TEXT: Philippians 2:12-18 (Read 1-18)
READING: 2 Peter 3:1-18
SUBJ: The manifestation of the grace of God in a consciousness of the serious issues of salvation and the working that is a result of His grace.
AIM: That we may seek indeed to work out our salvation in an acceptable manner while realizing that it is God who works in us.
INTR: Philippians 2:13 is a verse I have often quoted. While it is a standalone text and emphatic as to what it says, it is best understood in the light of the preceding command of v. 12.
1. Much is said and misstated about the human will. It is free, but not in the sense of being able to function properly apart from grace. It limited by the nature of the person.
2. While it is God that works in us, it is we, after all who will to do His good pleasure.
3. In the absence of such a God worked willingness there is reason to question the presence of grace and to think otherwise would call the effectualness of grace into question.
THESIS: The grace of God brings the things of Christ to us in such a way as to cause us to will and then provides with the ability to perform in accordance with that will.
I. The working of Grace in us (vv. 12-13)
1. Paul warns against contrived evidence (the difference between his presence and his absence)
2. The exhortation to work is first and foremost personal for verification of salvation.
1) “Work out” is in the sense of striving (to enter the strait gate) and see, Heb 4:1. We are to strive to bring salvation to our own attention.
2) This is not by any means a “works” salvation; rather it is the work of salvation. Salvation is confirmed by attendance on the issues of salvation -- repentance, faith, love, worship and so on.
3) Such is done with a healthy reverence for Whose salvation it is to give. This is not a craven trembling; rather it is being moved by the God of our salvation. (Many are shaky about what they believe, not many are shaken by what they believe).
3. It is because of God working in you and so we see that such as we do is in harmony with what God does. …he sweetly and powerfully draws it (the soul) with the cords of love to Himself, and to His Son and so influences it by His grace and Spirit, and which He continues, that it freely wills everything spiritually good, and for the glory of God: and He works in them also to do; for there is sometimes in believers a will, when there is a want of power of doing. God therefore both implants in them principles of action to work from, as faith and love, and a regard for His glory, and gives them grace and strength to work with, without which they can do nothing, but having these, can do all things: and all this is of His good pleasure…John Gill
II. The nature of grace In us (vv. 14-15)
1. Whatever we do, it is without grumbling. Isaiah 26:12 LORD, thou wilt ordain peace for us: for thou also hast wrought all our works in us.
2. To be blameless is to not be injurious to any in word or deed, but rather to be sincere (harmless) in such as a way to give no occasion to blame.
3. Consider the necessity to be distinguished from this crooked and perverse nation.
1) Not only the overt perversions, but consider the self-satisfying motives of most.
2) We are literally “stars” or luminaries in this present world and should stand out in that manner.
III. The means of Grace (v. 16)
1. The Word of life to us is the only authority and resource for our lives
1) We hold it forth in that 2 Timothy 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:
2) We hold fast because there is nothing else on which to cling. The Scripture speaks personally to us of life and the promise of it in Christ
3) The word of life describes to us the origin of life and light – the suffering of Christ and the glory that followed.
2. Otherwise Paul’s ministry would be in vain.
IV. The consolation of Grace (vv. 17-18)
1. Simply put Paul was willing to be sacrificed for the faith of God’s elect. See 2 Tim. 4:6.
2. But true believers rejoice together in the knowledge and experience of these things.