Summary: Sermon witnessing
SHINING STARS (PART 2)
Most of you are aware of that I happen to like Christian contemporary music. One of the groups that I particularly like is a group called the Newsboys. As I was listening to their songs I noticed that one would fit in well with what I am trying to get across in our series of sermons on being shining stars. In order to save myself any embarrassment I will quote portions of the song, rather then sing then to you.
"Dull as dirt you can’t assert the kind of light that might persuade a strict dictator to retire, fire the army, teach the poor origami. And try as you may there isn’t a way to explain the kind of change that would make an Eskimo renounce fur that would make a vegetarian barbecue hamster, unless you trace this about-face to a certain sign"
Then chorus of the song which goes, "SHINE Make’em wonder what you got, Make’em wish that they were not on the outside looking bored, SHINE let it shine before all men, let’em see good works and then, let’em glorify the Lord."
While the song may be looked at as somewhat humorous, the point that it is making is the same point Paul is making in the passage of scripture we currently looking at.
Before we go any further lets turn to that passage Phil. 2:14-16. Page 1017 in your pew Bibles;
"Do all things without murmuring and disputing that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain."
Both the song and the passage speak of the need to see radical change, change that would make dictators fire their army, vegetarians barbecue hamster, and Eskimos give up fur. Change the would make sinful men become blameless , evil men become harmless. Change that make us want to shine before men, not that people can see hope wonderful we are, but so that God can be glorified. Change that comes with our acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and saviour. Both speak of the need to shine in a world that is full of darkness.
There are far to many Christians who are not shining as lights, or as stars as the NIV puts it. Statistics show that 95% of all born again Christians have not lead anyone to the Lord. That is not what Christ had in mind when He called on all of us to go forth and make disciples of all nations. We need to shine.
As we noted a couple of weeks of go that beginning of this shining comes through working our own salvation, through obedience to the Lord. And God gives us not only hope but assurance that we can be successful because as Phil. 2:13 states He is working in us. Last week we noted two things that prevent us from shining as stars, murmuring or complaining, and fighting amongst ourselves.
So let us know look at verse 15 as Paul reveals to us how to shine as stars. He notes three things in this verse. We are to be
3 Children of God
These are three things Paul states must be present if we are to shine as we should.
The first one I wish to point out is that we must first be children of God. Now there are those who say that all people are children of God. But scripture reveals that this just is not true. Only those who have received the Holy Spirit through their profession of faith in Christ, can be called the Children of God.
Romans 8:14-17 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together."
Galatians 3:26 "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." Of course sons of God meaning children of God.
So the first step in shining as stars is having a personal relationship with Christ. When we profess Him as our saviour scriptures tells us we begin to walk in his light and not the darkness of the world.
But here Paul is telling us that it is not enough just to be a Christian. It is not enough to just be Children of God. While it is enough to get you into heaven, it is not enough to shine as lights or stars.