This sermon was based on Philippians 2:12-18.
Lights in the World
12Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
14Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
What is Salvation?
- When Paul talks about salvation here, he is not just talking about going from sinful, unrighteous to righteous. He is talking about God’s redemptive work in us, and yes if we have put our trust in Jesus we have been saved, but gloriously that salvation does not stop there as we are being made more like Jesus, we are being sanctified, made holy. This is the salvation Paul talks about here.
- Salvation is not just a 1 time thing but a daily unfurling of grace in our lives.
- This is the glory of salvation in Christ. We have a secure hope that Jesus has taken us from unrighteous to righteous in his sight, we have the secure hope that one day we will stand with him totally free from the effect of sin, and we have the secure hope that he is present with us now, he dwells within us through his Holy Spirit, and that he is at work in us, shaping our lives, forming our character to be more like Him.
Working Out Our Salvation
- A god who is not to be feared, is not a God who has the power to overcome sin in my life. We are held and loved, and continually shaped by God. The almighty God of the universe, living in us.
- It is easier and much more comfortable if someone does everything for us. And when it comes to following Jesus, we can be a little like this too. Yes, it is God who brings about growth in us, who transforms our character and makes us more like him. But that growth in godliness doesn’t happen apart from our active participation.
- Spurgeon says, “The assistance of divine grace isn’t given to us to put aside our own efforts, but to exaltation”. Essentially, the amazing truth that God has brought us into his family and is at work in us rouses us to worship and obedience.
Without Grumbling or Questioning
- If we take the stiff upper lip approach to doing all things without questioning or grumbling, then we are not relating to God in the reality of the mess and brokenness in our lives. Be that the external pain and brokenness around us, and the reality of our internal mess and sin that we still battle with./li>
- We have three options:
1) We hold onto that resentment, push it as far down as possible, let it fester inside of us
2) We can grumble and question before others
3) Or we can bring it to Jesus.
The passage says do all things without grumbling and questioning. We can bring grumbles to God…
The difference between the first 2 and the last one is are we going to look to solve our problems away from God or with him.
- The command to do all things without grumbling or questioning comes in the context of what we’ve just read in verses 12-13. That sandwich of knowing what Christ has done for me by humbling himself to death on a cross and the knowledge, the faith that God is at work in me, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.