Philippians 2:14-16: “Shine As Lights In the World”
INTRODUCTION TO OUR SERIES:
Background to Philippians…
The Apostle Paul wrote the epistle (personal letter) (1:1) to the Philippian church, probably during his imprisonment in Rome. The letter was written from a heart of love and concern for the Philippians. Due to Paul’s imprisonment, he could not personally visit with the church so he sent this letter with Timothy to encourage them and bring back news of their condition to Paul. (2:19).
Some of the main divisions of the book include:
1. Introduction to the book: 1:1-2
2. Paul’s thankfulness for the Philippians: 1:3-11
3. News of Paul’s imprisonment and dedication: 1:12-26
4. Following Christ’s example is our duty: 1:27-2:18
5. Paul’s representatives and the need to treat them kindly: 2:19-30
6. Paul’s example of living a joyous life: 3:1-11
7. The Christian’s heavenly calling: 3:12-21
8. The need for Godly living: 4:1-9
9. The love offerings of the Philippians: 4:10-20
10. Closing to the book of Philippians: 4:21-23
Php 2:14-16 – “Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
Paul now instructs the Philippians on how to have testimonies that will shine brightly in the midst of a fallen world….
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
The Philippian believers were to do all things without complaining or arguing. These had to do with their willingness to be submissive to the authorities over them. They were to willingly submit to the will of their family leaders; church; government; masters; and, most importantly, their Lord.
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life;
This testimony of submission to higher authorities would result in them being seen as:
1. be blameless and harmless – unable to be accused and innocent
2. the sons of God – members of the family of God
3. without rebuke – without fault
4. among whom ye shine as lights in the world; – lights that shine brightly revealing Christ and His Word
This wonderful light-filled testimony would take place “in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation” in other words, in the midst of a twisted, corrupted world.
that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”
The shining testimony of the Philippian believers would bring rejoicing to Paul’s when he stood before the Lord to give answer for his ministry. Their faithfulness would be proof that Paul’s service on their behalf was not worthless.
Paul pictures his service to Christ as a race and as working at a job. Both have an end goal, both take much effort and both are done according to guidelines that were given. So too, our service to the Lord. The Lord gives us specific opportunities to share Him with others, according to guidelines He has given to us, which will take effort on our part and enabling on His part.
When we have are in submission to those who are placed over us, we find ourselves shining brightly, revealing Christ to others around us. One of the hallmarks of Christ’s ministry on the earth was His submission to His Father and the other authorities over Him. When we willfully submit to our authorities, we are placing before others a wonderful example of the submissive spirit of Christ.
May we all strive to live in submission to the authorities around us as we seek to show Christ to a lost and dying world.
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