Shine as Lights

On this edition of the Take Note Podcast, we learn that our only hope for successful ministry is to allow Christ to work within us. Because our assignment is to shine as lights in a very dark world.

You can play, download, or read the transcript of this Take Note Podcast below.

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Shine as Lights

Philippians 2:12-18

  • The Apostle Paul speaks to the church at Philippi in our passage of the day
  • In the section we’ll address, he tells these disciples to work out their own salvation
  • To allow God to work in them, to do His own will
  • And to reach people by working together in unity
  • While dwelling within the world’s system, which is crooked and corrupt
  • It’s a short section in the New Testament today
  • Just seven verses, in Philippians 2:12-18
  • Our theme?
  • “Shine as Lights”
  • We’re entering a very well-known context in Philippians today
  • The verses that immediately precede our passage of the day tell us this about the Savior…

“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

  • It is this Savior, the One who is over all
  • That disciples in the church at Philippi
  • And every other Biblical, New Testament church today serve
  • He deserves the reverence and allegiance of everyone, everywhere
  • And He shall have it
  • How then, shall His disciples live?
  • Well, there are some key details in our text…

Philippians 2:12

12  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. 

  • Paul wasn’t there very often to observe the obedience of the Philippians
  • He wasn’t supervising their spirituality
  • But they had, in his presence, obeyed
  • And more often, to a greater extent, obeyed in His absence
  • Just as every Christian may have a mentor or a role model
  • These had Paul
  • But no human can be at our side to help us act and react daily
  • It was up to the Philippians, and it is up to us, to work out our own salvation
  • This doesn’t mean, of course to accomplish our own salvation
  • For that is impossible
  • The only One who could accomplish our salvation, Christ, has already done it
  • It rather means to work it from the inside out
  • To allow it to show forth
  • To continue to be changed daily by Him
  • And to reflect that change in attitude and word and action
  • You have been saved
  • Work that salvation out
  • But do so with the right orientation
  • With a reverence for God and a understanding of the consequences for disobedience
  • This is rightly called fear and trembling
  • Because it is a grave thing for a disciple to fail in this
  • Not just for the disciple
  • But for those observing the disciple
  • Here is the great encouragement…

Philippians 2:13

13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

  • It is a great responsibility to go forth in obedience
  • We are accountable for working out our own salvation
  • But God will work in us
  • He’ll grant us the will and the power to do
  • He can change our “want” to, and our “ability” to
  • The things that He desires for us, if we will surrender to Him, can be done
  • We should view the Christian life with confidence
  • Turn everything over to Him and allow Him to work
  • Victory is the result
  • There are some things we should avoid if this is going to be the case…

Philippians 2:14-15

14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

15  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; 

  • These are difficult instructions
  • To dispute and to murmur is common to man
  • We are often unsatisfied and argumentative
  • Among brothers and sisters in Christ, this can certainly be true
  • But it is not right
  • And so, it says, do everything without complaining and arguing
  • Why?
  • So that we can be blameless and innocent
  • Because we dwell in a world that is anything but blameless and innocent
  • It is a crooked and perverse world
  • We must be recognizably, unmistakably different
  • Unique in this generation
  • In the midst of this darkness, a light
  • Shining forth nothing good of our own, but of the Savior’s own, righteousness
  • We have been left by Jesus with this task
  • It is ours
  • And He gives us all the tools to do it
  • We’re reminded of this as we continue…

Philippians 2:16

16  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. 

  • Hold fast to this word of life
  • This word God has given us from heaven
  • Because those who have taught us
  • In this case, Paul, teaching the Philippians
  • And in our case, perhaps one or many
  • Have a desire for us to do it
  • Because God has granted them this desire
  • It is consistent with His desire
  • They want their work to count for something
  • We want our work to count for something
  • So, cling to the word
  • Embrace it
  • Obey it
  • Make it central
  • For it is the text within which our Savior communicates to us
  • For our sanctification
  • Paul goes on…

Philippians 2:17-18

17  Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. 

18  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me. 

  • Expressed a different way, verse 17 says…

“Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. “

  • This describes a disciple-maker who is willing to be spent for Christ
  • Who is willing to be poured out for those he disciples
  • It is a joy to him
  • And an example to us
  • We ought to share in this joy
  • As we give our very lives for Christ
  • And for each other
  • Shining as lights, in this dark world

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