Murmurings & Disputings
“MURMURINGS & DISPUTINGS”
Philippians 2:12-18 “Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 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; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.”
The Bible tells us in verse 14 to do all things without murmuring and disputing. This means we are to do all things without a complaining and confrontational spirit. We are to do all things with a good attitude. We are to work willingly, happily and with a servants heart for our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 6:7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:) When we work for someone or serve in the church, do it as if you are reporting directly to Christ himself, because in a way, you really are.
Let’s look at the definitions of these words:
Murmurings – means to grudgingly grumble about something.
Disputings – means a doubtful discussion, consideration or debate about the purpose, reasoning or thought.
So you could say the verse this way – “Do all things without grudgingly grumbling about it and without doubtfully considering or debating the purpose or reasoning behind your instruction to do it.”
I would say it this way “Follow the leadership you are under whether that be Christ or your boss or your Pastor. Without having an attitude about what you are told or asked to do, without constantly complaining about everything and without doubting and debating the request or command.”
Look at verses five to eight. We need to have a servant’s heart like the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:5-8 “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.“
MURMERINGS AND DISPUTINGS
We need to not have murmurings and disputing toward things we do for God and our Church or for things we do at our secular jobs. (I Corinthians 10:31 – Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.) We are going to examine about three areas where we need to watch our attitudes or our “murmurings and disputing”.
- We need to maintain a testimony where we work. Especially since we are Christians and hopefully those you work with know you are a Christian.
- We need to maintain a good testimony of having a good attitude and not complaining about everything at work, because we represent Christ. If people we work with see a negative complaining, insubordinate attitude from us, they are not going to want anything we have. We will turn them off to Christ and that may end up sending them to a Christless eternity.
- We need to have a good, a non complaining attitude in things we do for Christ and in our church life. Constantly complaining about things is a sin. A very discouraging sin to the leader that has to hear it all the time.
- We need to support and enthusiastically follow the leadership of our Pastor. God put him in the leadership position in our church “for such a time as this.” God gives him the vision and we need to follow and support the vision God has given him.
- Of course if the leadership of the church is leading in an unbiblical path we are not obligated to follow it in those circumstances, nor should we. We should follow the biblical guidelines given in those circumstances as found in Matthew 18:15-17. Our ultimate allegiance should be to God and His word.
To the brethren
- The Bible warns us over and over again about causing problems among the brethren. Of the seven things listed as what the Lord hates in Proverbs chapter 6:16-19 the last one mentioned and considered an “abomination” is “he that soweth discord among the brethren.” (Proverbs 6:16, 19 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:, vs.19 – A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.)
- Don’t be guilty of what the Lord considers an abomination!
- How do you sow discord among the brethren? – With murmurings and disputings. With a complaining attitude. With an attitude of seeing just how much you can get away with or trying to get special treatment for yourself.
- Don’t be guilty of this sin, the Lord says is an abomination. We are commanded in the Word of God to mark those which cause division among fellow Christians and to avoid them. (Romans 16:17 – Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.) – Don’t make fellow Christians have to avoid you.
WHY SHOULD WE NOT BE GUILTY OF MURMURINGS AND DISPUTINGS? HOW DOES NOT COMPLAINING BENEFIT US?
Philippians 2:15a – “That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke,”
Four Specific Benefits are listed in the first part of verse fifteen:
- “Blameless” – So we will not have any guilt, or be the one to blame because of problems within the church or in the world. Make sure you are never the source of “discord among the brethren.” Instead seek to be the solution to that discord.
- “harmless” – Never be the one guilty of causing harm or hurt feelings to other Christians or other people in general. Strive to live a life that does not cause harm to others. The Bible tells us to cut out the murmurings, disputing and the gossiping in order to cut out the harming of others.
- “sons of God” – We are Christians, if we are saved we are the “sons of God.” We should want to act like our Heavenly Father and live and set a good example and not act like the father of this world the devil.
- “without rebuke” – If we don’t let ourselves murmur, dispute, or gossip about things we will have no rebuke coming to us.
WHY SHOULD WE WORRY ABOUT BEING BLAMELESS, HARMLESS, SONS OF GOD AND WITHOUT REBUKE? – THAT IS ANSWERED IN THE NEXT PART OF THE VERSE
It is because we live “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;” Verse 15b.
- We are to be a light to the world that we live in. How can we be that light if we are complaining, gossiping, murmuring and disputing? We need to be the lights we are commanded to be. (Matthew 5:15-16 – Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.)
- The world we live in needs our witness. Paul says we live in the “midst of a crooked and perverse nation” – I think that accurately describes our nation today. So because of that, more than ever, we need to be living right as Christians and not murmuring or disputing. We need to be setting the example on how to live right not being an example of how to live wrong and sinfully.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO BECAUSE WE ARE A LIGHT IN THE WORLD? – VERSE 16a TELLS US WE SHOULD BE – “Holding forth the word of life”
What is the “word of life”? – The Gospel is called the “word of life” because it reveals to us eternal life and shows us how to have eternal life. It is called the “word of life” because it has the answers to all of life’s issues and problems. If you can’t find the answer keep looking. Sometimes the answers come as a result of the hours you spend in study and prayer in the looking for them.
- “Holding forth the word of life” – are you holding forth the word of God? Are you doing as we all are commanded to do in Acts 1:7-8 – “And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
- Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord commanded in Matthew 28:19-20 – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
- Are you “Holding forth the word of life” by obeying what the Lord said in Luke 14:23 – “And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.”
Why should we not be murmuring, complaining and disputing? – because of the benefits God’s Word tells us we will receive in verse fifteen to be “blameless, harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke”
We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we live in a “crooked and perverse nation” that needs a light, a light of hope, a light of love, and light of victory through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing because we are commanded to hold “forth the word of life” – the gospel to the world.
We should not be murmuring, complaining and disputing so we can say as Paul did in the last part of verse sixteen “that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.” So we can have joy at His appearing and know we have not lived in vain and to know that are labor has counted for Him and for eternity.