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Philippians 2:1-30

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Week 4 Phil 2:1-11
a. The right marks of unity
b. The right means of unity
c. Our model for unity
Week 5 Phil 2:12-18
a. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling
b. Understand your part in sanctification
c. Stop complaining
Week 6 Phil 2: 19-30
a. Paul’s son in the faith: Timothy
b. Epaphroditus: The common man
c. 3 Men whose lives are worth imitating
Week 7 Phil 3:1-11
a. Put no confidence in the flesh
b. Pauls religious credits
c. The righteousness of God
Week 8 Phil 3:12-16
a. A Foot Race
b. Can we achieve spiritual perfection?
c. What does Christ likeness require?
Week 9 Phil 3:17-21
a. The enemies of the cross
b Gentile Libertines
c. Our Hope in Christ
Week 10 Phil 4:1-9
a. Church Splits
b. Antidotes to anxiety
c. How we should pray
Week 11 Phil 10-13
a. Principles of contentment
b. Confidence in God’s providence
c. Living independent of circumstances
Week 12 Phil 14-23
a. The gift that brought Paul Joy
b. The saints of God
c. Closing

Following Jesus as Joy

Philippians 2:1–11 NKJVTherefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The theme of this chapter is a submissive mind
Paul gives four examples
— Jesus (2:1-11)
— Paul himself (2:12-18)
— Timothy (2:19-24)
— Epaphroditus (2:25-30)
Unity requires a shared struggle
(1:1-2) Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ
Four (4) IF’s Rhetorical
— 1 - encouragement in Christ
— 2- consolation of love
— 3-fellowship of the spirit
— 4-affection and compassion
Unity requires understanding
Current focus
— No time for petty disputes
— Focus on reaching the South Bay for Christ with the gospel of Christ
Unity Requires
— Shared Attitude
— shared passion
— sharing in Christ’s sufferings
— shared purity
— shared struggle
— shared understanding
Right Motives
(2:1- 2a) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Q: What is the “Therefore” there for?
Because (1:27) we are united in one mind and one spirit, we must therefore...
Formula for spiritual unity
— right motives (2:1-2a)
— right marks (2:2)
— right means (2:3-4)
(2:1) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ
Encouragement παράκλησις (paraklesis) Encouragement
— come alongside, counsel, help, encourage, exhort
— consolation
We have experienced
— We have experienced Christ’s help
— He sent his Holy Spirit to come alongside (cf John 14:26)
Same mind
— We should be of the same mind towards our brothers and sisters in the church
— Obedience needs to replace selfishness
— You should “conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Eph 1:27)
We have experienced Christ’s Love
(2:1) any comfort (consolation) of love
— The love he grants unworthy sinners (cf Rom 5:5)
Romans 5:5 NKJV
5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
— Our response should be to seek what He wants - unity (cf John 17:21-22)
We have experienced fellowship with the spirit
(2:1) any fellowship of the spirit
— partnership, mutual sharing
— Intimate because we are the temple of the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit
— The source of our spiritual power (cf Acts 1:8)
— The source of our spiritual gifts (cf 1 Cor 12:4-11, Rom 12:6-8)
— The source of our spiritual fruit (cf Gal 5:22-23)
— The spirit helps us in our weakness to pray (Rom 8:26)
He is our guarantee
— He is a seal and guarantee (cf Eph 1:13-14, 4:30, 2 Cor 1:22) of a believer’s inheritance
We are to be filled
— We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (cf Eph 5:18)
Ephesians 5:18 NKJV
18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
We are not to grieve
— We are not to grieve the Holy Spirit (cf Eph 4:30)
Ephesians 4:30 NKJV
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
Not quench his work
— Not quench the work of the Holy Spirit (cf 1 Thess 5:19)
The Holy Spirit is intimate
— He dwells in us, we are His temple (cf 1 Cor 6:19)
1 Corinthians 6:19 NKJV
19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
Q: What does an engagement ring symbolize ?
A commitment
— An engagement ring is a commitment, guarantee to marry
— In the same way, the Holy Spirit is a commitment, downpayment of our inheritance (cf Eph 1:13-14)
Ephesians 1:13–14 NKJV
13 In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
Our proper response regarding fellowship is to be diligent and to preserve the unity of the Spirit (cf Eph 4:3)
Ephesians 4:3 NKJV
3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The Right marks of spiritual unity (what does it look like)
(2:2b) fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Key Verse
The heart of Philippians is this verse - Can you see it?
— “being of the same mind” (NASB)
— “being like minded” (NIV, NKJV)
— “having the same thoughts” (GNT)
— “agreeing howl heartedly with each other” (TLB)
— “agreeing wholeheartedly with each other “ (NLT)
A few verses later
— have the same attitude which is also in Christ (Eph 2:5)
Ephesians 2:5 NKJV
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
Right attitude
We should have the right attitude (cf Phil 3:15)
Philippians 3:15 NKJV
15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.
— Ungodly set their minds on the world (Phil 3:19)
Philippians 4:2 NKJV
2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
— earthly things (Phil 4:2)
Philippians 4:2 NKJV
2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.
— And practical advice (Phil 4:8)
The Main point
He’s talking about the bent of our minds, our thinking patters, our attitude
— The mark of unity is that we share a common understanding
— The wisdom from above (cf James 3:17-18)
— Paul reminded the Colossians, conflicts in the church always comes from believers setting their minds “on the things that are on the earth” rather than “on the things above” (Col 3:2)
The Right Means (2:2-4)
(2:2-4) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Q: What kinds of motives or ambitions should we avoid?
— We are not to have selfish ambitions
— Selfishness is egotism
— You build yourself up at the expense of tearing someone else down
Q: How does selfishness destroy unity?
— Selfish people are competitive
— It will produce jealousy, strife, conflict
(2:2) Let nothing be done through selfish ambition
Don’t be conceited
— Hold the opinion that you are right (despite the facts) while seeking self-glory
— “vain glory” (KJV)
— Selfishness - seeking self glory
(2:2) or conceit
— conceit - seeks personal glory
Rom 11:25 wise in your own opinion
Ancient Greeks
— Did not admire humility
— but understood that a person could go too far, become presumptuous, exaggerated
— A word that we still use today, “hubris”
Regard others more important than yourself
Superior to ourselves
— How Paul saw himself
— Least of the apostles (cf 1 Cor 15:9)
1 Corinthians 15:9 NKJV
9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
— chief of sinners (cf 1 Tim 1:15)
1 Timothy 1:15 NKJV
15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
Q: Who is the worse sinner that you know?
— We know our hearts
— Should be easy to consider others in the church better than ourselves
Look out for the interests of others
— This is required for church unity
— “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep” (cf Rom 12:15)
— and bear each other’s burdens
— “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (cf Gal 6:2)
The Kenosis Passage(2:5-8)
Emptying out κένωσις (kénōsis)
— emptying out, renunciation of divine nature
(2:5-8) Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
Jesus was God
(2:6a) who, being in the form of God
Existed ὑπάρχω (hyparchō) being in the form (NKJV)
— subsisting
— being in very nature (NIV)
— Essence of a person’s nature, unalterable, unchangeable
From μορφή (morphē), form
— Outward manifestation of an inner reality
“The idea is that, before the Incarnation, from all eternity past, Jesus preexisted in the divine form of God, equal with God the father in every way. By His very nature and innate being, Jesus Christ is, always has been, and will forever be fully divine.”
William Barclay
“That part of a person which in any circumstances remains the same”
He was God
— Before Christ, during his incarnation and after, he was God. He is the image of the invisible God (Col 1:15)
— “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2, 14)
Q: Did Jesus ever say that He was God?
Jesus said He was God
— He called himself “I am” (cf John 8:58)
Profound humiliation
— To change in any way required descent, forsaking perfection, taking on imperfection
— Taking on the form of the created
Heart of the gospel
— “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21)
Impossible to understand
His perfect deity yet took on imperfection
— 100% God and 100% man
— Sinlessness took sin upon Himself
(2:6b) who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
— Holding on to, clinging to
— He had all the rights, privileges of God but did not selfishly cling to them
— Could have called 12 legions of angels (cf Matt 26:53)
— Could have turned stones into bread during his 40 day fast (Matt 4:3-4)
— But was willing to sacrifice for the benefit of others
(2:6) to be equal with God
Equal ἴσος (isos) equality
— exact equivalence, the same thing
— isosceles triangle - 2 equal sides
— isomers - chemicals that have identical atomic weight (different structures and properties)
— Like Christ, we should let go of our privileges and possessions to serve others
(2:7a) but made himself of no reputation
— but emptied himself (NASB)
— rather, he made Himself nothing (NIV)
Instead, he gave up his divine privileges (NLT)
— he set aside the privileges of deity (The Message)
Q: Emptied what?
— He emptied his privileges, prerogatives but not his deity
— He never stopped being God
His Glory
— Temporarily gave up His glory
— But at the final hour he asked to be restored to His glory (cf John 17:1)
John 17:1 NKJV
1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,
Authority Did not do His will but the Father’s will (cf John 6:38)
John 6:38 NKJV
38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.
Devine attributes
— Never stopped being omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent but he did not exercise them
— gave up heavenly riches (cf 2 Cor 8:9)
2 Corinthians 8:9 NKJV
9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
Face to face with God
His relationship with the father was unique, intimate (cf Matt 27:46)
Matthew 27:46 NKJV
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
(2:7b) taking the form of a bondservant
Gave up rights
Gave up his rights, riches of God
— He had the form of God but took on the form of a slave
— Owned nothing
— no property
— no boat
— no horse
— had to borrow a donkey to ride into Jerusalem
— a room for the last supper
— a tomb to be buried in
— But he carried our burdens (cf Isa 53:6)
Isaiah 53:6 NKJV
6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
A servant
Jesus was an example of a servant
— He did not put on the clothes of a servant but became one in the fullest sense
— Taught His disciples to be least (servant leadership) (cf John 13:14-17)
John 13:14–17 NKJV
14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
— You have to be least
— “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.” (Matt 23:11)
Q: Did his parents and family know that Jesus was God?
Angels told them
— He appeared so much like other men that Angels had to announce it to his parents (cf Matt 1:20-21)
He announced it
Referred to Himself as “I am”
— “Jesus said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.’ ” (cf John 8:58)
(2:8a) and being found in the appearance as a man
— His outward shape, form was that of a man
— Different from his essence or basic nature (2:7)
— Jesus suffered because he appeared to be a mere man
John has a lot to say- because of his appearance, people did not believe (cf John 6:42)
John 6:42 NKJV
42 And they said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
— His brothers did not believe
— “For even His brothers did not believe in Him.” (cf John 7:5)
— Religious leaders did not believe (cf John 10:33)
John 10:33 NKJV
33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”
(2:8b) He humbled himself
self abasement
— At his arrest, trial, crucifixion, mocked and falsely accused
— Spat on, beaten with fists, scourged, beard plucked out
Did not assert
— Never demanding,
— never bitter
— never accusing
— refused to assert his rights as God.
(2:8c) and became obedient to the point of death
God’s interests
— Set on God’s interests first, not man’s
— Peter was opposed to Jesus’ prediction of his death
— Peter concerned about man’s interests (cf Matt 16:22-23)
Matthew 16:22–23 NKJV
22 Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” 23 But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”
Q: Was Jesus forced to die by the Father?
— If he had no choice, he could not have been obedient
— He was commanded but not compelled (cf John 10:18)
John 10:18 NKJV
18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”
Q: Did Jesus have to learn obedience ? Why?
To conform to humanity
— Learned obedience to conform to humanity
— Learned obedience for the same reason he bore temptation
— Experience suffering to the fullest and to fulfill all righteousness (cf Heb 5:7-8)
Hebrews 5:7–8 NKJV
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.
Q: RC Sproul asked the question, why didn’t Jesus just come down from heaven and die on the cross?
Fulfill all righteousness He had to fulfill all righteousness so that he could impute his perfect life to us.
“The difference between infusion and imputation captures the essential difference between the Roman Catholic and the evangelical doctrines of justification. Imputation refers to that act by which God 'counts' or 'reckons' us just by legally transferring the righteousness of Christ to our account. This involves the transfer of Christ’s merit to us. Christ’s righteousness is not infused in us but is assigned to us and is counted for us.
1. A Double Imputation. Our redemption is grounded in a double imputation by which our sins are transferred to Christ in the atonement and his righteousness is transferred to us.
In the atonement, God lays upon Jesus our sins. Jesus is the Lamb without blemish who receives our blemishes by imputation. He is our substitute, so that God pours out the wrath of his judgment on Christ who vicariously accepts the imputation of our guilt and sin.
On the cross Jesus was simul justus et peccator in the opposite way from us in our justification. On the cross Jesus was just in himself and sinner by imputation. When Scripture speaks of Jesus becoming sin for us, it does not mean that he became in himself a sinner. If that were the case, he would not have been worthy to save himself, let alone us.
On the cross Christ paid the price for our sin. This was both a work of expiation and propitiation. By expiation he 'took away' our sins from us. By propitiation he satisfied the justice of God by undergoing the penalty for our guilt.
Christ’s work on the cross is but half the transaction necessary for our justification. By paying the penalty for our sins, he took care of the negative side of our problem in that he atoned for our guilt.
One can be empty of sin and still be empty of righteousness. Salvation requires more than innocence. It demands positive obedience to the Law of God. This is why what is required is not merely a single imputation but a double imputation.”
Excerpt From: R. C. Sproul. Justified by Faith Alone.
(2:8d) even the death of the cross
A curse
— The Jews viewed crucifixion like hanging
— Anyone who was hanged was cursed (Deut 21:23)
— He became a curse for us
having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) (cf Gal 3:13)
The exaltation (2:9-11)
(2:9-11) Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
(2:9) Therefore
— Jesus’ exaltation is always through humiliation
— “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.” (cf James 4:10)
— “And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Matt 23:12)
— Humility is the key to Phil 2:1-4
(2:9) God also has highly exalted Him
— Peter told the Sanhedrin that Jesus was exalted (Acts 5:31)
— Stephen saw Christ exalted standing at the right hand of God (cf Acts 7:55-56)
Exalted to his previous position
— Jesus is now exalted to His previous position but much more
High Priest Continues to intercede for us as High Priest
— He needed to touch the infirmities of man to identify with man in order to be our High Priest
— He knew temptation and our weaknesses
— “For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” (Heb 2:18)
— He is a priest who isn’t far off but has experienced what we’ve experienced and yet conquered sin (Heb 4:15)
Hebrews 4:15 NKJV
15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.
As Judge
All judgment is given to the Son (cf John 5:22-23)
John 5:22–23 NKJV
22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.
— And Peter told Cornelius that Jesus would judge the living and dead (cf Acts 10:42)
(2:10) every knew will bow
Q: Who is the “every” ?
Those in heaven
— Angles in heaven, redeemed believers (cf Rev 4:8-11, 5:8-14)
Those on earth
— The redeemed (cf 1 Thess 1:10)
— the unredeemed (1 Thess 1:8-9)
Under the earth
— Fallen angels, demons, dead awaiting judgement
— Death and hades synonymous
— Sheol OT hades
— Most frightening passages in the NT regard judgment (cf Rev 20:11-13)
(2:11) will confess that Jesus is Lord
— They will agree with Jesus that He is Lord, Savior
— But at this time of judgement there is no salvation
— Too late
Before His coming
— Before the Lord comes, is the time to confess that Jesus is Lord and receive Him as Savior (cf Rom 10:9)
After His coming
— Those who rejected Him will face judgment (cf Is 45:23)
— There will be unwilling but compelled acknowledgment that Jesus is Lord
(2:11) to the glory of God
Westminister Shorter Confession
Q: What is the chief end of Man?
A: Man’s chief end is to glorify God [a] and enjoy him forever [b]
[a] Glorify
Ps 86:9, Isa 60:21, Rom 11:36, I Cor 6:20, 1 Cor 10:31, Rev 4:11
[b] Enjoy
Ps 16:5-11, Ps 144:15, Isa 12:2, Luke 2:10, Phil 4:4, Rev 21:3-4
— Worship God not through Jesus but Jesus as God (cf John 13:31-32, Rom 9:5, Rom 11:36)
— Glorify the Father and the Son - glorify each other (cf John 17:1, 4-5)
Work out your salvation (2:12)
(2:12) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
Q: Is the Christian life a matter of trust or active obedience?
Q: Is it all God, all believer or a combination of both?
Q: Regarding salvation - all God or is there a requirement on man’s part in response to the command to believe the Gospel?
Q: Is defeating sin something God does in you, or do you do it by obeying the commands of scripture?
Q: Passive trust or active obedience?
— Sanctification is of the believer (2:12) and is of God (2:13)
— A mistake that people make is to emphasize one truth over the other
Quietism movement believed it was all God
— Started in 1670s by Miguel de Molinos
Pietism movement believed it was all man
— Started in Germany 17th century
— Philipp Spener, John Wesley and Methodist
— familiar saying: “let go and let God.”
Both are true
— Sanctification is both God and Man’s part
— This is an apparent paradox, biblical tension
— There are others:
Salvation Salvation is not by human work yet always through personal faith
Jesus Jesus is both fully man and fully God
Forgiven We are fully forgiven (Eph 1:7) yet we need on-going forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
Scripture Scripture is written by human authors but every word is from God
Gospel The gospel is offered to the whole world but applied only to the elect (cf Eph 1:4-5, Rom 8:29-30, 2 Thess 2:13)
Security God eternally secures believers but we are commanded to persevere
Elect We are elect and names written in the book of life (cf Rev 13:8) and yet we are all invited to come (cf Matt 11:28)
— Requires your diligent effort yet it is empowered by God
— Paul says the same thing elsewhere (cf 1 Cor 15:10, Gal 2:20)
1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Galatians 2:20 NKJV
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Not saying
— Not speaking of human salvation by human effort
— Not saying
— work at your salvation
— work up your salvation
— work for you salvation
— But, work out your salvation
Your effort James 4:17, James 2:17, James 4:7, Matt 10:22, Col 1:28-29, Philippians 2:12
God’s work Ephesians 2:8-9, Rom 3:20, Gal 5:24-25, Gal 2:20, Philippians 2:13
Q: Who is responsible for your spiritual growth?
We are not passive
— We are not passive in our spiritual growth (cf 2 Peter 1:10)
— Be diligent
— “Take every thought captive to Christ” (2 Cor 10:5)
— Strive to get through the narrow gate (Luke 13:24)
— “Run that you may obtain the prize” (1 Cor 9:24)
— And here, “work out your salvation” (Phil 2:12)
work out what what God has put in
— Mine out what God deposited in salvation
— The energy comes from the Holy Spirit
— God gives you everything for godliness, you must actively use that power to grow in sanctification
Jesus our example
— Humility
— submission
— obedience
— servant to God and the power of the Holy Spirit
— He did his work in the power of the Holy Spirit (cf Luke 4:1, 18, 5:17, Acts 10:38, Matt 12:18, 28-32)
The essence The essence of working out
— “He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked” (cf 1 John 2:6)
Understand that you are loved
(2:12b) my beloved
— The Lord makes allowances for our failures
— Not a hard merciless God (cf Matt 11:29-30)
Matthew 11:29–30 NKJV
29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
— Paul understood we are not perfect (Phil 3:12-14)
Philippians 3:12–14 NKJV
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Understand obedience
(2:12) Just as you have always obeyed
— Work out your salvation by obedience, faithful submission to God’s word /will
— Study the scripture and obey (cf Matt 28:19-20)
Understand your responsibility
(2:12) Not as in my presence only, but now much more in my presence
my presence
— Their spiritual responsibility was not to Paul but to the Lord
— Never a time when a believer is not responsible to obey the Lord
— Earlier, Paul wrote that we should walk worthy of the gospel (cf Phil 1:27)
Philippians 1:27 NKJV
27 Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,
Understand the consequences of Sin
(2:12e) work out your salvation with fear and trembling
This attitude
— The Lord wants us to have this attitude, reverential fear (cf Isa 66:2)
Isaiah 66:2 NKJV
2 For all those things My hand has made, And all those things exist,” Says the Lord. “But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, And who trembles at My word.
— OT truth, fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (cf Ps 111:10, Prov 1:7, 9:10)
Wrong Attitude
— Not a fear of doom, dreadful judgement
— This is reverential fear, holy concern to give God honor He deserves
— We should fear ourselves, distrust our own strength to stand against temptation
— Fear what sin we are a capable of
(2:12e) work out
Work out κατεργάζομαι (katergazomai), work out: middle indicative
— Keep working out to completion
— Strabo, a Roman Historian 60 years BC, told of a Roman mines in Spain
κατεργάζομαι spoke of working out the riches in the mines
— I am to produce Godly character from what God has already planted within me
— Work it out daily, realize that all the power of obedience comes from the Holy Spirit
Timothy Paul admonished Timothy to work out his salvation
— If he could not or it were impossible, it would be presumptuous (cf 1 Tim 6:11-12)
1 Timothy 6:11–12 NKJV
11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Perseverance C.W. likes say that “I’m saved, being saved and will be saved”
— Saved … in the past
—Being saved… sanctification
— Will be saved.... glorification
(2:13) for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure
We — We work “out”
God — God is working “in”
Jesus — Jesus stated this same truth in (John 15:4-5)
John 15:4–5 NKJV
4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
(2:13b) who works
Underlying Power
— Underlying our service is the Power of God
— “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God,” (cf 2 Cor 3:5)
(2:13e) For his good pleasure
God’s Pleasure
— God loves putting His glory on display
— The reason he saved us (cf Eph 1:6)
— When we do and seek his will, we bring him glory
— How can we add anything to God? God is self-sufficient
— Yet, clearly what Paul is teaching
— This brings him pleasure
— Our sanctification brings him satisfaction
— Because this is so, he grants us the resources to pursue it
Q: Who gets all the credit?
God God gets all the credit
Stop Complaining
(2:14-16) Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
Complaining γογγυσμός (gongusmos) complaining, grumbling
— Onomatopoetic word
— sounds like guttural, muttering sound
— Noise people make who are disgruntled
Disputing διαλογισμός (dialogismus)
— English word dialogue
— inner reasoning
— questioning
— doubting
Do everything without complaining and arguing (NLT)
— Do everything without grumbling or arguing (NIV)
— Do all things without murmurings and questionings (ASV)
Q: Grumbling is a fact of life. True or false
Q: Is Paul saying we should never grumble, complain?
— Sinful for believers to complain about circumstances that he sovereignly allows
— We will be faced with trouble (cf James 1:2-3)
— and we can expect persecution (cf Matt 5:10-12, John 15:20)
God hates Grumbling
— Grumbling has found its way into the church
— The tragedy of this particular sin is that is so contagious
Numbers 13-30 The spies came back and gave a bad report
Numbers 14:36 The spies mad the whole congregation complain and they “died by a plague before the Lord”
— Their complaints was directed towards the Lord
— The next day the people grumbled against Moses and Aaron ( 16:41 )
— 14,700 died in judgement because of their complaining
— You find it against in Num 20, 21
Ps 106:24-29
A failure to true God
— Complaining is the symptom of a deep-seeded spiritual problem
What is the problem? Failure to trust God, reject His providential will
— God hates it and has killed people because of it
— “Why should a living man complain, A man for the punishment of his sins?” ( Lam 3:39 )
— Who in the world are you to complain in view of your sins?
— You deserve hell and so do I
( 2:14 ) Do all things without complaining and disputing,
— Why does Paul say stop complaining?
— Back up one verse: work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; ( 2:12 )
— Whatever the elements of working out your salvation do it without complaining
— In all your Christian living, in all that you do by way of obeying God, be sure your never complain
— The command is given in verse 14 and the reasons in 15-16
Why we should stop complaining
For Our Sake
(2:15) that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation
Because we are His children
— We should stop complaining for our own sake because we are His children
— We should be imitators of God
— We are called to be all that a child of God is to be: blameless and harmless
— “Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.” (cf Eph 5:1)
— and blameless (cf Matt 10:16)
—The Greek literally says in order that you may become
— There is a process, so we are not to complain in order that the process may work
Blameless and harmless
— A life that cannot be criticized for sin
— A life that is pure and unmixed with evil
— A life without fault and a life without flaw
2 Cor 11: A chaste virgin; Eph 5: the church should be blameless without spot
— We are to be God’s children not only be divine decree but by testimony as well ( Ro 12:1,2 )
— Live in the light of His coming ( 2 Pet 3:14) no complaining
For the sake of the unsaved
(2:15b-16a) in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life
In the midst
— We are to stop complaining for the sake of the unsaved because we are to be light in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation
— This is the main issue; evangelism is shining in the world
— Evangelism comes down to two things
— Character
— Content
— We don’t live near the wickedness - we are in the middle of it
— Moses characterized apostate Israel as a crooked and a perverse nation ( Deut 32)
— Paul borrows this phrase and is talking about the world in which the church exists
— Proverbs describes this world:
Whose ways are crooked, And who are devious in their paths; ( Prov 2:15 )
— We live in a perverse and twisted distorted world
Crooked and perverse
— The Greek word for crooked is skolios from which we get scoliosis of the spine
— We live in a crooked and perverse generation and we are in the middle of it
— Fornication, adultery and pornography is okay
— Marriage between two people of the same sex is accepted
— We are to reach this crooked world by what we are and what we say
What we are ( Our conduct)
( 2:15 ) you shine as lights in the world
— You are the lights of the world, we shine, we are the only light that that world has
— Jesus called us the “light of the world” (cf Matt 5:14,16)
— Let your light shine on the evil (cf John 3:19)
— We are called to be what Israel was called to be but was not ( Ro 2:19 )
— Walk are children of light ( Eph 5:9 )
— you cannot come in contact with people in this crooked generation and not impact them in some way
— If you are godly obedient christian you will have a startling impact on people
Our content
( 2:16 ) holding fast the word of life
— We are holding out the word of life
What gives life? The gospel!
— So stop grumbling and complaining and stop arguing with God
— Work out your salvation without complaining
— Hold out the Gospel; a transformed life is the greatest advertisement for the gospel not a negative complaining spirit
For the sake of Pastors
(2:16b) so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain
Q: For who else’s sake should we not complain
The church leaders
— We should not complain for the sake of the pastor
— They have given their lives to ministry
— If you obey Paul says I will look back and say this was not in vain
— To give me a greater joy in eternity
(2:16) in the day of Christ
The Day of Christ
— not referring to the day of the Lord, which is punishment
— This is a day of rewards and only for believers (cf Phil 1:6,10)
Day of the Lord
— A judgment on unbelievers (cf 1 Thess 5:2-3)
Best we can do
— The best thing we can do for our pastor is live out the truth of scripture
— Obey the Lord without grumbling, complaining (cf Hebrews 13:17)
— So that, they can say that “I did not run or toil in vain”
(2:17-18) Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 For the same reason you also be glad and rejoice with me.
Anticipates what…
Sounds like he might be anticipating his own death
— But no, already said to remain in the flesh is more necessary for your sake (cf 1:24-15)
— Later, he says that he will come visit them (cf 2:24)
— Paul anticipates his release
(2:17) the sacrifice and service of your faith
— The Philippians were partners with Paul
— They suffered for their faith too (cf 1:28-29)
(2:17) I am glad and rejoice with you all
— Several reasons for his joy
His love for them
— “Therefore, my beloved and longed for brethren, my joy and crown” (4:1)
— “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at last your care for me has flourished again” (4:10)
Remembering them
— “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Always in every prayer of mine making request for you with all joy (1:3-4)
— His circumstances actually turned out for good
— “the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel” (cf 1:12-13)
Sacrificial service is a privilege
Cause for rejoicing
To rejoice for the Lord is a privilege and a cause for rejoicing
— Peter rejoiced when punished by the council and beaten for preaching Christ
— “So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.” (cf Acts 5:41)
— Paul said if you live a godly life, you can expect persecution (cf 2 Tim 3:12)
— He needed to hear Joel Osteens!
— The greatest joy is at the point of the greatest sacrifice
— Unfortunately, how many in the church experience joy?
Dr. Voddie Bauchman
“Believers occasionally mistake suffering for persecution. Those with a penchant for self-righteousness can go so far as to view every impediment and difficulty they encounter as some kind of spiritual suppression. But it’s important to keep the two realities distinct. We can expect suffering in this life- everyone can, as repercussions of the Fall and the sin that pervades the world. On the other hand 'Persecution is suffering with an option.' In other words, it’s suffering we can avoid if we’re simply willing to compromise”
Same as the world
— Circumstances are good, there is joy
— Things are bad, they are resentful and sad
— What brings them joy is the promotion of self interest
— This is not the joy that Paul is describing
— True believers do the Father’s will, sacrifice to Him, view it as joy
— Difficult to understand missionary life without this perspective
— Live years in primitive, hard conditions, dangerous, demanding and yet maintain joy
— Selfless sacrifice to God is not a loss, “being poured out” as a sacrifice
(2:18d) and rejoice with me
— Because they shared in his sacrifice they could also share in his joy, rejoice together

Joy in Balance

Philippians 2:19–30 NKJV
(2:19-24) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. 20 For I have no one like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state. 21 For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. 22 But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel. 23 Therefore I hope to send him at once, as soon as I see how it goes with me. 24 But I trust in the Lord that I myself shall also come shortly.
(2:19) But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly
Timothy From modern Turkey, Lystra, province of Galatia
— Mother was Eunice, a Jew
— Paul led him to Christ (cf 1 Cor 4:17, 1 Tim 1:2, 18, 2 Tim 1:2)
— His mother and grandmother were believers (cf 2 Tim 1:5)
— They taught him the OT (cf 2 Tim 3:15)
— He was qualified to reach the Gentiles
— He had a Greek education which made him well suited to preach to the gentile church
— Paul circumcised Timothy (cf Acts 16:3)
— His mother was Jewish and circumcision made it easier to gain access to Jewish synagogues
— Until the church started meeting in houses, Paul would go to synagogues
By this time
— By this time in Paul’s ministry, Timothy had been with Paul for 10 years
Spoke about him with Affection
— My child in the faith (1 Tim 1:2)
— My beloved son (2 Tim 1:2 )
— My beloved and faithful child in the Lord (1 Cor 4:17 )
— My fellow worker (Rom 16:21)
— our brother (2 Cor 1:1 )
— Fellow bond-servant of Christ Jesus (1:1)
Trustworthy and aided Paul
— With Paul in Corinth (Acts 18:5 )
— Sent to Macedonia (Act 19:22 )
— Returned with Paul to Jerusalem (Act 20:4)
— With Paul when he wrote Romans (Rom 16:21)
— With Paul when he wrote 2 Corinthians (Rom 16:21)
— With Paul when he wrote Philippians (1:1 )
— With Paul when he wrote Colossians (Col 1:1 )
— With Paul when he wrote 1 Thessalonians (1 Thess 1:1 )
— With Paul when he wrote 2 Thessalonians (2 Thess 1:1 )
— With Paul when he wrote Philemon (Philemon 1)
— Sent to Corinth as a troubleshooter (1 Cor 4:17 )
— Sent to Thessalonica as a troubleshooter (1 Thes 3:2 )
— Sent to Ephesus (1 Thes 3:2)
— Paul sending him to Philippi (2:19)
(2:20) no one like him
— Paul had no one like him
— Everyone else deserted him
— John Mark (cf Acts 13:13, 15:38, 2 Tim 1:15)
— Phygellus and Hermongenes left him
Seven Characteristics of Timothy that Paul wanted the Philippians to emulate
— 1. Similar
— 2. Sympathetic
— 3. Single-minded
— 4. Seasoned
— 5. Submissive
— 6. Sacrificial
— 7 Serviceable
(2:20) For I have no one like-minded
— Paul’s protege
— Kindred and like minded
— True discipleship - goal is to make a copy
— He says be imitators of me (cf 1 Cor 4:16-17)
— Timothy was the best example of that
(2:20) who will sincerely care for your state
Care for μεριμνάω (merimnao) Concerned for, anxious
— The sense of strong feelings to the point of a burden, anxiety
Single minded
— In contrast to the leaders who sought after their own self interest, not those of Jesus Christ
— Worldly, self centered
— Left their first love
— Exemplified by Demas
— A dependable co-worked who deserted Paul (cf 2 Tim 4:10, 16)
— Proven worthy
— They knew his proven worth
— Timothy was used in many types of service to Paul
— He was submissive, but not the point
— Submissive to God
— Both bond servants
— Fellow workers in the gospel (cf 1 Thess 3:2)
— Doing the Lord’s work together (cf 1 Cor 6:10)
— Ministry involved sacrifice.
— Left his family and ministered with Paul
— Never married or had a family
Serviceable / Available
— Paul hoped to send him immediately to Philippi
— Willing to do anything
— Go anywhere
(2:25 - 30) Yet I considered it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier, but your messenger and the one who ministered to my need; 26 since he was longing for you all, and was distressed because you had heard that he was sick. 27 For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him, and not only on him but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. 28 Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful. 29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness, and hold such men in esteem; 30 because for the work of Christ he came close to death, not regarding his life, to supply what was lacking in your service toward me.
(2:25) Epaphroditus, my brother, fellow worker, and fellow soldier
Another protege, co-worker and “fellow soldier”
— Not a spiritual elder like Timothy
— His level of service is instructive, encouraging
— Paul and Timothy see out of reach for most believers, but Epaphroditus is a great example
— Not an elder or church leader, not a great and talented with gifts, but willing to go where needed
— Help in whatever way necessary
— He came from Philippi bringing gifts to Paul (cf 4:18)
Sending back
— Paul was sending him back because the Philippians were worried
— They heard he was sick and almost died
(2:27) For indeed he was sick almost unto death; but God had mercy on him
Spared from death
— Whenever someone is spared from death, it is God’s mercy
— “ the wages of sin is death” ( Rom 6:23)
— two blind men begged for mercy, not healing ( Matt 9:27 )
— 10 leapers came to Jesus “Jesus, master, have mercy on us” ( Luke 17:12-13 )
(2:28) Therefore I sent him the more eagerly, that when you see him again you may rejoice, and I may be less sorrowful.
Personal loss for Paul
— Epaphroditus sent without conditions, he could stay indefinitely with Paul
— But their happiness in having him back would bring joy to Paul
(2:29) and hold such men in esteem
Receive him with honor
— Paul says to receive him with honor, hold men like him in high esteem, because he sacrificially sought to help Paul
(2:29) because for the work of Christ he came close to death
— He was not worried about his own life-threatening illness
— Rather, he was distressed (anguished) and longing for his church in Philippi (2:26)
(2:30) not regarding his life
He risked his life to make up for the help you yourselves could not give me (NIV)
— He put his life on the line for Christ
Risking παραβουλεύομαι (paraboleuomai)
— hazarding
— gambling
— exposing oneself to danger
— means favored of Aphrodite, goddess of love and gambling
— Men would shout out “Aphrodite” as they threw the dice
These men risked their lives
— Something more valuable than money, not gambling (3:7-8)
— 3 Different men
— bold, fearless leader