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Summary: Paul tells the church he is glad that we are serving and that we continue serving as an example of our faith. Do we not want to share in the same joy that he has by serving God wholeheartedly? It is our command and our challenge today.

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“Living Joyfully”

Philippians Sermon Series, Part 8

Philippians 2:12-18

Introduction

- Previously, we examined Paul’s encouragement of how we should live everyday

- IMP: The concern is primarily with serving the community, but …

- APP: Obedience begins with the individual before the community can be served

- Paul was more than likely reminding some who had forgotten this concept

-- It was “all about them” in more ways than one, and we must NOT do this

- TRANS: We must community minded; the greater good is all to know Christ

- Once we identify with this and grasp it, we can then press on to the next section

- I want to say up front, cards on the table, this is tough stuff right here

-- When you begin to examine the application of what Paul says, it’s painful

-- APP: Painful for the reader … but MORE painful for one seeking to be faithful

- Then Paul explains the model that we have to follow: JESUS

1) Jesus did think He could ever be equal with God (v6); it was not His goal

2) He made himself a servant (v7); even being obedience to death

3) Jesus also gave all that He had so that His Father would receive honor (v8)

- The result is that God exalted Him, and that is His place of honor

- Read Philippians 2:12-18

∆ Point 1 – Living Faithfully

- Paul’s instruction, again, based on the previous verses, is of encouragement

- v12: “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”

- You’ve not only done the right things when I’ve been with you

-- But you’ve continued on even when Paul has not been around; faithful

- Faithfulness is a VERY common theme with Paul, and with the Bible

-- The faithfulness we should have is NOT to follow rules and regulations

-- But to live pleasing to God because this is our ultimate sacrifice

-- It is our submission that God requires, just like Jesus submitted (see v7)

- Lots of chatter on: “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling”

-- But, what does it really mean? What is we should work out, exactly?

- This text is often misused to instill fear into people; scare them into “working”

-- Some take it as a warning them that it means that they can lose salvation

-- This is nonsense: John 10:27-30 puts that theory to bed forever

-- The Greek word translated "fear" in this context is “phobou”

-- It’s where we get phobia from; BUT it can equally mean "respect" (reverence)

- The Greek verb rendered “work out” (katergazesthe) means:

-- "To continually work to bring something to completion or fruition"

-- We do this by actively pursuing obedience in the process of sanctification

- APP: Therefore, we are called to WORK in Obedience for Christ

-- IMP: But this is NOT a condition of salvation, but an output of what He’s given

- v13: “for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”

- It is a joy that we would want to work for God, to be faithful to Him

-- It’s not something we naturally desire; but it is a work of the Spirit in us

-- Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”

- APP: Our natural desire is not to obey, but to rail against what God desires

-- It is our human nature to sin; therefore Paul encourages us to press forward

- TRANS: So, if we are to live for Him, how do we get from here to there?

∆ Point 2 – How do we do it?

- v14 “Do everything without grumbling or arguing”

- This is a real challenge for us, isn’t it? To live without griping and complaining

-- But, it’s obviously not impossible if God is telling us to in His word

-- He has given us the ability to do so because we choose to be obedient

-- We choose to say, “yes Lord, I want to work for you” … again, respect of Him

- Why? Why would Paul instruct us to live this way?

- v15 “so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky”

- Through living with a different mindset produces a change within us

-- Blameless: Greek word: “amemptoi”; literally, without blame

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