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Shine Brightly

Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Matthew 5:16 ESV
16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
What does it mean to shine brightly? In our passage this morning the result of the gospel and living out the implications of the gospel means that we shine brightly.
Has anyone ever been spelunking in a cave? I remember being in a cave and the guide telling us to turn out our flashlights. In a moment you could see nothing. I waved my hand inches from my face and felt the small movement of air, but no visual representation of my hand. And then the guide clicked his light on and it seemed like the sun had broken into the cave.
We are called to shine because of the light of the gospel that has been placed in us. But what is it that keeps that light from shining brightly? Take this lamp. If it represents us, and as you can see the light is shining brilliantly at this point. What is it that could block the light?
I know, oversized post it notes. But to keep the analogy going, what if these notes represented the varying sins mentioned in the book of Philippines so far? Sins like grumbling, disputing, a lack of rejoicing, complaining, divisions, and a lack of love.
How has that affected the brilliance of the lamp? What if the way we lived affected how brightly our light shines forth with the gospel? What if our behavior really did matter?
That is the picture that Paul wants us to grasp this morning. We are to shine brightly by working out our salvation recognizing it is God who works in us. Paul is going to list 3 main ways we are to live out our faith. First, no grumbling or complaining. Second, hold onto the word of life. Third, Rejoice.
So we are called not only to early steps of faith and obedience but to an entire life of working out our salvation. This will be characterized by (1) self-denying contentment, (2) a conscious effort to please mature Christian leaders, and (3) a cheerful sacrifice that ratifies and endorses the work that more mature Christian leaders have poured into our lives.
Philippians 2:14–18 ESV
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 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. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

No Grumbling, No Disputing

Grumbling refers to whispering complaints, talking in secret against someone, and making negative comments about others behind their backs.
Arguing in this context means quarreling and debating in ways that are divisive and raise doubts.333

All Things

Any attempt to divide the activities of life into spiritual and sacred categories is negated by this view that everything in life should be transformed by salvation

Standing Out

Christian contentment stands out in a selfish, whining, self-pitying world.

Shining Brightly

In Paul’s day, sailors did not have GPS to guide them through the night; they looked to the stars to plot their course to a safe harbor. The middle or passive voice of the verb shine may mean “to become visible, appear” or have the active sense, “to shine, flash.”
In an important parallel to Paul’s words, the indicative in the teaching of Jesus, “You are the light of the world,” is the basis for the imperative: “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” ().

Hold onto the Word of Life

Hold onto means to maintain a grasp. Grasp the word, and when Paul uses this word, word…he is referring to the gospel. Preach the word, Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ, for the word of the cross is follow to those who are perishing. Paul modify’s this phrase then with the words of life. the word we are speaking is about the life of Christ and the life he brings. So the defensive posture of holding firmly the world of life turns into an evangelistic result.
Instead of being preoccupied with complaining, the church should be occupied with proclaiming the word of life. Complaining turns off the light of the church in the world; proclaiming the word of life shines the light of the life of Christ into the darkness of the world.

Working Hard

Paul expected the members of the church to be motivated by the prospect that the quality of their life would be the basis of Paul’s boast about them on the day of Christ. The word boast means “the act of taking pride in something or that which constitutes a source of pride.”
Human boasting takes pride in human power and human accomplishments. But Paul’s boasting gives all the glory to God for God’s demonstration of grace and power through human weakness and tribulation. When Paul speaks of boasting on the day of Christ about his apostolic work in the community of believers (2:16), his boasting is based upon his belief that it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good pleasure (2:13).
His word for labor connotes becoming weary from exerting oneself physically, mentally, or spiritually, working hard, toiling, striving, and struggling.

Pouring ourselves Out


“If I suffer, or even lose my life, in a sacrifice poured out on top of your principled self-denial, I am delighted. What I do not want is to die a martyr’s death without any corresponding fruit in your life. As it is, whatever small sacrifice I am called upon to make is but a complementary capstone to the sacrifice that all Christians are called to make. In this I will rejoice.” “So you too should be glad and rejoice with me”
Paul responds to suffering, no matter how extreme and ultimate, with rejoicing.

Being Glad

As we have already seen in our study of 1:18, Paul’s pervasive concern with joy and rejoicing in this letter is not a superficial claim that Christians should smile, laugh, and at all times appear contented. It is the settled sense of peace that accompanies believers in plenty and in want because they know their lives are devoted to the advancement of the gospel.
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