Working Out Salvation to Shine with Christ

New JerusalemRevelation 21:11, speaking about New Jerusalem, says, “Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, as clear as crystal.”
Philippians 2:15, speaking about Christians, says, “That you may be blameless and guileless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine as luminaries in the world.”

Light (or radiance, brilliance, shining) in Revelation and luminaries (or lights, stars) in Philippians are translations of the Greek word φωστήρ (phoster), which only appears in these two verses in the New Testament.

In Philippians 2 our shining is the result of working out our own salvation* (v. 12) in cooperation with God who operates in us (v. 13). Since we who have believed in Christ each have this responsibility, in v. 15 each one of us is a light/a star/a luminary.

In Revelation 21 we have matured and are fully built together with other believers and with the Old Testament saints. Hence the many lights in Philippians have become the one corporate, shining light of the city.

Let us cooperate with the “God who operates in you both the willing and the working for His good pleasure” on this path of light unto New Jerusalem.

*Verse 12 does not refer to our eternal salvation, for which we cannot work. We only need to repent and receive what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us. Salvation in v. 12 is our application of all that He is to our daily living, so that we may be saved daily from murmurings and reasonings (v. 14) and from so many other things such as depression, impatience, pride, jealousy, or anger. Salvation in v. 12 is also Jesus Christ as the bountiful supply for us to live righteously, to love others, and to be our wisdom, peace, patience, and other virtues.

Photo of Pittsburgh supplied by Karen Martin.

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  1. “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.


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