Summary: God intends for every Christian to experience joy in their Christian walk.
I¡¦ll Show The World That I¡¦m A Christian
Remember that the theme of this book is JOY!
And if there is anything we need more of its joy!
Our lives should be marked by joy!
You say, "Pastor, my life isn’t marked by joy. Does that mean I’m not saved?"
I suppose it could mean that you’re not saved.
But if you’ve prayed to receive Jesus Christ into your life and you’ve repented from you sin, you’re saved.
You say, "Well, if I’m saved, then why is my life missing joy?"
Because joy is something that God sends and the Devil steals!
„h Joy doesn’t come from your circumstances
- It comes from Christ in you!
„h If you’re life isn’t characterized by joy
- Then don’t look outward to discover why - look inward!
Joy is an inside job!
What God sends the Devil tries to steal!
Now let me ask you a question.
What is stealing?
Stealing is when somebody takes something that is rightfully yours without permission!
God sends joy to His children and the Devil steals that joy.
„h He’s taking something that is rightfully yours!
„h Don’t let him do it!
„h Life’s too difficult to live it without what’s rightfully yours!
„h Live life with what’s rightfully yours!
„h Live it with joy!
That’s what Paul’s talking about in chapter 2.
In his book Hints to Young Christians, Dr. O. T. Gifford comments, "If you’re getting weak-kneed, have a look at Elijah. If there is no song in your heart, listen to David. If you feel spiritually chilly, get the beloved disciple John to put his arms around you; and if you’re losing sight of the future, climb to Revelation and get a glimpse of Heaven!"
God has a building project going on.
That great project is building the lives of people.
God is interested in people and God is doing a work in the lives of people.
I want to talk about that great project, God at work, and when we are involved in His project, we will have joy!
I. THERE IS A GREAT POSSESSION
Read verse 12a.
Paul had learned the secret to continual joy and a part of that secret is found in verse 12.
Now the saints at Philippi had a good start in their new found faith in Jesus Christ.
One factor was that Paul had been with them.
Now that he was gone and Paul wanted to encourage them to keep trusting and serving the Lord!
You know, some people act saved only when they¡¦re around the saved!
When they¡¦re around the unsaved they act unsaved!
I don’t know anything more damaging to our efforts in reaching the lost of this city than when the saved act unsaved around the unsaved!
If we’re saved - then let’s show it.
If you¡¦re saved and you know it, say Amen!
That’s why it’s so important to believe right!
What you believe determines how you behave!
So here’s Paul pointing those saints to Christ!
That’s one thing I like about Paul!
He pointed others to Christ and not himself!
He would say,
„h Depend on Him!
„h Look to Him! Not me!
Now that we see the great possession that we have in Christ, let¡¦s look secondly at¡K
II. THERE IS A GREAT PROGRAM
Paul says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Now somebody says, "Wait a minute!
Is Paul saying we are saved by works?"
Well let me ask you a question: who is Paul talking too?
Look at the beginning of verse 12, "Wherefore, my beloved .."
Who are the "beloved?" - Saints!
Look back to chapter 1.1,
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi¡K
Who is this letter written too?
It’s written to the people living in Philippi who were already saved!
The recipients of this letter were those who had already met Jesus!
And besides that, the Bible teaches that salvation is all of grace.
Paul says in Eph 2.8-9, For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
So what does Paul mean in verse 12 when he says, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling?"
Well, let’s take a look at that word translated "work out."
In Paul’s day there were mines. And those mines were filled with ore. And the word he uses here that’s translated "work out" was used to describe a miner who would be working in the mine. It described his getting out of a mine all the valuable ore that was in it.
In fact, this word literally means "to work to full completion."