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Philippians 2v12-18 Shining like stars

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Index No                      0873TBFC

Date                             22 June 1996               20 March 2004

Text                             Philippians 2:12-18

Title                              Shining like stars

Affection                     verse 12a

NB how warmly Paul greets them. The exhortation in verses 1­­11 was not criticism “they have always obeyed”. Obeyed God that is not Paul as a mere man. In the Church all authority is derived from God, through the Word. It never rests in office or man apart from the ultimate authority. This marks the Church from cults. They obeyed God not because Paul was watching them. Indeed in his absence they were even more careful, after all he was not there to correct them.

Work out your salvation        verse 12b

What does this phrase NOT mean?

1          Figure out what salvation means. As in work out the plot of a play etc. Salvation is revealed clearly in Scripture.

2          Arrange or achieve your own salvation. As in working for it. Salvation is by grace through faith. Christ has “worked it out for us”

What we have to do is to work out the living implications in our lives. It is one thing to understand the implications of our faith quite another to work them out.

2716 katergazomai

1)  to perform, accomplish, achieve

Tense - Present                    

Mood  - Imperative                

There is an urgency in salvation. It is applied not theoretic. It is what we do as a result of salvation that authenticates it.

Colossians 1:10

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (NIV)

John 15:8

This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)

Fear and trembling               verse 12c

This is important and adds emphasise to the preceding words. In fact in Greek the sentence reads

Philippians 2:12

……. with fear and trembling, continue to work out your salvation, (NIV)

The sentence order is only changed to make better English.

This is no optional extra. Christian living is what we were saved for!

Psalm 119:34-35

Give me understanding, and I will keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. (NIV)


GOD works in you                verse 13

Just when we might have despaired Paul reassures us. We are not alone this seemingly impossible task is not only possible but certain because God is for us.

Romans 8:31    

What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? (NIV)

He wants us holy he will commit all of his infinite resources to making us fit for his heaven. He does not and will not fail.

John 17:11-12

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name -- the name you gave me -- so that they may be one as we are one. 12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled. (NIV)

Practical implications            verse 14

Paul is too good a preacher to let his point pass without a direct application that is relevant to all.

1          Activity - “do everything” there is an assumption here of Christian activity. Live out your life and service.

2          No complaints. About your situation, others, lack of gratitude, etc. etc.

3          No arguing - with others or God about his providence for you. This is Holy Living! More than some piety

The rational               verse 15

Holy living is not just simple and practical it is vital for witness.

The Greek word is 1074 genea

AV - generation 37, time 2, age 2, nation 1; 42

Matthew 11:16

"To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others:

    17 " 'We played the flute for you,

        and you did not dance;

    we sang a dirge,

        and you did not mourn.' (NIV)

Matthew 12:39    

He answered, "A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (NIV)

Matthew 12:41

The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one greater than Jonah is here. (NIV)

Matthew 16:4

A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a miraculous sign, but none will be given it except the sign of Jonah." Jesus then left them and went away. (NIV)

Holding out the Word of Life           verse 16

What a graphic picture a drowning man sees a hand outstretched to save. We “hold out the Word of life” not just in open air preaching, door to door work, etc. (and all these are good things) but in simple holy living. Holding your temper is “hold out the Word of life”. Not complaining is  to “hold out the Word of life”.

Personal note                         verse 16b-18

Paul is

1          longing to boast about them when he stands before Christ.

2          seeing them as a vindication of his life ministry and sacrifice.

3          content with his present lot because it has resulted in and from such people as they are in Christ.

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