Saturday, August 19, 2006

Philippians 2:12-18: 1000 points of light

George Bush’s 1988 acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention has come to be known as the Thousand Points of Light speech. “a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” Similarly, Paul exhorts us to shine as stars in the universe in Philippians 2:12-18.

Textual Notes
Paul begins with “Therefore, my dear friends,” Based on Jesus’ humility (2:5-11), we should live the following way of obedience. An imperative sentence is a sentence of command. Paul uses four
imperatives in 2:12-18: “work out” (v. 12), “do” (v. 14), “be glad” and “rejoice” (v. 18).

Continue to grow in Christ “work out” (2:12) *In humility (“with fear and trembling”) v. 12
*Allowing the Lord to work in you v. 13 Salvation is not contingent on works but your salvation which you have, needs to grow and develop and be worked out to maturity.

Avoid dissension “do” (2:14)
*Without complaining or arguing (v. 14)
*To be blameless, pure, without fault (v. 15)
*To shine like stars – evangelism (v. 15)
BAD EXAMPLES: Miriam – spiritual pride (Numbers 12:1-15), Judas – hypocrisy (John 12), Korah – downright rebellion (Numbers 16:1-4, 30-32)

These kinds of people will always second guess their leadership and join in with those who are grumbling, but you will never see them first in line when it’s time to do the work.

Leadership’s job to quell dissension, gossip, rebellion, and settle things down, and help people get along. If you are in leadership and you cannot go along with that, then you need to resign after the service to your chairperson.

“Be Glad” and “Rejoice” (2:17, 18)
*eternal perspective “day of Christ” v. 16
*Cure for grumbling is worship. “poured out like a drink offering” (v. 17)

Result of obedient growth in Christ, avoiding dissension, and having joy is a pure life and effective witness to the world. As a church we would be a thousand points of light to our community and our world.