Sermons

Summary: We are stars in this dark world.

Shining as stars

Philippians 2:12-15(NRSV)

Shining as Lights in the World

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

13 for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without murmuring and arguing,

15 so that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, in which you shine like stars in the world.

THE TEXT TELLS US TO BE SHINING STARS....BUT HOW DO WE DO THAT?

STARS IN THIS WORLD TODAY ARE MOVIE STARS, SPORTS STARS, THE WEALTHY WHO HAVE THEIR STARS ON THE WALK OF FAME.

We clearly don’t qualify as the world’s version of stars.

We are not a star .“ We are but an average person.

Or few of us are qualified. Or none of us is qualified.

We must not envy them their moment in the spotlight. But it did make me stop and think:

Who are the stars from God’s point of view?

Who are the heavenly celebrities who shine like stars?

For Christians this is a familiar image.

Jesus said, “You are the light of the world . . . Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven"(Matt. 5: 16).

Paul said the same thing in Philippians 2:15, “You shine like stars in the world.”

The word “star” was also used in the first century for a navigational guide that would shine in the dark to lead the ships safely into the harbor.

Paul said the same thing in Philippians 2:15, “You shine like stars in the world.” The word “star” was also used in the first century for a navigational beacon that would shine in the dark to lead the ships safely into the harbor.

Christians are bright stars in a dark world. We are put here to shine the light and to guide others safely home to God.

Paul told the Philippians that they were “stars in the world.”

How do you spot star-quality Christians?

Philippians 2:12-15 clearly answers that question.

ILLUS: A Hindu trader in India once asked a missionary, "What do you put on your face to make it shine?" The missionary was a bit shocked, answered, "I don’t put anything on it!"

And the Hindu began to lose patience and spoke more forcefully, "Yes, you do! All of you who believe in Jesus seem to have it. --- I’ve seen it in the towns of Agra and Surat, and even in the city of Bombay."

Suddenly the Christian understood, and his face glowed because of Jesus,

"Now I know what you mean, and I will tell you the secret. It’s not something we put on from the outside but something that comes from within. It’s the reflection of the light of God in our hearts.”

When we walk with Jesus, even our face shows the light within us.

When people spend enough time around us... they should notice something is different.

That’s why we are told to “walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

John writes that we should “walk in the light as He is in the light.” I John 1:7

l. I will do my part

“So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (v. 12).

Notice Paul’s first exhortation:

What is it?

“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Many people have been confused by this statement because they read it as if it said, “work for your salvation.”

That of course is impossible since Paul himself clearly says in Ephesians 2:8-9 that we are saved by grace through faith and “not by works.” You can’t work your way into salvation, it is the “gift of God."

“Work out your own salvation” (Philippians 2:12). This does not teach salvation by works.

It speaks not of working in but of working out one’s salvation, not of acquiring but of expressing, not of obtaining but of proclaiming.

It means to perform according to your faith. It means to let your salvation show in your conduct.

B. When to work out our own salvation?

The persistency of working out our salvation.

“As ye have always obeyed” (Philippians 2:12).

This is the kind of obedience that is exemplary.

Obedience is their way of life. Some Christians are obedient sometimes but not always.

C. Where to work out our own salvation?

• The place of working out our own salvation. “Not as in my presence only” (Philippians 2:12).

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