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Philippians Sermon Notes - Week 5

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Thoughts:

What does this mean to “work out your own salvation?”
And with “fear and trembling”
In what sense?
For — God is at work in you.
God is the one working.
Therefore (becuase of this)
Do everything w/out grumbling/arguing
SO THAT you may be (subj) blameless, pure, and faultless
shining like stars in the world.
holding firm to the word of life
Then I can glorify God in the day of Christ that it wasn’t all in vain.
Work out “of” you salvation, holding fast to the word of life (the gospel) which is your salvation
So you work out your salvation, by being in the word of life, the source
Follow Jesus
My dear friends — my beloved --

Verbiage:

Living out what is already true in you
Working out what God is working in you.
Work out b/c God works in
Live like it’s already been done
God initiates we respond
The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon The Reason for Working out Their Salvation (2:13)

Human energy could never accomplish the work of God, yet God did not accomplish his purposes without it.

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

If it is the glory of Christian ethics to summon us to be what we are, it is one of the glories of Holy Scripture both to tell us what we are (children of God) and to declare our characteristic way of life

Contrasts:
We fail, but he cannot
we turn back, but he goes toward
we are faithless he is faithful

Themes

The “Why”

Phil 2:13 — for his good pleasure.
Deuteronomy 7:7 CSB
7 “The Lord had his heart set on you and chose you, not because you were more numerous than all peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples.
Because God loves you.
The Message of Philippians 1. Christian Activity and the Indwelling God

He loves you because he loves you! It is no explanation, and yet it is the greatest of all explanations, for it means that, though the reason is hidden from us, it is a reason which makes sense to him. He will never give us up.

Obedience

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

Our obedience is the way we enter, in experience, into the totality of what God is doing in us.

Phil 2:12-13

The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon The Command to Work out Their Salvation (2:12)

The Philippians were to make salvation work in their lives

The ESV Study Bible Chapter 2

In 2:12 Paul means “salvation” in terms of progressively coming to experience all of the aspects and blessings of salvation. The Philippians’ continued obedience is an inherent part of “working out” their salvation in this sense.

The ESV Study Bible Chapter 2

But as v. 13 demonstrates, these works are the result of God’s work within his people. both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Even the desire (“to will”) to do what is good comes from God; but he also works in the believer to generate actual choices of the good, so that the desires result in actions. (On fear of God, see notes on Acts 5:5; 9:31.)

The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon The Reason for Working out Their Salvation (2:13)

Using a play on words, Paul said they were to “work out” because God “works in.” God’s work in them provided both the motivation and the ability to do his good pleasure.

The Message of Philippians Chapter 13. Working It out (2:12–18)

Just as God assessed and then reacted to the worth of his Son’s life of obedience (verses 9–11), so the Christian must ponder the example of Christ and determine upon a worthy response (verses 12–18).

Phil 2:14-15

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

He does not outline a course of action but calls for a kind of action: without grumbling or questioning; he does not specify a rule of life but a sort of person: blameless … innocent … without blemish; he focuses attention not on social involvement but on social contrast: a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights.

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

The ungrumbling, unquestioning conduct of the Christian has an aim: that you be (better ‘that you may show/prove yourselves to be’) children of God. The great glory of Christian ethics is that it calls us to be what we are.

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

Children of God describes neither wishful thinking, nor a fond hope, nor a target for supreme endeavour, but a present reality waiting to be worked out in our conscious, responsive behaviour

Phil 2:17

Philippians 2:17 CSB
17 But even if I am poured out as a drink offering on the sacrificial service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you.
The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon Personal Joy in Ministry (2:17–18)

The sacrificial terminology of these verses supplies another metaphor to explain. Three words recall the sacrificial system: “poured out” (spendomai), “sacrifice” (thysia), and “service” (leitourgia). “Poured out” refers to a drink offering that accompanied the sacrifices. “Sacrifice” was the actual offering, and “service” accompanied the offering. These last two appear to combine to speak of a sacrifice; the first, “poured out,” definitely referred to a procedure of pouring a drink offering either before or after the offering itself.

Words

Work out

Work out “of” your salvation?
Work from your salvation?

Salvation

The ESV Study Bible Chapter 2

In 2:12 Paul means “salvation” in terms of progressively coming to experience all of the aspects and blessings of salvation. The Philippians’ continued obedience is an inherent part of “working out” their salvation in this sense.

NIVAPP
The terms salvation and save have a different connotation in Paul. Although Paul can occasionally refer to salvation as a past event (Rom. 8:24; Eph. 2:5, 8; 2 Tim. 1:9; Titus 3:5), most of his references to it place it in the future, and he often connects salvation with the Day of the Lord (1 Cor. 5:5; cf. 3:15; Rom. 13:11; 1 Thess. 5:9). Those who have been justified can be assured that they will be saved, but their salvation awaits the final day. Romans 5:9 illustrates the difference between justification and salvation in Paul’s thinking: “Since we have been justified by [Jesus’] blood,” Paul says, “how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!”

Fear and Trembling

The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon The Command to Work out Their Salvation (2:12)

In addition to obedience, the Philippians were to be sober. The precise words are “fear and trembling.” These words reminded them of their relationship to God and that they were to conduct their lives with a seriousness and reverence due him. After all, he worked in them.

Hold Fast (to the words of life)

The ESV Study Bible Chapter 2

Holding fast means both believing God’s Word and following it.

Word of life

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

By contrast, the Christian both ‘holds fast’ the word of life, just as a lantern hold within itself some radiant element, and also ‘holds forth’ the word of life, just as from a lantern a bright outshining dispels the surrounding darkness.

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

The word of life has thus two distinct sides. It is the message which both tells of life and also imparts the life of which it tells. It stands broadly for the total message of the Scriptures, and specifically for ‘the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation’.24

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

Without this life-giving word Christian character is impossible. But at the same time, the light of Christian character is an uninterpreted parable if we do not speak about Christ. Equally, speaking about Christ is futile if our lives do not back up what we say.

The Message of Philippians 2. Christian Character and the Outshining Light

It is the very life of Christ which the life-giving word imparts to us. This life must have its way, shining out into a crooked and perverse generation, exposing and condemning, illuminating and transforming. Testimony is part of becoming Christlike.

Sacrificial gift

The New American Commentary: Philippians, Colossians, Philemon Personal Joy in Ministry (2:17–18)

Understood this way, the “sacrifice and service coming from your faith” would be that which their faith produced. Thus their response to God in faith produced the sacrifice of the gift to Paul.

Will (desire, wish) and work

In light of last week, the heart is changed by the gospel and the will is given by God here and worked out by him to his good pleasure.

Structure

NAC
These verses have three movements to them, all of which extend the central idea of obedience.
First, the Philippians were to devote themselves to practical Christianity (2:12–13) by working out their salvation.
Then, they were to be characterized by positive steadfastness (2:14–16), never succumbing to complaining or grumbling.
Finally, they were to participate in Paul’s personal joy in ministry (2:17–18), not only rejoicing with him but also sharing his outlook.

The Message

Therefore,
based on who Christ is, and what he has done, and where he currently is.
“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”
What does this mean?
Certainly it doesn’t mean we play any role in our salvation (see Eph 2:8-9)
In what sense does he mean “salvation”
It’s not just ‘well being’ as some try to say
It is the salvation on the last day (Phil 2:16)
We must read v12 & 13 together.
Verse 13 is the reason for verse 12
It starts with “for”
It is God who is working (currently) in you”
Both
to will (to have the right will, desires, volitions)
and Work (actions, behaviors)
Because he has given you a new heart through the gospel (phil 2:5-11) - last week
God initiates we respond.
We are to work out what God is working in us.
You have been declared righteous in Jesus Christ.
Salvation is the fruition of our Justification
We are being made into that which God declared true about us in Jesus.
This changes how we fight. (See also 1 Cor 15:10)
Now, it is possible to (v14-
Do everything w/out grumbling and arguing (consider others as more important)
so that we might be blameless, pure, children of God who are faultless
similar language in Phil 1:9-11 (love, knowledge, discernment, excellent, pure, blameless, filled with the fruit of righteousness)
“in this crooked and perverted (twisting) generation”
“you shine like stars”
holding firm to the word of life
“then i will boast (rejoice)” in the last day
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