Summary: Message 8 from a series of messages exploring Philippians. This message focuses on following Christ's example of obedience and serving others.
Paul’s letter to the Jesus followers living in a Greek city called Philippi contains the necessary ingredients of a life of “Maintaining the Joy of the Lord No Matter What”. The first ingredient is found in the first chapter where Paul calls us to adopt the
I. ADOPT THE RIGHT AXIS -- SUPERIOR PERSPECTIVE
The Exaltation of Christ in Everything – Passion for Praising Jesus
Make sure our life revolves around the superior life perspective of exalting Christ in everything.
II. MAINTAIN THE RIGHT ATTITUDE -- SUPERIOR PATTERN OF LIVING
Humble Obedience modeled by Jesus – Pleasing Jesus
A. Jesus modeled humble obedience
B. Application of the call to humble obedience
Paul used the example of Jesus’ humble obedience as the model for us to follow.
Have this mind-set (thinking) in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, Philippians 2:5
Maintain the mindset of humble obedience demonstrated by Jesus.
Continue to obey as you have been obeying by working out your salvation with a marked seriousness.
Doing so will cooperate with what God is now continually doing in you.
He is continually doing a work on the inside to bring you a point of not only doing what pleases Him but desiring to do what pleases Him.
This working out of your salvation includes living without grumbling or disputing.
Such a life clearly shines like a light in a dark world, demonstrating the magnitude of God’s transforming work as we hold forth the word of life as blameless and innocent children of God.
If you live like this I will have cause to glory when Jesus returns because my hard work and toil proved not to be in vain.
Paul’s application is humbly obeying God which may include serving people.
There are two primary instructions in this passage. Everything else flows out of the two commands. Both commands call for on-going attention. (Present tense verbs)
• Work out your own salvation.
• Do all things without grumbling or disputing.
1. Mandate #1 Work out your own salvation (obey).
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13
a) Mandate “work out your own salvation”
What we can say for sure about this passage is that it does not say work FOR your salvation. God grants salvation as a free gift. It comes with unimaginable capabilities and potential both here and hereafter. It is up to us to “work out” what God has put in. The key to “working out our own salvation” or wholehearted obedience is the fact that God is at work IN US to bring us to the point of not only DOING what pleases Him but DESIRING to do what pleases Him.
Our part is faith – trusting Him to do in us what we cannot do on our own.
O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit (salvation) by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected (sanctification) by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— Galatians 3:1-5
God grants the belief to believe for salvation yet we must believe.
God grants faith to believe Him for sanctification, yet we must obey.
Peter combines the God and man sides of our salvation.
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith (work out your salvation) with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 2 Peter 1:3-7
“work out your salvation with FEAR AND TREMBLING.”
True faith calls for a commitment to Christ with a strong seriousness. Living out the life God grants is serious business. We should hold our salvation to be a serious calling that requires continual attention and exercise. The SECOND qualifying phrase actually offers greater understanding to the phrase “work out your own salvation.”