That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Philippians 1:10
The origin of this word is debated, but it is very interesting. Some say the original meaning was ‘sun tested’, and others say it was ‘without wax’. Here are some interesting stories about those meanings, and they originate during days of the Roman Empire:
When marble was excavated, and damaged, the scratch was cleverly hidden by rubbing some wax into it. When a sculpture was chiseled out, and a fracture appeared, it was hidden by rubbing wax into it. When a piece of pottery was made, and a small crack occurred in baking the clay, some wax or wet clay was rubbed into the crack. Whenever these pieces of pottery were held up to the sun, the crack would appear through the clay.
We all know that the word, sincere, means without hypocrisy or dishonesty. In other words, it means to be the same on the inside that we appear to be on the outside.
‘Approving of things that are excellent’ will automatically lead some people to conform to those around them. If done out of respect and love, it is good. But, if done through pretense, it is insincere. The challenge is to honor and respect one another, but also to get our ‘outside’ and our ‘inside’ in agreement. If our inside is right but our outside is wrong, we must saturate our minds with the Word of God, and attack whatever is wrong with our outward appearance, our habits, or our lifestyle. If our outside is right, but our inside is wrong, we are living the life of a hypocrite. It is a spiritual problem, and cannot be solved through conformity or reformation.
God knows we will be truly happy when we are sincerely right with Him in our hearts, and live an outward life that reflects that inward devotion to Him. As members of Faith Baptist Church, let’s work and worship together with a great deal of respect and love for one another, let’s seek the things that are excellent through a saturation of God’s Word in our hearts, and let’s strive to be devoted to Christ in our hearts, and show it with the things we do and say in our daily lives.