Here is a brief devotional about an illuminating word in the New Testament.
The one true living God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. What makes manifest is light, and our God has come to make our crookedness – and the way out of it – manifest. This pure Light teaches us, sifts us, and shows us the source of truth. This pure Light gives good gifts to men, introducing us to moral purity, nobility, and kindness. This pure Light – the one true God – grants believers His righteousness on the basis of nothing but His own white hot electing love.
We who believe in this Sun of Righteousness are called to be “sincere” and “pure.” We are called to walk out into the light, as He is in the light. In effect, we are called to be warmed, changed by our God, who is light.
The Greek word eilikrines appears twice in our New Testaments, and it is most often translated “sincere” or “pure.” But it is not the same as the other words for “sincere” in the Greek. (In 1 Timothy 1:5, for example, the word usually translated “sincere” could be rendered “un-hypocritical.”)
The word eilikrines literally means “sun-judged” or “sunshine-scrutinized.” The word is a compound of two Greek words – helios (sun) and krinein (to judge).
It refers to the practice of holding a vessel up to the sun to see if there are any cracks in it. The assayer says, “Is this worth anything? Let me hold it up to the light!”
In the New American Standard Bible, Philippians 1:10 reads: “…so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.”
And 1 Peter 3:1 reads: “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder…”
But we may re-translate these verses like this:
Philippians 1:10: “…so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sun-judged and blameless until the day of Christ”
1 Peter 3:1: “This is now, beloved, the second letter I am writing to you in which I am stirring up your sunshine-scrutinized mind by way of reminder.”
Let us pray that God would make us lovingly sincere, as if ‘judged-by-the-sun.’ Let us hold up our entire vessel – body, soul, affections, thoughts – to the life-changing gaze of the Son of God. What a high calling. O, to be real! To be sincere! To be “naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:13)!