Blameless and Harmless Children of God
Philippians 2:14-16 states - "Do all things without complaining and disputing, 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." Some Christians have the mistaken notion that God only cares about what we do and not how we do it. This is incorrect. Simply because a person does what God has instructed him to do doesn't necessarily mean that God is pleased. Correct actions are not good enough if one's attitude is rotten. For instance, are parents pleased when children comply with the requested action but complain every step of the way? No, and the same is true with God toward His children. If Christians obey Him while grumbling and murmuring, then they are not working out their salvation properly with fear and trembling (cf. Phil. 2:12). Our attitude is so important! Paul didn't teach that we should do some things or most things without complaining. He said do all things without complaining!

Friends, really stop and think about this point. "Do all things without complaining and disputing". This means that when there is something that should be done, we must do it joyfully (or, at the very least, silently)! Do you remember all the complaining the Israelites did during their years of wandering in the wilderness? Did God like it? Absolutely not! He considered it to be a serious sin. Listen to Numbers 11:1 - "Now when the people complained, it displeased the Lord; for the Lord heard it, and His anger was aroused. So the fire of the Lord burned among them, and consumed some in the outskirts of the camp." I wonder what would happen in the Lord's church today if fire came down from heaven and consumed those who criticized and complained against the truth of God's word? Christians, it is not enough to serve God. We've got to serve Him with the right attitude! We must develop the mind of Christ if we are to be found "blameless and harmless" as God's children. We must manifest an attitude of absolute, humble obedience to God to please Him.

If we are able to develop this proper attitude, we will have a powerful influence in this sin-filled world in which we live. Those who hold fast to the truth of God's word are like shining lights in the darkness (cf. Matt. 5:16). Our goal should be to expose sin and exhort others to come to the light by sharing the gospel truth with them! Paul knew that if the Philippian Christians lived obediently without murmuring, then they would be saved on the final day. Thus, the labor he had invested in them would not be in vain.

The apostle continued in Philippians 2:17,18 - "Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me." Paul gave the Christians at Philippi a compliment here as he referred to the "sacrifice and service" of their faith. Imagine an altar to Jehovah, the only true and living God. These brethren were the sacrifice and he was the drink offering. In other words, Paul considered his activities for the Lord to be small in comparison to the service of these brethren. He went on to say that even if he was being poured out, he would rejoice and wanted them to do the same! Even if he died as a prisoner, he was dying for the Lord. To have one's life poured out for the cause of Christ was (and is) something to celebrate!

For the remainder of this chapter Paul commends two faithful friends and companions in whom he had great confidence. We will analyze this portion of text in tomorrow's feature lesson.