D. Sanctification –work out your salvation. We never arrive at the place where we have done all we need to do in our Christian faith. It takes a lifetime of moving toward holiness. Believers are doers…we are always working, planning, serving, and becoming. It is not by our own initiative or diligence though. Verse 13 says it is God who shapes our will and drives us to work. God calls us to obedience and holiness and then empowers us to respond. It is out of His love and His good pleasure that God is at work in us. The result of His work is that we appear as lights in the darkness…truth in the midst of evil!
How do we accomplish this obedience and holiness in our lives? Does God just zap us with His will? Spending time in God’s Word and Prayer gives God an avenue into our lives. Seeking and finding causes us to have the mind of Christ and to bring pleasure to God!
“Even if I am being poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I rejoice and share my joy with you all. You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.”
As time went on, Paul kept discovering that the gospel was always better than he had previously thought. He continually updated his joy with each realization. A few years earlier, Paul wrote to the church at Rome that “[nothing] will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Now, it had become clear to Paul that that’s not all. The Lord has even more in store for those who count on him. Not only will nothing separate them from God, but nothing will separate them from each other.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:12-18(day two) Do all things without grumbling or disputing; vs. 14
You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit. I first encountered this phrase when I was observing student teachers several years ago. It doesn’t exactly rhyme, but it sure does the trick for kids…well, mostly. Fast forward to today I have found that my kids are very quick to recite this admonition when their sister is not sharing, but it doesn’t always work well for them in reverse. Let’s face it, our Kingdom assignments aren’t always fun. Sometimes we are called to work with disagreeable people, or in situations that make us uncomfortable. How we face these tasks says more about our heart condition than it does about those we’ve been called to serve. Grumbling is going to impact your witness. Look for opportunities to see God working even in the uncomfortable places. No one would expect you to enjoy conflict or burdensome tasks, but when they see you face them with grace you can bet God is already at work.
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Philippians 2:12-18 in our Fall Sermon Series: “Pure Joy” a study of Philippians.
” but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant” vs 7a
We are nearing the time of year when Hallmark Christmas movies will be on repeat as we prepare for a holiday season. I have learned the plot lines to these love stories well. A young successful woman is forced to move to the country side, falls in love with a local man, and finds herself enjoying this new way of life. They kiss, it snows, and we assume they live happily ever after!
These are the types of love stories that we expect in modern culture. When was the last time one of these movies was about a King who willing set aside His royal privileges to become a slave so that He could die? This is not the love story we expect. It is a story of sacrifice. It is a story of submission. It is a story of surrender. It is a counter cultural love. This is a true love story!
“You need to have the same mind as Jesus, to see the world the way He sees it, to share the same attitude.” -Paul, Philippians 2:5
To the church in Corinth he wrote, “Right now, we see things as if we are looking through a dark piece of glass.” To the church in Rome he wrote, “…be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Paul’s desire then and for the church now, is to see and live in the world the same way Jesus did.
Isn’t that what we need? A new mind to see through the things that rob of us joy, and fresh eyes to really see the things that matter most. I imagine it would turn everything on its head; just like he said:
“Don’t you know, to be great, you must become a servant to everyone.”-Jesus
“Don’t you know the meek will inherit the earth.” -Jesus
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,”
This week we get to read and focus on one of the most profound passages in the New Testament. Doctrinally rich. Theologically sound. Gospel filled. An eternal perspective on the life and existence of Jesus Christ.
We should remember though, where this passage/poem/hymn is placed in Paul’s letter. It follows a plea and exhortation for unity as a result of humility. But Paul isn’t trying to stimulate debate and discussion, rather He is pointing to Jesus as the example of humility- needed for authentic community and unity.
“Unity isn’t the result of preaching on unity; it’s the result of people adoring and emulating Jesus. The more we behold His glory and imitate His character, the more unified we will be as a church”. – Tony Merida
“At the name of Jesus every knee will bow”…Isaiah was the first to say this. People of all ages have had idols…made of wood, iron, silver or gold. The idols each represent some area of rebellion against God. What Isaiah…and now, in our passage, Paul…is saying, is that there will come a day when the truth will be known. People will recognize that God is the one righteous, creator God. All of their pretense and sin will be stripped away and they will see clearly their folly in opposing God. They will fall to their knees in fear and shame and guilt.
Where are the idols in your life? Where have you opposed the truth of God? What is blinding you from the glory of God? Ask God to search your heart and reveal to you where your idols are hiding. It is much better to surrender to God voluntarily rather than wait for the day when shame is forced upon you on the day the name of Jesus is proclaimed in heaven and earth.
“[Christ] did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped.”
Paul could have demanded that Philemon free the enslaved Onesimus. He could have leveraged his formidable political clout to eradicate his opposition in the church at Corinth. He could have availed himself of the perfect sign-from-heaven opportunity the earthquake afforded him to bolt from jail under cover of chaos and darkness. He could have done all those things, but he did none of them. In the face of enticement to wield power over others, he refused. He had been, remember, a pupil of Jesus himself, who taught him the gospel in all its facets. He learned directly from the leper-touching, foot-washing, silent-before-Pilate Savior that life disintegrates when grasped, clutched, or forced. Instead, eternal life consists in inviting, asking, listening. To live eternally is to live with others, not over them.
Re:Verse passage – Philippians 2:5-11(day two) Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, vs. 5
Attitude may not be everything as a popular saying goes, but there may be more to it than we realize. How much of what you do each day is framed by your outlook? When facing a crisis how much does your mindset play into how you manage the situation? Re-read vs. 8 and think about how Jesus’ attitude impacted his resolve. Christ chose to face the cross and all that came with it. We are rarely called upon to endure a fraction of that weight, and yet we can still have the attitude of Christ. Can you face that task differently now? Can you look at where God has placed you as an opportunity to make a Kingdom-sized difference? You bet.