9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.(ESV)
(Study notes from the ESV)Phil. 1:9–11 The first petition in Paul’s prayer is that God would cause the cardinal Christian virtue of love to abound more and more, and that it would be accompanied by knowledge and all discernment, so that the Philippians’ love would find expression in wise actions that would truly benefit others and glorify God. As Christians grow in their understanding of what it means to follow Jesus, they will increasingly be able to affirm and practice what is excellent. Such joyful obedience to God will give them the confidence of being found pure and blameless when Jesus returns. This does not imply instantaneous spiritual perfection but rather an increasing likeness to Christ. But fruit of righteousness is not produced in the believer’s own power. Because that fruit comes through Jesus Christ, it will result in the glory and praise of God.
As I studied through this section, and read comments and discussion at Philter48, I was reminded of how often we stop at the “pure and blameless” section and count ourselves OUT! Through the worlds eyes, we are not pure and blameless..endless grudges have been held against us, and some with good worldly reason. Praise God that HE is not like the world! The difference between willful or presumptuous sin and transgressions are life changing to one who may be carrying reproach of sins past. Pure and blameless is being free from willful, repetitive sin. You know the kind..the one we look at and know in our heart of hearts that it would be wrong for us to do it, and we run right in delighting in the forbidden. Not only once, but since we repented, we feel okay about doing it again and again, with all intention of one day laying this thing down. (Let me just give this warning..God is not a fool, and forgive you HE will, right after that whoopin’ you are asking for..HE will make sure you do not forget what defiance in the face of our Almighty King will bring you.) We will battle with sin, that everyday sin, someone made you angry, and your tongue got away (not repetitively), when we cry out to the LORD to help us forgive, we repent that we know we are unforgiving, unloving…the things that we go through while learning and growing in HIM. Those are sin as well, but God has seperated sin and willful sin…We learn obedience, and although something is sinful and totally appeals to us we decline, no willful sin. There is freedom in this for me.
Psalm 19:13 Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins;
let them not have dominion over me!
Then I shall be blameless,
and innocent of great transgression.
Pauls prayer is beautiful, and one we all need to apply to ourselves as well as others.. Love, knowledge, discernment, pure and blameless, what is excellent, fruit of righteousness..through Jesus Christ all to HIS Glory!