Philippians TWO: 12-18 The Light In The World

“Lord Jesus, we are humbled by the thought that you made us out of the same stuff that stars are made. So, may we shine with your Light, illuminating truth wherever we go.”

12 So then, my beloved, even as ye have always obeyed, not [a]as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without murmurings and questionings: 15 that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as [b]lights in the world, 16 holding forth the word of life; that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labor in vain. 17 Yea, and if I am [c]offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all: 18 and in the same manner do ye also joy, and rejoice with me. LINK to ASV.

What a wonderful word we find in v. 15: ”lights”. Mounce Interlinear tells us that the word means “a cause of light, a star” and indicates that the word appears in Revelation 21:11 to describe the new city of Jerusalem. I checked a number of translations and The Jerusalem Bible,  The New International Version, The Complete Jewish Bible, The Lexham English Bible and the New Century Version are five translations that use “stars” instead of “lights” for the word which Youngs Literal Translation calls “luminaries”. Thus the prayer at the opening of this lesson.

This would make a good topic for meditation. Look up the passages in several translations and meditate on the ‘luminary’ quality of the New Jerusalem and your own ‘luminary quality’. This is, for me, a very humbling topic. 

Matthew Henry and the IVP Commentary discuss the rest of this passage in great detail. One little point that I really liked was M. Henry’s discussion of v. 14. He gets into the meaning of a word Paul uses and gives us his idea of the ‘sense’ of the verse. Check out the section that begins with “Without rebukeamometa.” and you’ll find a nice bit of Bible trivia—and a challenge to the way you live. 




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