Lights in the World

I. There are two major commands in this section of Philippians.

A. Work out your own salvation (Philippians 2:12).

1. We are to “accomplish” works suitable for salvation.

2. We are to be faithful (Matthew 25:14-30)

a. We are given “according to our ability”
b. We will be judged on producing in proportion to ability

3. We are to be profitable (Luke 19:13-27)

a. We are given the same amount to begin with
b. We will be judged on the Return On Investment (ROI)

B. Do all things without murmurings or disputings (Philippians 2:14).

1. We are to consider the manner in which we accomplish works.

2. We are not to “murmur” while we work.

a. The word means “secret debates” or “secret displeasures”
b. 1 Peter 4:8-10 -- And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins. Use hospitality one to another without grudging.  As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
c. 1 Corinthians 10-:10-12 -- Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.  Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
1) Exodus 16 – murmuring because of no food
2) Numbers 11 – murmuring because of no variety of food
2) Numbers 14 – murmuring because of the 10 spies
3) Numbers 16-17 – murmuring because of leadership

3. We are not to “dispute” while we work.

a. The word means “inward reasoning” or “self-deliberations”
b. Romans 14:1 -- Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
c. Romans 15:1 -- We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
d. Luke 6:41 -- And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but perceivest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

II. There are three major reasons for our careful work (Philippians 2:15).

A. We are to be “blameless.”

1. The word means “free from fault or defect”

2. The emphasis is on public behaviour and lifestyle.

a. Luke 1:6 -- And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.  (Referring to Zacharias and Elizabeth – John Baptist’s parents)
b. Job 1:8 -- And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?
c. 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12 -- Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, that ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (Referring to Paul and his companions)
d. 1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 -- And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

B. We are to be “harmless.”

1. The word means “unmixed” or “innocent” or “pure”

2. The emphasis in on inner thoughts and character.

a. Matthew 10:16 -- Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
b. Romans 16:19 -- For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
c. Hebrews 7:26 -- For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens

C. We are to be “without rebuke.”

1. The word means “un-blameable” or “without a blemish” (on your record)

2. The emphasis is on public reputation – even legally spotless.

a. Ephesians 1:4 -- According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love
b. 1 Timothy 6:14 -- That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ
c. James 1:27 -- Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
d. Jude 1:24 -- Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy
e. Revelation 14:5 -- And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

III. There are operational objectives that guide our work (Philippians 2:15-16).

A. We are living in a “crooked” and “perverse” nation.

1. Crooked conditions are “unfair” conditions.

a. Acts 2:40 -- And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.
b. 1 Peter 2:18 -- Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.

2. Unfair conditions are the “norm” in our nation today.

a. Tolerance to every religion – except biblical Christianity
b. Judicial bias that favours amoral behaviour
c. Disproportionate power and money among the ungodly
d. Political deliberations overlook or dismiss spiritual solutions
e. Educational structures that demand atheistic/secular training

3. Perverse conditions are “distorted” conditions

a. Acts 13:10 -- And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?
b. Acts 20:30 -- Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

4. Distorted perspectives abound in our nation today.

a. Nearly 1/3 of our nation is supported or supplemented by welfare
b. Nearly 22% of all babies are aborted
c. Nearly 40% of our babies are born out of wedlock
d. Nearly 45% of all households are unmarried
e. Nearly 50% of all marriages end in divorce
f. Nearly all crimes are considered caused by society
g. Nearly all TV dramas emphasize promiscuity

B. We are to shine as lights in the world.

1. Matthew 5:14-16 -- Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

2. 1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 -- Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness….But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

C. We are to hold the Word of Life out for all to see.

1. The verb means to “mark” or to “observe” or “pay attention to”

2. 1 Timothy 4:16 -- Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

3. 2 Timothy 4:1-4 -- I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

4. Colossians 3:16 -- Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

IV. There are shared results in our work (Philippians 2:17-18).

A. We all share in the sacrifice and service of our faith.

1. Romans 12:1-2 -- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

2. 1 Peter 2:5 -- Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

B. We all share in the joy and rejoicing of our salvation.

1. 1 Thessalonians 2:19 -- For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?

2. 1 Peter 1:8 -- Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

3. 1 Peter 4:13 -- But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

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