Summary: An in-depth study on the book of Philippians
Philippians Part 11, Chapter 2:12-2:15
I. Introduction (v. 2:12)
A. Wherefore –resumes the appeals of unity and following the example of Christ.
B. Beloved –maintaining connection of deep feelings.
C. Obey—present or absent
1. Rely on God’s Spirit not Paul’s leadership.
2. Pressure on outside or power on the inside?
3. To depend too much on Paul was to doubt God’s guidance.
II. Work Out (katergazesthai—bring to completion) (v. 2:12)
A. Warning! Some fall while working out others 1 Samuel 8:1-5 “work out your own”
B. Work out, not work for salvation—deliverance
1. Talking to saints Philippians 1:1
2. You must “work out” what God in His grace has “worked in.”
C. “Work out” also used for working mine whether coal or iron ore, or gold.
Work out your potential.
D. Working out our salvation is a transforming experience that continues all
through our walk with Christ. (David Guzik)
E. Working it out in fear and trembling is to say, “Lord, I cannot do this alone.
I need your help.
F. We must promote the common salvation as much as we can, yet we must upon no
account neglect our own. Preachers fall, and preacher’s families fall, while
they work out others’ salvation. Samuel’s sons went bad while Samuel was taking care of Israel. 1 Samuel 8:1-5
G. Prayer is the barometer of the spiritual work with Christ. It is something we do not
only in church and by another’s pleading, but voluntarily and when alone. This
sets the “true” child of God apart from religious church goers who practice religion
only in church.
H. To “work out” one’s own eternal welfare or salvation does not mean that man can or
must work and accomplish it himself for God does that (v. 2:13); but that the
believer must finish, must carry to conclusion, must apply to its fullest consequences
what is already given by God in principle. The believer is call to self-activity to the
active pursuit of the will of God, to the promotion of the spiritual life in himself, to
the realization of the virtues of the Christian Life, and to personal application of
salvation. He must “work out” what God in His grace has “worked in.”
I. The great tragedy of so many of us is that we are never really any further on. We continue
to be victims of the same habits and slaves to the same temptations, and guilty of the
same failures. But the truly Christian life must be a continual progress, for it is a
journey towards God. (WB)
J. We must not only work at our salvation, by doing something now and then about it;
but we must “work out” our salvation, by doing all that is to be done, and persevering
therein to the end. (Matthew Henry)
III. Work out with Fear and Trembling (v. 2:12)
A. Fear—the reverential fear of God will inspire a constant carefulness in dealing
with others in His fear.
C. He exhorts them that they are to reverence those who love them, fearing to displease
them, and trembling lest they should justly incur their anger and indignation.
D. Fear and Trembling—This is not the fear and trembling of the slave cringing before
his master; nor the fear and trembling at the prospect of punishment. It comes from
two things. It comes, first, from a sense of our own creatureliness and our own
powerlessness to deal with life triumphantly. That is to say, it is not the fear and
trembling which drives us to hide from God, but rather the fear and trembling which
drives us to seek God, in the certainty that without His help we cannot effectively face
life. It comes, second, from a horror of grieving God. When we really love a person, we
are not afraid of what he may do to us; we are afraid of what we may do to him. The
Christian’s great fear is of crucifying Christ again. (WB pg 43)
IV. Working in Us (v. 2:13)
A. Who? God
B. Why? His good pleasure.
1. Save the lost 2 Peter 3:9
2. Perfecting saints. I want to be just like Him when He comes.
C. There is a saving work which God only can do for you; but there is also a work
which you must do for yourselves.
V. Without Murmuring and Disputing (v. 2:14)
A. Murmur (goggusmos—pronounced gongusomus)
Describes low, threatening discontent of a mob who distrust their leaders
1. 1 Cor. 10:10-11
2. Psalms 106:9-48 What a record of rebellion!
B. Disputing (dialogismos) useless, and sometimes ill-natured, disputing and doubting.
C. Grumbling and complaining can cast a shadow on Christ.
D. The children of Israel murmured and with them God was not well pleased.
“Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of