Biblical Times History · History Facts · Throwback Thursday

TBT: Light Up the World – Phillipians 2

This Saturday, our church mission team will head to Wisconsin for a week of Sport Vaction Bible School. Pray for use as we reach out and try to light up the world. Below is Day 3 of my preparation for the prayer journals. This week I am going to reverse the order on you. First, I am going to present you with the Bible story, or verses in this case, and then give you the context.

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Day 3: Lights in the World – Philippians 2:5-18

THE BIBLE STORY

(Pulled directly from the HCSB version this time.)

5 Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,

6 who, existing in the form of God,

did not consider equality with God

as something to be used for His own advantage.

7 Instead, He emptied Himself

by assuming the form of a slave,

taking on the likeness of men.

And when He had come as a man

in His external form,cross-66700_640

8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death —

even to death on a cross.

9 For this reason, God highly exalted Him

and gave Him the name

that is above every name,

10 so that at the name of Jesus

every knee will bow —

of those who are in heaven and on earth

and under the earth —

11 and every tongue should confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

 

12 So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked an perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world. 16 Hold firmly to the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.

 

 

THE CONTEXT

 

Philippians

The book of Philippians is actually a letter that Paul wrote during his first Roman imprisonment to the church he planted in Philippi. In this portion of the letter, Paul was exhorting the church in Philippi to unity.

Two prominent women within the Philippian church were conversation-799448_640at odds with each other. Selfishness lay at the heart of their problem and Paul reminded believers of the humility of Jesus.  If they would allow the outlook of Christ to guide their lives, harmony would be restored. Christian unity is restored when individuals develop the mind of Christ.

 

Work Out Your Salvation?

sport-927759_640.jpg “Work out your salvation” does not mean that you can earn your own salvation. Think of it as more of a workout, like you do at the gym. You apply the principles of Christ’s teaching to your actions and your attitude. Do it, and you grow closer to Christ. How do you do a “Salvation Workout”, there are lots of great exercises in your Bible. Paul has written many letters that are quick and easy to read.

 

Excuse Me, Paul, But Can You Say That Again?

“But even if I [Paul] am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.” (v. 17 and 18).

 

As I read this, my eyes began to glaze over and I could picture the dunce hat waiting for me on the corner chair. To understand this, I had to do a little research.

 

First off, what was a drink offering? Well, before Jesus’ atoning sacrifice of himself, Jews had to present animal, grain, and drink offerings to the priests, who would then ceremonially offer them as a burnt sacrifice to God.

 

Below is the description that was given by God of what was supposed to be done:

 

“On the day you wave the sheaf, you are to offer a year-old male lamb without blemish as a burnt offering to the Lord. Its grain offering is to be four quarts of fine flour mixed with oil as a fire offering to the Lord, a pleasing aroma, and its drink offering will be one quart of wine.” Leviticus 23: 12 -13

 

In the footnotes of my study Bible, it mentioned the priests would pour out the drink offering onto the lamb to be burned.

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Personally, I think burning flesh and burnt wine smell terrible, but I do not think it was the actual smell that pleases the Lord. I think it has more to do with the obedience and attitudes of those offering up the sacrifice.

 

God is spiritual, He doesn’t need physical food, but He did insist the sacrifices be given to Him. Sacrifice as worship is people giving back to God what God has previously give them as a means of grace.

 

So let’s look at the verse again:

“But even if I [Paul] am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.” (v. 17 and 18).

 

So even if Paul is burned up (okay so maybe killed is more likely) because of his faith and sacrificial worship, he will rejoice. And we should rejoice too. Faithfully serving God is our personal sacrifice, our act of worship, and it will bring us joy.

 

So how do you faithfully and sacrificially serve? Go back and reread verses 5-16. We are to adopt the humility of Christ. We are not to grumble and argue. We are to be different. We are to stand out like stars in a dark world.

Shine bright, my friends.

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Reflection questions for you:

Did anything in the passage from Philippians convict you?

What are some areas you could adopt the attitude of Christ?

How will you faithfully and sacrificially serve God this week?