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Let your Light Shine

Let your light shine   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  28:54
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Post Christian Culture

Biblical Christianity is loosing its primacy in many cultures! The church is changing with the world instead of changing the world. The bible is not the centerpiece of the home and even in some church assemblies. How can we be a shining light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation?
There is no denying the fact that we are in an post christian era, in this country and even within the families you can see that. This is not a new problem, just more evident today due to technology.
Warning that this was evident already (Rom1:28)
Romans 1:28 NASB95
28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,
Warning that it was going to come in future too (2Tim3:1-5)
2 Timothy 3:1–2 NASB95
1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2 Timothy 3:3–4 NASB95
3 unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, 4 treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Tim3:3-4
2 Timothy 3:5 NASB95
5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these.
Post-Christian culture defined: old norms that once held true are no longer accepted by the majority.
(Satans toolbox)
He has many tools that he uses in this culture today that demonstrate the post-Christian culture, for:
Homosexuality is embraced; rejecting it means you are intolerant
Sex before marriage, living together is the norm
Discounting the severity of sin, such as adultery is now called “having an affair”
Marriage, divorce and remarriage for unbiblical reasons are acceptable
Even gender, God given gender is being rejected and you can be what you chose to be vs. what God made you to be.
Proclaiming the good news and calling sin, sin, is called hate speech.
Believing that the Bible is the Word of God; Jesus is the Son of God and believing in Him you can have eternal life was the norm, today it is challenged and debated.
Majority of people in society today do not accept the basic moral principles taught in the Bible. They believe they are outdated and people who follow them are out of touch and unenlightened.
This post-Christian culture is both socially and religiously.
Sociology of the post-Christian culture
Socially it is accepting things that are contrary to God’s Word. (i.e. abortion, homosexuality, alternative lifestyles.
Religiously: Women’s roles, homosexual leaders, ministry participants that are dwelling in sin.
(Letting our light shine)
So, what do we do as a group of simply Christians studying God’s word together?
Do we form political action committees?
How about boycotting, holding rallies, standing with pickets to try to make changes?
How about becoming monks or forming communes and withdrawing from society?
Now some of those are a little out there are we chuckle at them, but I think you get the idea, but what does the bible say? Paul tells us in our passage that will be the center of this series what we are to do.
Written in basically a pre-Christian culture Paul is addressing a group of Christians, what they are facing was:
Heavy Roman culture- many gods, many ways
Paganism
Intellectualism where immorality was not considered immoral
Paul wrote to them, but could be writing to our culture today couldn’t he?
Our focal passage (Php2:12-16) gives us some direction, hope and warnings so we can let our light shine as Jesus tells us (Mt5:14-16)
Open your bibles to Mt5:14 and let’s look at just a few verses and discuss some.
Matthew 5:14–15 NASB95
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Matthew 5:16 NASB95
16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
What does Jesus call us?
You are a light
You are part of many lights that make a city set upon a hill
a light that cannot be hidden; nor would we want it to be hidden
What does He call us to do?
Let our light shine, not only shine but before men
Be careful how you let your light shine, so shine of good works
What will be the results?
When we do, will will glorify the Father who is in heaven
As we get into this series we will delve into the passage with other accompanying passages with the aim being learning for application so to be a light in a post-christian era!
Turn in your bibles now to our focal passage (Php2:12-16). We are going to transition now on Sunday nights from just a sermon to a bible study with a message and invitation within.
Philippians 2:12–13 NASB95
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:14–15 NASB95
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Philippians 2:16 NASB95
16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Ephesians 2:16 NASB95
16 and might reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by it having put to death the enmity.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
In this series we will look at, as this passage shows us.
Work out our own salvation
Work out our salvation with fear and trembling
Work of God, allow God to work and will in us
Allow Gods work in us and through us without grumbling or disputing
Work as children of God without fault
Work while holding fast to the Word of life.

Work out our salvation

Before we can be a shining light like Jesus wants us to be, we first need to work out our own salvation. Its personal before its plural.
(work it out)
Work it out personally in front or in absence of others (Php2:12)
Don’t do it just in front of people, do it when no one is looking except God.
Work it out personally so then you can help others (Mt7:1-6; Gal6:1)
(below scriptures are not on a slide, just read then comment)
Matthew 7:1–2 NASB95
1 “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 “For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.
Matthew 7:3–4 NASB95
3 “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 “Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?
Matthew 7:5–6 NASB95
5 “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. 6 “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.
This passage is not about judging, it is about working our your own salvation, getting your own house in order so that you can help others with theirs. So get up, sweep up, clean up, then help your neighbor.
This passage tells us to “get the plank out” then it says “you will then be able to see clearly.” - we need to see clearly to help others. Don’t let your light be hindered or held back by a plank in our own eye.
Now we do have a responsibility to help each other according to (Gal6:1), but first work out our salvation personally first.
Work it out personally so you are not hypocrite and kept out of kingdom of heaven (Mt23:3) or take others out of the kingdom (Mt23:13)
Don’t be a hypocrite and tell others what to do and not do it yourself (Mt23:3); don’t keep others out of the kingdom or take others from the kingdom by being a hypocrite (Mt23:13)
Work it out personally as a person running a race (1Cor9:24-27)
Don’t do it aimlessly, beating the air, but run your race, run for the prize, be careful how you run so not to disqualify yourself..
Don’t go preaching and proclaiming without practicing or you are a hypocrite and that does not shine the light of Jesus that we are called to shine. When we work out our personal salvation then our light will shine!

Work it out with fear and trembling

Who likes to think about fear, talk about fear? Not a popular topic, but it should be when it comes to God. Don’t lose our reverence (fear) of God.
Hell fire and brimstone sermons a thing of yesterday?
They were meant not to scare you but to scare the hell out of you.
Have we lost reverential fear of the Lord in our culture today?
Has
Has the pendulum swung to far the other way today where the fear of the has been diluted
Fear of the Lord
Fear of the Lord is necessary (Pro1:7)
Proverbs 1:7 NASB95
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Christ speaks of fearing the one who can destroy both your body and your soul in hell (Mt10:28)
(Apathy)
Without the proper fear of the Lord it is unlikely that someone will make an effort to work out their own personal salvation.
Have you seen apathy, faithlessness, fruitlessness in the church today? Church assembly has lost its priority?
We cannot shine our lights when we are apathetic
Apathy: Lack of interest, enthusiasm or concern; listlessness, indifferent
We need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling by allowing God to work in us.

Work it out: Let God work in you

God does the transformation in us, through working in us and through us. We need to allow God to work it out for His good pleasure.
(God at work)
Question: How do you think God works in you, what work do you think God does?
Let your light shine by allowing God to shine in you and through you (Php2:13)
God works in us both to will and to work for His good pleasure
Let Gods work for it is more than we can think or ask (Eph3:20-21)
His work is exceedingly abundantly more
God’s work is perfect and is being perfected in you (Php1:6)
He started the work, He will finish, complete the work in you.
What work?
To will: this is helping us with our motivation
To do: this is equipping us in our ability
Warning: Be careful to stay in His will and His work so not to grieve the Holy Spirit (1The5:19)
We don’t want to hinder or resist God from working in us and then using us to shine a light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
So, as lights of the world, we need to be a kind of light too

Work at not grumbling or disputing

Grumbling has become a national past time hasn’t it? There is always something to complain about, but as a light we are not to grumble, complain dispute.
(No grumbling)
Don’t be a grumpy grumbler be one works it out without grumbling.
We work at it when we have attitude of gratitude
We work at it when we keep a positive attitude
We work at it when we think of the things above
We can work on it when we pray, and even praying for others (Jn17:20-23)
When we grumble we can destroy (1Cor10:10-12) and we can devour one another (Gal5:15)
We work at it when we make effort to live at peace with all ment (Rom12:18)
Living in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation can be downright discouraging or depressing. We don’t want to be complainers. When we grumble and dispute we make ourselves less effective for the kingdom and our light does not shine the light of Jesus. don’t let this generation lead us to our downfall as it did to Israel
(below not on a slide)
1 Corinthians 10:10–12 NASB95
10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
They grumbled and were destroyed
They were instructed, now we are instructed because of their example given.
We need to be careful so not to fall.
Another way for us to improve our light is by unity. Be in unity with our brothers. Unity brings conformity to convince the world concerning Jesus. Look what Jesus had to say in prayer for the Apostles
Jn17:
John 17:20–21 NASB95
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:22–23 NASB95
22 “The glory which You have given Me I have given to them, that they may be one, just as We are one; 23 I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me.
If we were to look at 1Cor3:1-4 Paul was dealing with an immature church that there was jealousy and strife among them. It was hindering them from growing for they were fleshly and not spiritual. Infants not mature, Living on milk and not meat.
Don’t grumble for we can then be devouring one another as Paul told the Galatians in Gal5:15. We are called to be at peace with all men (Rom12:18)
When we are in unity with one another then the world will be able to see the light, the city set on a hill as what we really are.

Children of God without fault!

Faultless is what we are called, and are to be as children of God. It is able to be seen and proven too.
Philippians 2:15 NASB95
15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Question: how are you children without fault in looking at this verse?
Be blameless, be innocent
We are blameless by our actions and our words, our life will display that we are a child of God.
Be above reproach
We are not perfect but we are being perfected in Christ Jesus
We still fall short and the Lord works that out in us and for us
1 John 1:9 NASB95
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Who does the work here? And what is the work that He does?
Nothing can hinder our walk more, hinder us be an illuminating light like inconsistency and hypocrisy. Many have ceased coming to the assembly because they think the church, the assembly is full of a bunch of hypocrites, and there are many. We are called to be lights and to be a city set on a hill, we do that by not being inconsistent, we need to be consistent in following the Lord’s commands.
Be visible as lights in the world!
We are to stand against sin, but not sinners we are to love the sinner and hate the sin, Sinners should not fear us, we should be harmless to them.
Be peaceful with all, be kind, patient and gentle (2Tim2:24-26)
Be wise and harmless (Mt10:16)
Now if we are honest, becoming a Christian is easy, but being a light shining Christian takes effort. That brings us to the last verse.

Work: by holding fast to the word of life

Holdfast, standfast they are qualities that we need to build on, so, in other words they take effort, they take work. Paul challenges, encourages them and gives them a reason why.
Philippians 2:16 NASB95
16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Hold fast to the Word of Life
Hold fast by holding onto the Word, read it, study it, apply it and it will bring faith and it will bring maturity
The Word brings forth faith (Rom10:17)
The Word is the sword of the Spirit (Eph6:17)
It is God’s tool (Jm1:18; 1Pt1:23; Rom1:16; Heb4:12)
Used to convict the world of sin, it produces repentance and brings about a new birth
Used to make us a kind of first fruits
born of imperishable seed through the enduring word
For the Word is the power of God unto salvation
For it is alive and piercing, able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the heart.
(encouragment slide - let your light shine-2) encouragement (encouragement slide 2) song (exit slide)
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