ABC Extra – Philippians 2:14-16

January 4, 2010 at 4:45 am Leave a comment

This past weekend at Concordia, we kicked off our series titled, “Shine Like Stars:  Concordia’s Core” in both worship and ABC.  This series is devoted to discovering what’s at the core of Concordia.  In other words, we are revisiting what it is that constitutes the heart and soul of this congregation.  And to begin our series, I talked about how you – Concordia’s members – make this congregation what it is.  After all, without you, there would be no Concordia!

Concordia’s mission statement is based on Philippians 2:14-16, where Paul exhorts his readers:

Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life.

There are several notable aspects about Paul’s commission to “shine like stars” which I did not have time to cover in this weekend’s ABC.  So, in the spirit of my first “ABC Extra,” here are a couple of interesting “extras” on this passage!

First, it is important to recognize that Paul’s desire that we “shine like stars” is not so much a command which we are to fulfill as it is a statement of our very being.  The verb for “shine” in Greek is a present indicative, which means that it describes something we already are.  It is not a command to be something we are not.  Our status as “shining stars” is based on what we already been given in our salvation (cf. Philippians 2:12).  Indeed, this verb is even in the passive voice in Greek.  In other words, we do not have to actively work at shining like stars; rather we are made that way by God through the salvation we have already received.  We are passive stars, made to shine by God himself.  Thus, by the very fact that you are a child of God, you are a shining star, whether or not you always feel like you are!

Second, it is important to note that Paul’s words here about shining stars are drawn from a prophecy in Daniel 12:1-5:

At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people – everyone whose name is found written in the book – will be delivered. Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever. But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge.

Notice that these words are spoken to Daniel by the Lord as a prophecy concerning the resurrection of the dead on the Last Day.  These words, then, are not only a description of our present state, they are also a promise for our glorious future.  Even in a world that is full of darkness, the light of God’s stars – you and me – will eventually carry the day.

Finally, we must never forget that although we have received the blessed status of stars, we only receive this status at the pleasure of the Star.  As Jesus says of himself, “I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).  Jesus is the Star and we are his stars.  Thus, we are called to be reflectors and imitators of the Star who is Christ.  Shine his light into this dark world today!

Want to learn more on this passage? Go to
and check out audio and video from Pastor Tucker’s
message or Pastor Zach’s ABC!

Entry filed under: ABC Extra.

“Word for Today” – Colossians 4 – Should’ve, May’ve, Might’ve – Philippians 2:10

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