Shine Like Stars In The Universe

Scripture: Php 2:12-16 (NIV with NASB, NKJV in parentheses)

12 Therefore, my dear friends (beloved), as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you (both) to will and to act according to His good purpose (pleasure). 14 Do everything without complaining (grumbling) or arguing (disputing), 15 so that you may become blameless (prove yourselves) and pure (innocent, harmless), children of God without fault (blameless) in (the midst of) a crooked and depraved (perverse) generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe (shine as lights in the world) 16 as you hold out (holding fast) the Word of Life—in order that I may boast (rejoice, have cause to glory) on the Day of Christ that I did not run (in vain) or labour (toil) for nothing.

Central Proposition: Guard your Christian faith with sober diligence and exemplify your Christian life with spiritual vigour so that you may shine like stars in the universe.

I. Guard Your Christian Faith

a. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling (v.12)

Work: katergazesthe (work to completion)

Work out salvation with fear and trembling

b. God works in us (v.13)

Work: energeo (to work powerfully)

  • i. Works in us to desire to obey Him (v.13a)

For God is working in you, giving you the desire to obey Him and the power to do what pleases Him. (NLT)

being found in appearance as a man, He [Jesus] humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Php 2:8)

  • ii. Gives power to work for His good pleasure (v.13b)

19 The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Gal 5:19-21)

Four Areas of Carnality:

1. Sensual Sins

  • Adultery and fornication
  • Uncleanness
  • Lewdness

2. Religious Sins

  • Idolatry
  • Sorcery

3. Temperamental Sins

  • Hatred
  • Contentions
  • Jealousy
  • Anger
  • Selfish ambition
  • Dissensions
  • Factions
  • Envy

4. Indulgent Sins

  • Drunkenness
  • Revelries
  • And the like

we KNOW that our old self was crucified with [Christ] so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. (Rom 6:6)

I put this in human terms because you are weak in your natural selves. Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever-increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness. (Rom 6:19)

now… you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. (Rom 6:22)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)

II. Exemplify Your Christian Life

a. Commit to excel in excellent deeds (vv.14-15a)

You know what happened all through Judea, beginning in Galilee after John the Baptist began preaching. And no doubt you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. (Acts 10:37-38)

i. Do ALL things (v.13a)

ii. Do without grumblings or disputing (v.14b)

b. Commit to excel in exemplary conduct (v.15)

i. Prove yourself to be blameless and innocent (v.15a)

ii. Live outstandingly as children of God (v.15b)

iii. Hold fast God’s Word amidst hostility (v.16)


1. Guard Your Christian Faith

2. Exemplify Your Christian Life

For it is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people. Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves. Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honour the emperor. (1 Pet 2:15-17)