TO WILL AND TO ACT ACCORDING TO GOD’S PURPOSE
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence–continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life–in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17 But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18 So you too should be glad and rejoice with me.
(Identify verses with your comments)
Paul just described how Jesus humbled Himself –what do you think he meant by saying “as you have always obeyed”?
If our salvation is complete, why does Paul exhort us to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling”?
How can we link together “work out” and “God works in you”?
What Is the connection between “it is God who works in you” and “Do everything without complaining”?
And, if we “do everything without complaining”, how does that help us become “pure and blameless” and show we are “children of God”?
Explain how we can “shine like stars in the universe”?
What did Paul mean by encouraging us to “hold out the word of life”?
In what way do verses 14-17 connect with verse 12?
In 2:8, it says “Jesus became obedient”; in 2:12, Paul talks about obeying. What will help me follow Jesus’ example and Paul’s admonition?
God’s Good Purpose:
Blameless and Pure:
Shine Like Stars:
Be Glad and Rejoice:
Remember that Paul is writing this letter from prison. His possible options include remaining in prison or being executed. He saw the crookedness and depravity of life in the Roman capitol. Perhaps he, like John the Baptist, was tempted to complain about being in prison.
The drink offering (vr. 17) was oil and/or wine that was poured out over the sacrificial lamb (Exodus 29:38-41). The picture he draws is of his imprisonment and possible execution as the oil and wine being poured over the sacrifice and service of the Philippian Christians. Together, they produce a pleasing aroma to Christ. That is the opportunity Paul places before us on in the 21st century.