irrelevant to their lives. There seems today to be an increasing trend in some circles to want to reinterpret Scripture for our time, as if there are no eternal truths. Denying Scripture and reinterpreting it to suit our cultural norms is seen by some as being enlightened. Unfortunately this leads to clear Biblical teaching being set aside in favour of teaching that is more culturally acceptable.
What is equally concerning are those who purport to follow Christ, yet deny sound doctrine. One has to wonder why such people say they are Christians, yet don’t hold to the basics of the faith. If they deny the divinity of Christ, his death and resurrection, then they put their trust in a Christ that cannot save them. As Paul says elsewhere ‘… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins’ (1 Corinthians 15:17).
What we need to do is to hold firmly to the word of life. Paul uses the analogy of the stars shining in a dark sky as indicative of how holding firmly to the word of life leads to Christians shining among the ‘warped and crooked generation’. Holding firmly takes courage and perseverance, in the face of the onslaught of those who try to discredit Christianity. There is plenty of encouragement in society to water down the word of life. Paul encourages us to stand firm even when it makes us unpopular.
Pray: Father, may we hold firmly to the word of life. We know that there are many in society who see Christianity as being old-fashioned and out-of-date. Help us to stand firm in the face of this opposition. Amen