What Does It Mean to Live “Without Wax”?
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.Philippians 1:9-11
The apostle Paul prayed for the believers in Philippi to be “pure” which is sometimes translated sincere. “Sincere” is from the Latin, which is said to be composed of sine, “without,” and cera, “wax;” literally: without wax. What does this mean? In ancient times, they had a fine porcelain that was valued highly, and sold at a high price. Harry Ironside, who pastored Moody Church for 18 years, said,
“This ware was so fragile, that it was only with the greatest difficulty it could be fired without being cracked; and dishonest dealers were in the habit of filling in the cracks that appeared with a pearly-white wax, which looked enough like the true porcelain to pass without being readily detected in the shops. If held to the light, however, the wax was at once manifested as a dark seam; and honest Latin dealers marked their wares ‘sine cera’ (without wax).”Harry Ironside
When the apostle prayed for the lives of the Philippians would be “without wax,” it meant he longed for them to be men and women of integrity. When held up to the light of God’s Word it is revealed they are the real deal. That sounds like an important way that we, too, should pray–for ourselves and for each other.
Listen: Praying with Joy- Part 2