Shining Lights

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Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 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 labored in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

Introduction – Historical Context

  • Acts 16:1(10)-40 — the founding of the church at Philippi during 2nd “missionary” journey
  • Gifts sent to Paul at Thessalonica twice
  • Timothy and Silas sent back to Philippi various times
  • Paul stops through on way back  on 3rd journey
  • Paul jailed in Caesarea (2yrs)
  • Paul sails to Rome
  • Under “house arrest” in Rome (2yrs)
  • Paul’s circumstances worsen towards the end of his first imprisonment
  • Philippians send a gift to Paul with Epaphroditus
  • Paul writes Philippians

Vs. 1:1-11 – Greetings, Thanksgivings, Confidence and Love, Prayer

Vs. 1:12-26 – How to Look at Trouble

Vs. 1:27-30 – Live Like the Gospel

Vs. 2:1-4 – Be like-minded, of one mind, of one accord

Example – 2:5-11 – poetic summary of the gospel (read it)

  • Let this mind be in you…
  • This poem is at the heart of this part of the book
  • It is the heart of the book — every part before and after is connected to the poem, because…
  • It is at the heart of all Christian living
  • It was not given as doctrinal teaching, but as an example of how we should think and act.
  • It is a template that can be laid over the top of every situation in our lives
    • Our relationship with God
    • Relationships with others
    • 1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves… under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

Vs. 2:12-13 – Work out your salvation – humility, obedience while depending on God


Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

  • Do…
    • Since God is doing, we should do
  • …all things
    • It is easy to do some/many things w/o…
  • …without murmurings
    • Complaining
    • Against God
    • Bad company (idolatry, adultery
  • …and without disputings
    • Questioning, arguing
    • Among ourselves

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;

  • That ye may be blameless and harmless
    • Blameless – undeserving of censure
    • Harmless – unmixed with guile or evil
  • The sons of God (Himself)
    • Not of some other personage (deity)
    • Like Jesus Christ, Himself
  • Without rebuke
    • Unable to be censured
  • In the midst of a crooked and perverse nation
    • Men love darkness
    • Change truth into a lie
    • Put wickedness for righteousness
    • Vigilant – keep himself unspotted from the world
  • Among whom ye shine as lights in the world
    • Not “hard” to shine in a dark place
    • It is “hard” if you shine in a dark place

holding forth the word of life;

  • Holding forth the word of life
    • Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
    • What do you shine? The word of life!

Application – We are to be shining lights

  • Light
    • Symbol of God
    • Symbol of God’s favor
    • Symbol of God’s Word
    • Symbol of salvation
    • Symbol of Jesus Christ
  • Isaiah 49:6 And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth.
  • Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.
  • John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
  • Acts 13:47 For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth.
  • Ephesians 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
  • 2 Corinthians 4: 6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.


  • We are to be lights
  • Shining forth the word of truth/life/God/light
  • In the world we are in
  • While being blameless, harmless, without rebuke…like Christ
  • By keeping murmuring and disputing totally out of our life.

This little light of mine,

I’m gonna let it shine.

Won’t let Satan blow it out.

Hide it under a bushel, no.

Let it shine ‘til Jesus comes.