Summary: Sermon on witnessing
SHINING STARS (PART 3)
Dr. J. Wilbur Chapman, a famous evangelist once made note of how the New Testament tells of forty people, each suffering from the same disease who were healed by Jesus. Of this number thirty-four were either brought to Jesus by friends, or Jesus was taken to them by friends. Only six of the forty found their own way to Jesus without assistance.
Of the people today who find their way to Jesus, most of them find their way through a friend. Because those friends are concerned about their souls. That what is to shine like stars. To bring others to the light of the World through our light. We has Christians need to be bringing others to Jesus. Not only through our words but through our deeds, by shining in this dark world.
We are continuing our study of Philippians 2:14-16, as we look at the different aspects of shining like lights or as the NIV puts it, like stars. Let us turn again to that passage of Scripture, Philippians 2:14-16, which is 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."
Over the past two weeks we have noted from this passage different aspects of "shining as lights". From Paul’s comments here we have seen that
1. We are to do all things with murmuring or complaining. This will certainly take away from our ability to shine.
2. We are also to do all things without disputing. That is fighting among ourselves to the point of division.
3. We are to be children of God.
4. Not only Children of God but children of God who are blameless, that is not living what could be seen as an evil lifestyle.
5. And Children of God who are harmless, which is to say not repaying evil for evil, but evil with good, and not doing evil that good may come.
6. And all this must be done in the mist of a crooked and perverse generation. A world full of darkness.
So when we accomplish these things we can begin to shine like stars. We begin to reflect the light of the Son of God. We begin to draw people to this light as they take notice of this light shining in the darkness. Our light need to bring them Jesus, to the only hope that this world has.
We can think of ourselves as lighthouses in this world. Showing people the way to safety and hope. Which is found in Jesus and in Jesus alone.
Fundamental to our ability to shine as lights or stars is that we "hold fast that word of Life." As stated in verse 16 of our passage. In fact all the other things that we have mentioned over that last few week rest in the "word of Life". It is the word of life that instructs us how to work out our salvation. It is that word of live that teaches us the dangers of murmuring and complaining, as we saw in the example of the people of Israel as they wondered in the desert.
It is by the word of life that we see they folly of disputing among ourselves. And it is by this word of Life that we can become blameless, that we learn how do be blameless. It is by this word of life that we learn what is it is to be harmless. It is by this word of life that we learn how to shine as lights in a crooked and perverse generation.
As we look at verse 16 in our passage today let us first define what the Word of Life" is. Understand the life comes from one place and one place only. Be it physical life or spiritual life. Life originates from God. It has its source in nothing else. In Genesis we see that all life was created by God, it is sustained by God. Scripture goes on to say that it is that God who also gives Spiritual life to those who place there trust in Christ. These are basic teaching of the Scriptures.
So the Word of life is the word of He who as given life, God. The Word of Life is the Word of God, the Bible. This is the word which we are to hold fast to. This is the word that we are o hold out to others.
So lets is look to the scripture as see the proper way to hold out this "word of life". I believe we can see the proper method by looking at a young priest in the Old Testament by the name of Ezra. Ezra had just returned from to Jerusalem from exile. Without getting to far into the events surrounding his return, Ezra 7:10 tells us;