Lights in the World.

July 9, 2023 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Philippians - Journey of a Joyful Life

Topic: Christian Living Scripture: Philippians 2:12–18

Having exhorted the Philippians to pursue further unity (Phil.1:27-2:4) by looking to Christ as the supreme model of selfless humility (Phil.2:5-11), Paul now provides a series of exhortations related to perseverance, especially in light of the watching world (Phil.2:12-18). Our passage is divided into three parts:

  1. Working Out Your Salvation (v.12-13)
  2. Maintaining a Blameless Testimony (v.14-16)
  3. Rejoicing in Sacrificial Service (v.17-18)

Paul encourages the Philippians to work out the salvation that God is working in them, demonstrating the genuineness of their faith to both Paul and the world. Paul says in verse 14, “Do all things without grumbling or disputing….” Why? Verses 15-16a, “…that 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, holding fast to the word of life.”

We live in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation that refuses to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It’s a world marked by grumbling and complaining. In the original temptation, Satan got Eve to doubt the goodness of God, and ever since he seeks to do the same.

To grumble against any person or any circumstance is really to grumble against the sovereign God who wills and works all things in our lives (2:13). So, Paul’s exhortation means that we have to confront our grumbling and complaining as sin.

Paul calls on the church to resist “grumbling” and “disputing” (Phil.2:14). This is one way in which salvation is worked out into the corners of everyday life. But this seemingly simple command also has a missional aim: “that you may be . . . without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation among whom you shine as lights in the world” (Phil.2:15).  People won’t trust in a God whose goodness is in question. The absence of complaining and arguing is a testifying mark of those who have put their full trust in the Lord and his plans. The gospel changes lives. Let’s make sure we live those lives for God’s glory. 

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