Don’t Be A Dim Bulb

Don’t Be A Dim Bulb

Pastor Don Carpenter / General

Testimony; Murmuring; Complaining / Philippians 2:14–15

 Last week something happened during Becky’s housecleaning that radially changed the appearance of our hallway. She had noticed that the light fixture had become quite dusty and all the bulbs were not working. After cleaning a substantial amount of dust from the glass and replacing a couple of bulbs, the hall was very bright. By removing the dust and dysfunctional bulbs, the light operated as it was supposed to and made a huge difference in what the hallway looked like.

Tonight we are going to talk about the dust of complaining and grumbling. The Bible tells us that when we murmur we are not blameless and harmless. We are not the bright lights that we need to be in a very dark world. As we examine our own lives, let us together resolve not to be a dim bulb.

Clean up the Dust

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

Murmur

?The word “murmurings” is the translation of a Greek word which means, “to mutter, to murmur.” It was used of the cooing of doves. It is an onomatopoetic word, that is, a word whose sound resembles its meaning. It is spelled, gongusmon (?????????). It refers, not to a loud outspoken dissatisfaction, but to that undertone murmuring which one sometimes hears in the lobbies of our present day churches where certain cliques are “having it out,” so to speak, among themselves. The word refers to the act of murmuring against men, not God. The use of this word shows that the divisions among the Philippians had not yet risen to the point of loud dissension. The word was used of those who confer secretly, of those who discontentedly complain. The word is found in a secular document reporting an interview between Marcus Aurelius and a rebel. A veteran present interposes with the remark, “Lord, while you are sitting in judgment, the Romans are murmuring.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

????????? means “complaint” or “displeasure” expressed in murmuring, secret talk, or whisperings about someone (perhaps about leaders)—a kind of grumbling action that promotes ill will instead of harmony and goodwill (cf. Acts 6:1; 1 Pet 4:9;

Hawthorne, G. F. (2004). Vol. 43: Philippians. Word Biblical Commentary (143). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

1 Corinthians 10:10 KJV

Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Jude 15–16 KJV

to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. 

These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage.

Dispute – debate/ suspicion/ doubt

?The word “disputings” is the translation of a Greek word that carries the ideas of discussion or debate, with the underthought of suspicion or doubt. The murmurings led to disputes.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

The World Is Dark Enough.

?The Philippians lived in a crooked and depraved generation (2:15). Again it seems that Paul had the unbelieving Israelites in mind. Moses had used similar words to describe Israel who had gone astray (cf. Deut. 32:5). Peter used the same terminology (“corrupt generation,” Acts 2:40) that Christ did (“perverse generation,” Matt. 17:17).

?The world today, like theirs, is unscrupulous and perverted. Most people have turned their backs on God and truth. In this kind of world God’s people are to “shine like stars” (Phil. 2:15; cf. Matt. 5:14–16). They are to be children of God without fault.

Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), . Vol. 2: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (656). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

?“Crooked” in the Greek has the idea of “crooked, perverse, wicked,” in the sense of turning away from the truth. “Perverse” has the idea of “distorted, having a twist.” It is a stronger word than “crooked.” “Shine” refers to the fact of appearing, not the act of shining. The word for “lights” is the translation of the Greek word used of the heavenly bodies such as the stars. How appropriate to speak of the saints as luminaries, since they are heavenly people.

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

Church conflicts happen for pretty unusual reasons. In the 1890s there was a small Baptist church in Mayfield County, Kentucky. The church had just two deacons, and those two men seemed to be constantly arguing and bickering with each other. On a particular Sunday, one deacon put up a small wooden peg in the back wall so the pastor could hang up his hat. When the other deacon discovered the peg, he was outraged. “How dare someone put a peg in the wall without first consulting me!” The people in the church took sides and the congregation eventually split. Over a hundred years later, residents of Mayfield County still refer to the two churches as Peg Baptist and Anti-Peg Baptist.

Shine Brightly

Philippians 2:15 KJV

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Blameless

?Blameless (amemptoi, v. 15) means “above reproach.” This does not mean sinless perfection. The corporate testimony of the church is in view. All believers are called on to live out the salvation God has worked in them—to progress in their spiritual maturity. The people were to live so that those outside of Christ could not rightfully point an accusing finger at them. 

Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), . Vol. 2: The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (656). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Harmless

?“Harmless” in the Greek text has the idea of “unmixed, unadulterated.” It was used of wine without water, and metal without alloy. It means “guileless.”

Wuest, K. S. (1997). Wuest’s word studies from the Greek New Testament: For the English reader (Php 2:14). Grand Rapids: Eerdmans.

And harmless.—Christ’s own counsel. “Be harmless as doves.” Lit. the word means unmixed, unadulterated, and figuratively, artless. Of sophistries and the deep things of Satan he would rather they were in happy ignorance (Matt. 10:16; Rom. 16:19)

Barlow, G. (1892). Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (322). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

As Sons of God

Matthew 5:16 KJV

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Without Rebuke

 Without rebuke.—Vulgate, “immaculatum.” The word is originally a sacrifiical term. It describes the victim in which the keen inquisitorial eye of the official inspector has found no fault. So (1 Pet. 1:19) of the Lamb of God, in the whiteness of spotless innocency. 

Barlow, G. (1892). Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, I & II Thessalonians. The Preacher’s Complete Homiletic Commentary (322). New York; London; Toronto: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

WHAT MAKES YOUR FACE SHINE?

A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, “What do you put on your face to make it shine?” With surprise the man of God answered, “I don’t put anything on it!” His questioner began to lose patience and said emphatically, “Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. I’ve seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay.”

Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed even more as he said, “Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It’s not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It’s the reflection of the light of Christ in our hearts.”

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 1:10 PM September 13, 2020.

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