Philippians 2:15 reveals that the believers are luminaries in the world: “That you may become blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Literally the Greek word translated “lights” here is luminaries, which reflect the light of the sun, Christ. As children of God with the divine life and nature, we have a special function—the function of shining. Because we have the divine life and nature, we have become luminaries reflecting Christ as the real sun. Whenever we cooperate with God’s inward operation (Phil. 2:13) according to the divine life and nature, we shine with the light of Christ.
In 2:15 Paul speaks of the believers as children of God. This implies regeneration, the new birth. To be a child of God means that we have been born of God, that God has been conceived within us. When we became children of God, God was conceived in our being. This means that when we were born of God in our spirit, we were mingled with Him. God has been conceived within us, and we have been born of Him to become His children.
The expression “children of God” in 2:15 is very rich in its implications. It implies that God has actually been born into us and that we possess His life and nature. Sometimes we may say, “I am just a sinner saved by grace.” Although this, of course, is true, it is very shallow compared with the revelation in the New Testament. If we know the truth of the Word, we shall not say that we are merely sinners saved by grace. We shall have the boldness to declare, “I am a child of God born of the Spirit!” No doubt, we are sinners who have been saved by God’s grace. But because we have been born of God, we are now His children. How marvelous!
We can be children of God only by having the life of God. How wonderful it is to have God’s life! Just as a child has the life of his parents, so as children of God we have the life of God. All those who are truly children of God need to realize that they have the divine life within them. It is this life that makes us luminaries.
As children of God we should be blameless and guileless. The Greek word rendered “guileless” also means simple, artless, innocent; hence, harmless (Matt. 10:16). The Greek root of this word means unmixed. Blameless describes our outward behavior, and guileless, our inward character. If we are blameless and guileless, we shall be without blemish. To be without blemish is the total quality of being blameless and guileless.
Philippians 2:15 goes on to tell us that as children of God who are blameless and guileless, we are without blemish “in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation.” The Greek word rendered “perverted” literally means warped, twisted. The generation in which we live is crooked, warped, and twisted. However, as children of God we must be different. Because we are God’s children, we should be both blameless and guileless, without blemish.
As lights, or luminaries, the believers shine among the sinful generation by reflecting the light of the sun, Christ (Mal. 4:2; Luke 1:78). Actually, we have no light in ourselves. Our shining is simply the reflection of light which we receive from another source. Christ is the light, the real sun, and we reflect Him. Therefore, our shining is our reflection of Christ as the source of our light.
Ultimately, the New Jerusalem as the aggregate of all the redeemed and perfected saints, will be a great luminary, shining the glory of God in Christ over all the nations (Rev. 21:11, 24a).
(Conclusion of the New Testament, The (Msgs. 099-113), Chapter 14, by Witness Lee)