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The Out-Working of Our Salvation – Philippians 2:12-18


Salvation Worked Out.

Text: Philippians 2:12-18
Jesus said, ‘if you love me, keep my commandments…’. So when Paul writes to the Philippians about Christian obedience, maybe it’s worth spending some time examining what he Has said…

1. Obedience Explored! as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence.
Obedience and the Omniscience of God. Paul’s first point is simply that whether he is present or absent, the people should obey the Lord. Why do you think this is?

We are to ‘let our light shine before men’ – but we are to walk to please God. 1 Thess 4:1.
Obedience and the Righteousness of God. How would they know what that obedience looked like? God has given us his LAW, which reflects his perfect standard of righteousness.Now, in order for us to distinguish between legalism and humble obedience, every Christian should learn how the law is used:
The first use of the law. _________________________________________________________Galatians 3:24
The second use of the law. _________________________________________________________________
The third use of the law. ___________________________________________________________________
RC Sproule:, The third purpose of the law is to reveal what is pleasing to God. As born-again children of God, the law enlightens us as to what is pleasing to our Father, whom we seek to serve. The Christian delights in the law as God Himself delights in it. Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). This is the highest function of the law, to serve as an instrument for the people of God to give Him honour and glory.

2. Obedience is Reflective of Redemption! 12Therefore, my beloved, …work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
Paul equates our obedience with our appreciation of the gospel. As soon as he has told the Philippian believers to practice obedience, he draws their thoughts to SALVATION and tells them to ‘work it out’. There are two senses in which we must ‘work out our salvation’:
We work it out as we would a calculation! Americans say. ‘Go figure!’ Work it out!
Get a solid doctrinal appreciation appreciation of your redemption and you will also get a motivation for obedience. Why do you this verse 12 starts with the word ‘Therefore’ (AV ‘Wherefore’)? _________________________________


Summarise what Paul is teaching in v5-11:


Salvation is ‘outworked’ as we practice our Collective Christianity!

In the LOCAL ASSEMBLY.   Note that Paul addresses the Christians as ‘Beloved’ – and here the word used for beloved is PLURAL. Paul is speaking to the whole assembly. Paul goes on to give us some examples to help us to see how we might do that. For example:

  • Stop complaining! 14
  • Be a good witness! 15 Let the world see what CHRIST has done for you.
  • Believe and live out and hold forth the Word of God! 16
  • Rejoice in your salvation! 17 -18

The Gospel is applicable to every situation. Apply the gospel To every area of your life.. The Gospel must affect and regulate every area of the Christian’s life! Philippians 1:27.

3. Obedience is God’s Work in Us! 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
So we must ‘work out’ – ‘outwork’ our salvation, in the church and in our lives, – doctrinally and practically. This is THE WORK OF GOD IN US. Philippians 1:6 Now let’s briefly see the implications of verse 13.

  • God is working in you. We call that sanctification, and it’s the work of the Holy Spirit, who dwells within every single Christian. Through the local church. If our sanctification and it’s consequential obedience to God is developed by by more fully understanding the facts of the Gospel, then where better to learn those facts that through the ordained methods of Word and Sacrament? Individuals grown in grace, as part of a sound Christian fellowship.
  • To Will and to Work. God does not just strengthen our will to help us to obey – he changes our will to bring it into conformity with his will, so that we will really want to obey him. God changes our will to bring us into conformity with his will. Note the expansive nature of the work of God in us…
  • For his Glory alone! The ultimate purpose of God working in you and in me, is to bring you to perfection, – not in this life, but in eternity, when we will sing his praise to his glory.

Christian obedience is an evidence of our salvation, – as we consider Christ and his atoning work for us, as we continue in communion in the local church, God works in us, to bring us into conformity with his will, so that we want to please the Lord in what we say and do, – even though true perfection will not be attained this side of eternity.

© Bob McEvoy

From → Philippians

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