Pastor Patrick brings us teaching and leads discussion on the next section from our Philippians series with Part 4. In Philippians 2:12–30, Paul goes deeper into the unity within the Christian community that he talked about in the previous section of his letter. Paul start by talking about how we are to contact and interact with one another. He says, “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” (Philippians 2:12-14)
This is so much easier said than done, am I right? But what does Paul mean in his phrasing of “working out our salvation”? Isn’t that already done? Do we have to “gain” our way to Heaven? Working out our salvation doesn’t mean we’re earning our salvation. Rather, Paul is calling the Philippians to persist in obeying God and following Jesus. Paul reminds the Philippians in verse 13 that it’s God who’s doing the work in them. One of the greatest hopes we have as Christians is that God is with us and working in us always. The Holy Spirit lives in us as our helper as we follow Jesus in obedience to God.
When we’re obedient to God, not only do we experience unity like we talked about last week, but we also show the world who God is and what it’s like to be a part of His family. Our obedience affects us personally and it also impacts the people around us—believers and non- believers alike. For Paul, he knows their obedience will be worth it to him both in the future when Jesus returns and in the present as he rejoices in their faithfulness. Paul always has a reason behind his advice or commands in his letters. We’ve seen over the past couple weeks how he wanted the church in Philippi to be unified, to imitate Jesus, to obey God. The reason was not only for the good of each individual’s growth as believers, but also for the sake of the church and its witness to the world.
What’s one way you could walk in obedience to God with your thoughts, words, or actions this week?
How Can We Be Praying For You?