Philippians Sermon Week 5.20 - Work out your Salvation
Are you comfortable with mystery?
Put out trust in the God or the bible or in man
Theology matters — has everyday implications and ramifications for how we live.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose. 14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 16 by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing. 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. 18 In the same way you should also be glad and rejoice with me.
God is at work
Therefore & For
Therefore & For
‘My dear Friends’ — the importance of relationships
need relationship to convey theological truth
Who are you in relationships with?
Ex) racial tensions and the importance of relationships
ANNOTATION: Phil 2:12-13 — “Therefore and For”
Called to live in light of the Gospel (Phil 2:5-11)
Therefore: b/c of who Jesus is and what he has done.
This means ‘obedience’ = ‘working out your own salvation’
‘For’ - God works in you.
Work out what God is working in us
‘Fear and Trembling’ = an examined life, sobriety and serverity
in light of the last day (Phil 2:17, Phil 2:11)
It matters how we live.
Nature of “Salvation”
Nature of “Salvation”
What does Paul mean by salvation?
It is past, present and future
1 Cor 15:1-2 “the gospel I preached to you, which you received, on which you have taken your stand 2 and by which you are being saved”
Distinct but connected to our Justification
Justification = being declared righteous before the sight of God because of Jesus.
God sees us as if we have lived the life Jesus “just if I had lived”
On the Cross — Jesus give us his obedient life and takes our disobedient life.
Romans 5:1 “Justified by Faith”
Romans 5:9 “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.”
What’s the relationship between our justification and our salvation?
They form an unbroken chain.
“If you have been justified you will be saved” — that is a fact. (Romans 5:9)
Romans 8:30 “And those he predestined, he also called; and those he called, he also justified; and those he justified, he also glorified.”
If you have been justified you will be glorified = saved.
Saved then ‘on the last day of Jesus Christ’
Phil 2:16 “Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing.”
Paul is always pointing us to the day of Christ
We see it almost every week in Philippians.
Living in light of the gospel, means not only
living in light of what Jesus has done, but what he will do in the last day.
When every knee will bow and tongue confess
Again it matters how we live, “fear and trembling”
So this is beginning and end — Justification and Glorification
What about the middle?
“how are we working out our salvation” — that which is already true of us.
Working out your Salvation
Working out your Salvation
Here is where “for” becomes so important.
We work out our salvation “For” it is God who is at work in us both to Will and to Work
here is where we begin to approach the mystery of God at work in us.
There are two ditches we can fall into if we don’t read these verses together.
Last week we argued that all true change comes through the heart.
Thomas Cranmer “what the heart loves, the will chooses, and the mind justifies” or we could say determines how we live our lives.
There is another great theological truth that need to understand.
Not only are we Justified, but we are regenerated.
This means: by the Holy Spirit we are given new hearts.
This is the new birth Jesus spoke of in John 3 to Nicodemus. (Also Eze 36:26-27)
He said “you must be born again, born from above, born from the spirit”
In order to ‘work out what God is working in’ we need to have new hearts.
This is what happens when we believe in Jesus.
It means we have been given a new heart by the regeneration of the Holy Spirit, a heart of flesh, a heart with new affections, new desires and new abilities.
Both to Will and to Work
Both to Will and to Work
So God is “at work within you”
to do what?
ANN: TWO IMPORTANT WORDS
Phil 2:12-13 “Therefore, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God who is working in you both to will and to work according to his good purpose.
to Will and to Work
To will — that is to desire, to long for, the affections, to wish for, to want, to cause you to want
To work — not only has he changed your heart, that has changed your will, your desires, your purpose, but it also changes what you do.
Both are in the present tense thus suggesting again that this is an ongoing or lengthy process or to say it again
it is the present tense “working out” of your salvation.
But not only did the Holy Spirit regenerate our hearts, but now he is dwelling within the heart of every believer.
John 14:15-17 “the Father...will give you another Counselor, to be with you forever. 17 He is the Spirit of truth...you do know him, because he remains with you and will be in you.
Romans 5:5 “God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
The Holy Spirit is the active agent that is changing us inside.
This is how God is working with in you.
It’s how we ‘work out what God is working in us”
We’ve been given a new heart, and now Holy Spirit is aligning our affections and our desires to be more with God’s
It’s why prayer is so important, it’s not so much that we change God’s mind, but rather God changes our minds and hearts to be more aligned with his.
God is changing us from the inside out
So ‘working out our salvation” means
that we ‘walk by the Spirit’ — Gal 5
The Battle of the works of the flesh (desires of the flesh, ungodly desires)
And the Fruit of the Spirit
What does this practically look like?
14 Do everything without grumbling and arguing, 15 so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world, 16 by holding firm to the word of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run or labor for nothing.
Notice he doesn’t call us to specific actions, but rather how we do those specific actions.
It means living a self examined life.
Are we grumbling? Are we just being argumentative?
Are we considering others first?
Are we shining like stars in this crooked and perverted (twisted) generation?
Are we clinging to the Word of Life?
This is how we shine.
Word of life = Scriptures in General, Gospel in particular
This has direct ramifications for us today.
In our generation, as in every generation — there are opponents to the word of God
They seek to re-interpret, re-write, re-invent God’s word
But we cling to it for life, becuase it is life.
The Scriptures teach us how to live
The Scriptures remind us of our position in Christ
The scriptures teaches us that God is at work with in us and we have a power that is not our own
A power to testify
A source of courage
To stand together
to be unified
We cling to it but we also shine it for others to see.
Our working out our salvation will mean salvation for others.
Phil 2:13 says that God is doing all of this according to his good purpose or pleasure.
What is that? That all would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ
Eze 33:11 “I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked person should turn from his way and live.”
2 Peter 3:9 “ The Lord does not delay his promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”
So what does this mean for us?
How do we work out our salvation?
As Peter says, how do we make our election sure”
It’s also to ask “how do we grow?”
God’s Word “the word of life” — Spirit inspired
God’s Spirit “indwelling power” - spirit within
God’s People “God’s spirit amongst” — You all ‘work out your salvation”
Where is God’s word in your life? Is it the Word of Life for you?
If not, ask, God’s Spirit inspired the words of scripture and he will illuminate them in your heart and cause change.
Where then is God’s Spirit in your life?
Can you hear his voice? it is not the voice of condemnation, but invitation and conviction.
He invites you to the father, to the gospel, to repentance and to the mission of God
Where are God’s people in your life?
You can still be connected in this time.
We are first and foremost a spiritual community.
Join a Group, Join our Zoom, Join us Wednesday nights.
There is no excuse if you are not connected (except for maybe families and kids)
This is God’s will for your, for his good pleasure.
This is how we work out what God is working in us.