Summary: A look at Philippians 2:12-18
Truths That Transform #4
Work It Out!
Continue to work it out
Work out your salvation
Walk your own road
Walk it w/ fear & trembling
Work it out w/ the end in mind
That your life will stand out
SALVATION IS BOTH AN EVENT AND A PROCESS!! Understanding this truth will transform your life.
Paul says to the church at Philippi to CONTINUE to work out your salvation. NOT WORK FOR IT! NOT WORK FOR IT! NOT WORK FOR IT! Work it out. There is a huge difference. We must be determined to get all out of this free gift that God has given us. We must perservere in our efforts to realize full salvation. The texts above will help you elaborate on the importance of being deteminded all the time knowing we are enabled by the grace of God. There is little that is more important to the Christian life that "hangin in there." Just putting one foot in front of the other and keep on walking with Jesus. Have you failed him lately? Don’t throw in the towel. Confess it and get on with your Christian life. If your car has a flat tire you don’t juke the car; you fix the flat and go on. It’s the same way in our walk with God. If you choose you can speak to spirtual disciplines here that help us to continue on with God. It probably should be used in a different sermon, myabe a follow-up next week. The means of grace are so important they shouldn’t just be thrown in flippantly unless you make a constant and determinded effort to elude to them very often in your sermons.
Paul says to work out your own salvation. Don’t try to be anyone else. God has a idea in mind that only you with your personality can become. He needs you being you as a christian. God does not have cookie cutter Christians. We are all different with differnet likes and different dislikes. God loves diversity. We must walk our own road with God.
CAUTION!!! This does not mean you live any way you want. God has given us boundaries and given us admontions that we should live by. For instance in this passage it says not to complain or argue. In the preceding pericope it says to think of others as more important than yourself. How does that work out in your life. It will be different than it is in mine or the person sitting next to you. The text also says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. A healthy fear of God is conducive to the Christian life. He is a loving merciful, and patient God but He is a god of justice, judgement and wrath as well. AS we work it out we must not be flippant toward him and not take this salvation for granted. We do not want to come under His hand of discipline. As a father discplines his son, so God disciplines his children. You can preach for days here and my suggestion is to do it. I know in my own preaching I don’t speak enough about this issue.
The text concludes by saying to work it out with the end in mind. What is the end? That you may shine like stars in the universe. Keep the goal in mind. God doesn’t want this little light of mine to shine; He wants us to SHINE LIKE STARS!! While its true the end is heaven its also true that the end is a life that stands out as well. God did not save us just so we can go to heaven. We must rebel against destination theology. There is very little in the Bible about going to heaven, but there is much about living as the people of God. It’s almost like God is saying that heaven is a fringe benefit of a changed life. For every one thing you find in the Bible about heaven you will find 99 things about living your christian life in a way that is pleasing to God. He saves us so we may shine like stars!!
See the end just as an athlete sees the end as he is going through the rigors of training.
The one training for the Olympics sees himself standing on the podium receiving the gold as the national anthem is being played. In the same way as we go through the everyday of our Christian experience we should see ourselves as shining like stars in the universe.