SERIES: “The Book of Philippians”

TEXT: Philippians 2:12-18

MESSAGE: “Working Out, Working In”

“I would suggest first of all that all of you Christians, missionaries and all begin to live more like Jesus Christ.” —  Mahatma Gandhi (E. Stanley Jones — The Christ of the Indian Road)

TEXT: Philippians 2:12-18

“Verses 12-13 provide us with a wonderful starting point for understanding what we call in theology “sanctification,” that is the lifelong obedience of believers, which leads us to grow in Christlikeness.” — Tony Merida

What does gospel growth look like? It comes through…(1. Receptiveness 2. Reassurance 3. Reorientation)

  1. Receptiveness (v. 12)

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling…”

“It’s interesting that the word translated ‘obey’ in Hebrew is identical, it’s also the word for ‘listen.’ It’s the great Hebrew word shema. And in Deuteronomy 5, we have a sentence that begins the sacred service in the synagogue. ‘Hear, O Israel, there is one God you shall worship, one God and no other gods before you.’ The opening of the Ten Commandments, with shema. The shema in Hebrew means ‘hear’ or ‘listen,’ and that is the word for ‘obey.’ Listen. In fact, parents, when Paul tells our sons and daughters, ‘Children, obey your parents,’ actually he used the same word.” — Earl F. Palmer

“…we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more.” — 1 Thessalonians 4:1

“This passage is not about works-based righteousness. Paul does not say, ‘work for your own salvation.’ We can’t earn our own salvation. Paul says, work out your salvation. That’s a huge difference. God has worked salvation for us…Christ has done the work on the cross…Sanctification is about living in light of this gracious salvation…” — Tony Merida

“…the true exegesis must begin with a definition of salvation, not in personal terms, but in regard to the personal life of the Philippian church. The readers are being encouraged to concentrate upon reforming their church life, ‘working at’ this matter until the spiritual health of the community, diseased by strife and bad feeling, is restored.” — R.P. Martin

      2. Reassurance (v. 13)

“…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

“…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” — Philippians 2:6

      3. Reorientation (v. 14-16)

Do all things without grumbling or disputing15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generationamong whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”

“…though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  — Philippians 2:6-8

“But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” — Hebrews 3:13

“There is not a day in any of our lives that we don’t need the ministry of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s word to us in convicting, grief-producing, and confession-resulting power. We require the convicting combination of the word and Spirit in handling our money, stewarding our time, caring for our bodies, using our minds, living in our relationships, and doing our daily work. The Holy Spirit will continue to convict us of sin until sin is no more, and the tool he uses is the Bible. Be thankful that your Bible is the world’s most powerful, penetrating, and accurate mirror. The constant confrontation of this mirror is one of God’s most loving and gracious gifts to you.”  Paul Tripp

TAKEAWAYS: How can we grow?

*** How receptive are you to learn? 

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on things and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” — CS Lewis

*** How much do you lean upon gospel reassurance?

*** How are you seeing God reorient you toward His ways?

v. 16 “…holding fast to the word of life….”

“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” — Hebrews 4:12

Add Your Own Notes Here

Enter email address and click Send Notes button