Summary: Palm Sunday (B) - Discover what it really means to be saved. God is working in you so that believers may try to shine like lights.

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March 16, 2008 –

PALM SUNDAY (Lent 6) -

Philippians 2:12-18

INTRO: Different events in the life of Jesus command our attention. Even those outside of the church take note of different events in Jesus’ life. Jesus’ birth, Christmas, is observed on a worldwide level. Jesus’ resurrection, Easter, has a certain amount of significance for people everywhere. As believers there are also other significant events in Jesus’ life that are important. We might think of Jesus’ baptism. This event clearly reveals Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the triune God. There is the transfiguration. Jesus’ reveals his glory. Good Friday reminds us of the sacrifice Jesus made for all mankind.

Palm Sunday is also another very significant event in the life of Jesus. Without Palm Sunday there would be no Good Friday (Jesus’ death) and no Easter Sunday (Jesus’ resurrection). On Palm Sunday the crowds shout praises. On Good Friday the crowd shouts crucify. Willingly Jesus enters Jerusalem as the humble King on Palm Sunday. On Good Friday Jesus is carried out and placed in a tomb. "Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him, and afflicted"(ISAIAH 53:4). All of this Jesus did for us. By Jesus’ sacrifice we are saved. Our verses follow the second lesson today (PHIP. 2:5-11).

Today’s verses are from the Contemporary English Version (CEV). From there we have our theme and parts.


It means: I. God is working in you.

Believers react: II. Try to shine as lights.


A. God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him (13). God worked in these believers.

1. God gave these believers faith. God made these early believers willing and able to obey.

2. God’s grace is God’s power to change hearts, minds, and lives of unbelievers into believers.

B. …friends, you always obeyed when I was with you. Now that I am away, you should obey even more.

1. God’s power would lead these believers to listen to God’s word even when Paul was gone.

2. So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved (12b).

a. They were saved completely, totally, absolutely by God’s power alone – grace!

b. They stand with fear and trembling as unworthy sinners freely saved by God’s grace.

C. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God (15a). Jesus’ blood cleansed them.

1. Paul encourages faithful living. Do everything without grumbling or arguing (14).

2. God’s power will help them. (H)old firmly to the message that gives life (16a).

D. Time and time again we need to hear that God is working in us. God is working in us so that we can be heirs of eternal life. God is working in us to save us. Simply put, we cannot save ourselves. We cannot live good enough lives to earn salvation. We cannot even begin to pay for one single sin. Left on our own we would be lost on our own, forever. What it really means to be saved is that God is working in us.

"’I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.’ It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy"(ROMANS 9:15,16).

E. People like to take credit for their own accomplishments. At times this attitude can creep into our spiritual thinking. Can man really decide to believe on his own? Hardly. Adam and Eve made the wrong choice in a perfect world. Truthfully that only thing that we can take credit for is evil, wickedness, and sin. "The LORD saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time"(GENESIS 6:5). Thankfully, God is working in us.

F. The Lord God Almighty created the heavens and the earth and everything in them by his powerful word. Let there be and there was – everything. This same almighty God with the same powerful word continues creating still today. "I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh"(EZEKIEL 11:19). Our stone-cold hearts of sin have been divinely changed. God has changed them into warm beating hearts of flesh now filled with faith. God does all this with no merit or worthiness in us. This is God working in us.


God is alive and well and working in us. We are dead in transgression and sin and we cannot save ourselves. We react to God’s amazing grace.

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