Feb 1, 2009

Philippians #10

Philippians 2:12, 13

V. 12. wherefore... absence.

Paul commends the Philippians for obedience to the law of God in his absence, as he had taught them when he was among them.

Evidently, the Philippians not only cheerfully obeyed his instructions from God's word when he was with them, but obeyed much more in his absence.

Our dedication to our God as revealed in holy Scripture is revealed in how well we follow it when no one is around, and behind closed doors. Is our obedience the same in public and private? Does our family see the same thing in us as we show in public? If not, then we are identified as hypocrites.

There is nothing more pleasing to parents than when their children act right at home with the parents as well as away with someone else.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Here is one of the more abused passage of Scripture, so we will look at it closely.

What is it saying?

1. We have the duty to make a personal effort to obtain salvation. That is, work out our salvation.

Though we may love our family and friends dearly, and they may love us as much, they cannot do what is necessary to secure our salvation.

No matter how much concern others may have for us, the work for salvation is our responsibility.

John 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

Illustration: We are surrounded with people who admit their hope for heaven is because their mother or dad was a Christian. Or maybe, because they go to a good church which preaches the Bible.

I have even met some parents who have a hope of heaven because their children are good Christians. I know parents who think they can do that work for their children through having their babies baptized.

No! Salvation is the individual's personal responsibility – we are to work out our own salvation. Our parents, pastor, family, friends cannot do it for us.

Let me give some reasons of why it is our duty to work out our own salvation.

It is a person's duty to save his own life if he were drowning. No one can have as much interest in rescuing him as what he should have.

We should have the same concern for our soul as we do for our physical life. In fact, more. This life will be over very soon. Our soul will never die. No one can have as much interest in our souls as what we should have.

It is an individual duty because salvation will not just happen. It will not take care of itself. We cannot ignore the well-being of our physical bodies and survive.

There is a great physical health kick going on right now. I'm sure that it is not a coincidence that as people grow more and more indifferent to their spiritual well-being, they grow more and more concerned about their physical well-being.

It is astounding the time and effort folks will put into their physical well-being, yet totally ignore their spiritual.

Many lives as though somehow it will all work out in the end and everything will be all right for their souls.

It is a duty to work out our own salvation, because, as the saying goes, God helps those who help themselves. We have no reason to expect God to work in us without an effort on our part our own response.

Illustration: I have met more than a few folks, some while I have been here, that when I asked them if they are saved, they say, no.

I then ask them if they have thought about it and they may say, yes.

I might even ask if they would like to be and they might answer, yes.

Yet, when I try to urge them to act on that desire, such as come to church or read their Bible, I am met with complete indifference.

They have only enough interest in salvation to say they would like to be saved, but not enough to "work" at it in letting God speak to them through his word and in prayer.

It is our duty because God commands it many times throughout Scripture.

Proverbs 23:26. My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe my ways.

We are commanded to submit our heart, mind, will and emotions to the obedience of the Christian faith.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment.

Obviously, submission of the mind, will and emotions to the Lord is the most difficult of all our responsibilities.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling also is seen in

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

Strive or agonize... That is, we should be diligent, active and earnest. That is, make it our main business to overcome our sinful nature. Obviously, overcoming our old nature is not our key to heaven; that key is Christ. But Christ does not permit us to ignore the requirement to be holy even as he is holy.

Both Philippians 2:12 and Luke 13:24 are also seen in

Acts 17:10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

That is, we should seriously apply ourselves, strive or work to confirm the doctrine we have been taught and are being taught. The teachers may have been and may even now be as sincere as a heart attack, but has and does their teaching correspond to Scripture?

Example: I accepted what I was taught without really comparing Scripture with Scripture and ended up on the wide road to Hell. I believed the false gospel (which is no gospel) of, pray this prayer and almost went to hell with it.

Not only is unscriptural and false doctrines concerning salvation very common, but there are a great many other false things commonly taught—such as, the Old Testament is not for the New Testament church, and "we are under grace, not under law."

Luke 13:24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

We see Luke 13:24 in Romans 13:

14 But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts, thereof.

How many times are we told to leave our "old man" and his lusts behind us? Obeying v. 14 requires serious striving or agonizing. It requires work.

Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling

Now, let's look at the second part of Paul's command. The first being the positive aspects of the command: what is required.

Now, the negative: what is not required.

It cannot require good works for heaven.

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.

It is cannot be an attempt to deserve salvation by any merit of our own. We cannot work or pay our way to eternal life. (Although, if you would like to try, I will take your money.)

Illustration: One of the key men in the LA church had parents in New Orleans. They were committed Romanist. The priest promised them to miss purgatory for the small sum of $50. Of course, they paid it.

The old B&W Martin Luther film shows that it was the money demanded by the Pope to build St. Peter's Basilica in Rome that motivated the 95 Thesis, October 31, 1517 being nailed to the Castel Church in Whittenberg, Germany. Rome promised release from purgatory for the money of the individual and for their loved

All the work has been done and the total price paid, and it was not paid with money.

Vv. 14-30

This is a long section, so obviously we will not cover it all now.

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