Faithlife Sermons

Living out our Salvation

Book of Joy: Philippians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  38:00
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Our Great Example

We have our great example in Jesus Christ (vv.5-11) but it is hard to live up to that example isn’t it?
Mark Twain said:
“Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.”
Maybe it is because it hard to live up to that example, or our inability to accomplish the same things in our own lives, even when we have a good example, or teacher.
Paul has shown the importance of having a single mind, the mind of Christ for the furtherance of the gospel, for the fellowship of the gospel and the faith of the gospel.
He in (2:5-11) shows the example of Christ and the humility and humanity of Christ as an example for us.
We read the scripture we agree with the scripture, but sometimes application is hard, isn’t it?
Our lives have so much godly potential, and when we apply what God has given us we can achieve God’s purpose. Don’t worry we don’t have to do it alone, for
God work’s in us so then He will work through us!
Philippians 2:13 NASB95
for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
who does the work? He does and it is His power to accomplish His will through us when it is worked in us first.
(insert story; you can accomplish anything, not a true statement is it?)
Paul in his writing, in his teaching always relates
Doctrine and duty
Creed and character
Faith and life
These items are inseparable in the life of the Christian who wants to follow Jesus good example. It is not easy, and if anyone claims it is, they are not based on what the scripture says.
Let me go through the passage and then we will go back and look at three things:
In the ins and outs of our christian living or living out our salvation may we know.
There is a purpose to achieve
There is power to receive to accomplish the purpose
There is a promise to believe that encourages to fulfill the purpose while operating under the power received.

I. Purpose to achieve

We want to achieve being able to follow the example of Christ, to live up to what He wants us to be and to do what He wants us to do. Paul gives instructions to help us to accomplish, with a purpose, what we want to achieve.
Philippians 2:12 NASB95
12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
He starts with telling them who they are
Let me start just with the first 4 words (knowing the example of Christ (vv.5-11)
Paul tells them they are his beloved. What a great term of endearment. Paul has used that term in other places too just prior to giving instructions (1Cor10:14-15, 15:58; Php4:1)
1 Corinthians 10:14–15 NASB95
14 Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. 15 I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say.
Beloved, flee from idolatry
1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB95
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Beloved, be steadfast, immovable, abounding in work, knowing it is not in vain.
Philippians 4:1 NASB95
1 Therefore, my beloved brethren whom I long to see, my joy and crown, in this way stand firm in the Lord, my beloved.
Stand firm, my beloved
Paul tells them who they are to him, his beloved, they are special to him. He reminds them that they have been obedient to the gospel, for the gospel then goes on to tell them what they are to do.
Work out your salvation.
Paul did not way work out for your salvation but work out your salvation. He is speaking to those who are already Christians (Php1:1)
Philippians 1:1 NASB95
1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:
The work out is to the fullness, to achieve the intended purpose - Christlikeness (Rom8:29)
Romans 8:29 NASB95
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
(expand on, focus on predestined to be conformed!)
We cannot deny the fact that we are imperfect and we face problems, tribulations in our imperfect life in this imperfect world, but look at what God calls us to be, to be conformed!
God has a plan for us, and it is a good plan, worked out in heaven before we ever were. (Eph2:10)
Ephesians 2:10 NASB95
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
So that we could walk in them, means He has given us what is needed to walk in them, right? Remember (v.13)
Philippians 2:13 NASB95
13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
It is God at work in you, so then God can work through you!
The work in you is personal work, to accomplish what He wants to accomplish through you. We are not cookie cutter Christians we are God’s creation, called with a purpose. We are not to be cheap imitators of someone else, we need to be who God created us to be and work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
I want to unpack fear and trembling just for a couple of minutes, from the scripture not from me.
Fear of the Lord from the scripture:
Fear of the Lord is beginning of knowledge (Pro1:7)
Proverbs 1:7 NASB95
7 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Fear of the Lord causes us to hate evil (Pro8:13)
Proverbs 8:13 NASB95
13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.
Fear of the Lord is a foundation of life (Pro14:26-27)
Proverbs 14:26–27 NASB95
26 In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. 27 The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.
Fear of the Lord spares us from much evil (Pro19:23)
Proverbs 19:23 NASB95
23 The fear of the Lord leads to life, So that one may sleep satisfied, untouched by evil.
And, fear of the Lord is a way to riches, honor and life! (Pro22:4)
Proverbs 22:4 NASB95
4 The reward of humility and the fear of the Lord Are riches, honor and life.
As Christians who are beloved, who are working out our salvation with fear and trembling we may want to press on and see what more Paul has to say (look at vv.14-15)
Philippians 2:14–15 NASB95
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,
Maybe look at a contrast
Unsaved complain; the saved are not to grumble or dispute, we rejoice
The world is crooked and perverse; the Christian is to be above reproach, blameless and innocent
The world is dark; Christians are to be light
The world has nothing to offer, but keeps for himself; Christians have the Word of life (God) to offer
When we allow God to work in us and through us to achieve His purpose in our lives we become better witnesses in a world that desperately needs Christ. Don’t run and hide, don’t isolate, let your light shine in the midst of this generation.
The work in us is the power to receive and brings us to the next point.

II. Power to receive

For God to work through us, first God must work in us. This is beyond our cleansing, our washing of regeneration by the Holy Spirit at salvation.
Some biblical examples of work in then through are people like
Moses, 40 years as a sheepherder before leading Israel out of Egypt
David, 15 years from anointing to assuming the 40 year throne
Warren Wiersbe said “God is more interested in the workman than the work”
God has a special purpose for each of us, it may take years in preparation for it, but it starts with fear and trembling, working out your salvation with the power there is to receive.
Don’t serve, don’t work because you think you have to, or because of outside pressure. Serve because of inside conviction by the Holy Spirit to step up and step out by faith.
The power that works is on the inside (1Cor6:19-20)
1 Corinthians 6:19–20 NASB95
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20 For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.
While we know that the power of God is in the Holy Spirit of God there is also a lesser power of Satan and of evil that works in the flesh. Make sure we stay plugged into the everlasting, eternal power that will sustain us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.
Because He rose; Because He ascended the power became available. Now the Spirit uses some tools to help us to live out our salvation.
The Word of God (1The2:13)
1 Thessalonians 2:13 NASB95
13 For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
God’s power, divine energy is released through His Word. You know the Word that spoke the world into existence, that holds true and saves! It is inspired, it is authoritative and it is infallible.
The Word needs to be appropriated (received) so then it can be believed and then applied.
Someone once said “God’s truth is to the spiritual man what food is to the physical man.”
God’s Word comes at times in commands doesn’t it.
Jesus commanded the crippled man to stretch out his hand (Mt12:13)
Jesus commanded Peter to walk on the water (Mt14:22ff)
Jesus commanded Apostles to go unto all the world (Mt28:19)
Prayer (Eph3:20
The power of God is often released through the power of prayer. It is another great tool.
Prayer was vital in Acts (Act1:14, 4:23-31, 12:5 to name a few)
Acts 1:14 NASB95
14 These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.
Unless we, as Christians, take time to pray. God will not work in us and through us. Too many bible examples that God used people who prayed!
Suffering (1Pt4:12-19)
1 Peter 4:12–13 NASB95
12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Peter 4:14–15 NASB95
14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler;
1 Peter 4:16–17 NASB95
16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
1 Peter 4:18–19 NASB95
18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and the sinner? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
Suffering for Paul brought people to Christ, the jailer who was going to commit suicide and all his family (Act16:19ff); all the Ceasers household (Php4:22)
So we have the Word of God, prayer and suffering as tools to help achieve the purpose through the power to be received.
If we are to have the submissive mind and the joy that goes with it, we must know, must recognize there is a purpose to achieve. Remember God has a plan for our lives, each of us, and has given us the power to receive so we can achieve.
But still there is more, there is a promise to believe

III. Promise to believe!

Purpose to achieve, power to receive and now a promise to believe as we finish off this passage tonight.
Philippians 2:16–17 NASB95
16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain. 17 But 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.
Philippians 2:18 NASB95
18 You too, I urge you, rejoice in the same way and share your joy with me.
Promise to believe, it is JOY! Joy that comes from submission to the word of life.
The world tells us to fight for what you want! Jesus says to surrender and be humble (Mt5:3; Lk14:11)
Matthew 5:3 NASB95
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Poor is spirit are the meek, the ones who know they need Jesus
Luke 14:11 NASB95
11 “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
With humility will come exaltation!
Jesus proved it when he humbled himself can came in the form of a man (Php2:5-8) and then defeated death when he was resurrected.
In Jesus example we have our promise that we too will be exalted one day.
Our suffering on earth will be changed to glory in heaven one day, what a glorious day that will be. (1COr15:58)
1 Corinthians 15:58 NASB95
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
It will not be in vain, just as Christ’s was not in vain (Heb12:1-2)
Hebrews 12:1–2 NASB95
1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It takes faith to have and exercise the submissive mind, to have a single mind. We must believe in God and in His promises, in His Word and let our life prove it out to be true through the Word, through prayer, through suffering we work out our salvation with fear and trembling in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.
God works in us, we work out!
(lead to invitation)
Philippians 2:16 NASB95
16 holding fast the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I will have reason to glory because I did not run in vain nor toil in vain.
Are we coming to Jesus for a day, for a visit or for a lifetime? If so, we need to know we have a part to play as a part of the body, we are to be all in, to give it all for He gave it all for us.
(insert invitation slide)
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