Philippians 2:12-18 (audio file)
What have we seen so far in Philippians.
We are in the book of Philippians. We have seen so far that the apostle Paul: greets the believers in Pilippi, shares of his gratefulness for them and their partnership, lets them know the source of his confidence that God who begins the work, will complete it for His glory, he lets them know that God is furthering the Gospel through the hardship in his life, and encouraging people through his witness, that his joy was rooted in the desire to see Christ glorified, either in his life or his death. Then we saw Paul change the subject of his letter from himself, to instructions for the church. He was pleading for them to live like citizens of the Gospel, that when they did that they would be able to strive side for the faith of the Gospel, so that when they face opposition, the world will bear witness to the power of the gospel displayed in a unified Church. Last week Paul gave us a plea for our unity that is founded in Jesus Christ, and enabled through humility. That if we truly understand and grasp what Christ has done for us, we will be as concerned for others as we are for ourselves, and since Christ gave up his own rights of the son of God, for our benefit, we can certainly do that for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
This weeks passage begins with another linking word, therefore. Now I am sure you are getting tired of me saying this, but when we see those words in scripture, we have to understand that they are built upon what comes before. in this case, Paul is reminding us that since Jesus showed such humility on the cross, that God gave him the name that is above every other name that at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God the father. So what he is about to tell us is also a result of the humility of Jesus Christ, and his amazing work on the cross for us. It is important that we see this, because Paul is about to give us a few commands here. and the danger for us is that if we don’t see that these commands are given in light of what Jesus has done so that we can be reconciled to God and given citizenship to the Good News about Jesus, we might begin to see these commands as things that we must do to earn his favor in our lives.
So what does Paul tell us to do in this text? Let’s read together.
What I am going to do this morning is unpack from this text verses 12 and 13. The reason I chose to use this verse is that it seems to convey best the tension of this passage, and it deals directly with a question that many people have about the nature of God. This passage presents us with an antinomy…
So, we have some responsibilities here…
1. Work out your Salvation:
- Obey: points back to Christ’s obedience, expressed in Humility. v. 8
- Do all things without Grumbling or Questioning. v. 14 points to the Humility.
- Hold Fast to the Word. v. 16 Hold onto, and Hold out to others. Greek word means both.
2. With Fear and Trembling:
- If we are asked to follow Christ’s example, there will be fear and trembling. Cross….
- As we continue in our faith, we must not rely on our past experiences to carry us, we need more of God every day….. I have realized this for myself lately.
- It comes from the realization that we are totally dependent on the Grace of God poured out through Jesus. When you realize that. You are helpless to effect real change on your life and situation, you will tremble.
- For it is God who works in you to will and to work according to His good pleasure.
- Points back to 1:6. God began the work, he will complete it. He will get the glory.
- You may BE (not become) blameless children of God. v. 15
- We shine as Lights in the midst of this twisted and crooked Generation. This is the buildup, it is what this is headed towards. He is preparing us not to put us on a shelf, but to shine gloriously for Him.
- God uses us as lights to point others to Him. It all goes back to his glory.