9 - This I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
10 - so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
11- having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
Our contemporary cultural consensus, the alleged open-minded view, is born largely from humanistic love (a strong interest in or concern for human welfare, values, and dignity) as opposed to God’s love. Our nation’s attitude and stand on capital punishment, abortions, premarital sex, marriage, homosexuality, welfare, passivism, politics, and so on, for the most part, are void of Scriptural influence. Such thinking and beliefs greatly affect the widespread understanding of love. Everybody in the world has an opinion about love along with a desire to experience it. The sensible resource for understanding this awesome subject is Yahweh, our God, the Creator and the source of all true love.
Man’s opinion (no matter how thoughtful) pales in significance to that of Almighty God’s. Our thoughts compared to His are less than nothing. Sadly but truly, man does not have the ability within himself nor with the help of others to understand rightly true love. Many well-intentioned people who believed they were motivated by love have committed appalling atrocities against God and humanity. Even more common, most of us with the genuine intention to help another but motivated out of humanistic love have done more long-term damage then godly good. Howbeit, we considered our actions love-centered!
The only right way to love and certainly “to abound still more and more in love” is to gain God’s knowledge and discernment. God is love, so gaining insight about Him as communicated in the Bible is imperative. His actions and words as recorded in the whole Bible, not just in the New Testament, reveal the magnitude of love. Extracting segments of the Bible such as 1 Corinthians 13 and concluding it reveals everything to know about love is a grave error. True and accurate understanding requires the scope of the whole Word of God.
The quality of being able to grasp and comprehend the best thing to do or say for another person requires spiritual insight. The good news is that God promises to give wisdom to those who ask. James 1:3 tells us, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” Knowledge and discernment are available to them who ask, seek, and knock. This Philippians prayer is similar to Ephesians and Colossians – “that … the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him” (Eph 1:17). “…We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding” (Col 1:9).
According to verse 10, the prayer has two aims: 1) approve things that are excellent, and 2) to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ. Prayer is indeed needed to approve things (that is to analyze properly and test the best matters), especially so with love. The God-given ability to discern the best among the good, which is far harder than detecting good from evil, is necessary for godly love.
The word “sincere” has an interesting Greek background − strictly tested by sunlight. I am reminded of cameo jewelry which is each a three-dimensional scene or portrait hand-carved from multi-colored conch shells or banded agate. The carver creates a design that will reveal colored layers as it is carved. Counterfeit cameos have the top image glued to the bottom. The way to discern the fake from the genuine is to hold it up to the sunlight to determine if it is pure, one piece. When examined by God’s light, we want to be pure, real, and genuine without insincerity, hypocrisy, or falseness.
To be blameless before God is available through the sacrifice of Christ. Colossians 1 states so well – “He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach, if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel….” Paul prays for the Thessalonians in similar manner.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
Now may our God and Father Himself and Jesus our Lord direct our way to you;
and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you;
so that He may establish your hearts without blame in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all His saints.
As we live blamelessly today, we minister to God (Psalm 101:5-7), receive an inheritance forever (Psalm 37:18), delight Yahweh (Proverbs 11:5 and 20), and inherit good (Proverbs 28:10).
The love prayer ends by telling us we are filled with the fruit of righteous through Jesus Christ. This fruit includes a new self now according to Ephesians 4:24 and eternal life if the prayer is fulfilled in our lives. All of this is “to the glory and praise of God.”
Jude verses 24 and 25
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen