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Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 9)
August 9, 2020

Citizens: A Study on Philippians (Part 9)

August 9, 2020

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Citizens: A Letter to the Philippians

(Part 9)

Today we are gonna pick back up in Phil 2:12

Phil 2:12-13

  • When u pick up the Bible – Read Phil. 2:12-13
    • REMEMBER: You are stepping into a flow of thought
    • And don’t forget what Paul just said in verse 11
  • That jaw-dropping… epic… bombshell of a statement from Paul…
    • “King Jesus is Yahweh” or “Messiah Jesus is creator of universe”
  • Now if ur in Philippi – Someone reading this letter out loud
    • And u hear this line… Jesus is Lord – your mouth is on floor
    • Trying to understand how powerful God… Servant man

Then the next line (THEREFORE) – HOSTEY

  • It’s a different Gk Word from the other “therefore” in Philippians
    • It means… (of what)
    • As the result that “Jesus Christ is Lord”
      • Here is what should happen in our lives…
      • And Paul gives a command – Something to do

Phil 2:12

Understand Paul sets up the command saying 2 things

    First – Paul starts off with “My dear friends”

    • Usually Paul calls the church “Adelphos” or “brother/sister”
      • But here Paul calls them his “Agopetos” or “loved friend”
      • It’s where we get the word AGAPE (love)
    • Paul saying “I love you as a my very own family”…
      • But also “I like you… like close friends that enjoy each other”
      • B/C there is this deep bond b/w Paul and the Philippians
      • Even though they are physically 1000 miles away
      • This bond is stronger than distance… (reminds me of us I pray)

    Phil 1:8 (Remember the beginning of letter Paul says)

    • If you remember… Affection is Splag-non in the Greek
      • Means intestines… Paul says “I love you with my splagnon”
      • I love you deep in my gut… I feel love for you

    Phil 4:1 (At the end of the letter Paul closes with…)

    • Paul is in this deep/authentic love relationship w/ this community
      • And I get that because it’s the same way I feel about you
        • I love you because you’re my family AND
        • I like you because you’re my friends
      • We get to grow in Jesus together
    • But the question is: Why does Paul feel this love for the Philippians
      • B/C he never talks this way to the other churches (Agapetos)
      • Only other church he uses this name for is Thessalonians
      • 14 letters and only 2 are called his Agapetos

    So why this distinction… well Paul goes on as he sets up the command

    Phil 2:12

    • So Paul switches metaphors from Brothers/Sisters to Parent/Child
      • Says when I was with you… u were young in ur faith – obeyed
      • NOW I’ve been gone … 1000 miles… ur grown up – still obeying
    • Which is what every parent dreams of for their child
      • They grow up 2 obey when ur no longer there to enforce rules

    Prov 22:6

    • Goal of parents is to set the trajectory for our kids
      • Here is the God of all creation
      • Here is why you should love/trust him
      • Here are the commands to obey for your own good
    • And you hope/pray on that day when you release that child
      • Boy – 18 / Girl – 40
      • Hope they stay on the road when u aren’t there to enforce it


    Now the Philippians are not like I was – Word for that “

    • Immaturity is when you don’t know how to handle freedom
      • Paul says “you guys are not like that”
      • When I was there you obeyed… Now I’m gone and u still obey!
        • And I love that about you… it makes me so proud
        • I’m like a father seeing his kids set up to succeed in life

    Then he goes on to say…

    Phil 2:13

    1st Paul says CONTINUE… or “don’t stop working out salvation”

    • B/C Paul knows we get worn down making the right decision
      • Doing the right thing… it goes against the grain
      • And it can be tiring to continually stand up for what’s right
    • Paul says to push through and don’t stand by idle
      • B/C being idle can be so dangerous
      • Why – because its hard to get back going again
      • Paul says to keep your momentum… focus… rhythm

    Then goes on… “to work out salvation with fear and trembling”

    • Remember – He just said “As you have always obeyed… continue”
      • And if you were there listening to this all read out loud
      • You would anticipate that follow up with “Continue to obey”
      • You’ve obeyed… now continue ur salvation w/ obedience
      • But Paul doesn’t say that – Mixes things up & replaces “Obey”
        • With phrase “work out salvation with fear & trembling”
        • Now whatever it means… it’s a substitute for “obey”
    • “WORK OUT” translated to go at it with energy/drive/intensity
      • Go after what… YOUR SALVATION (what does that mean)
        • And this makes a lot of Christians uncomfortable
        • B/C we think: Is Paul saying Salvation comes by works?!?!
      • Reason is b/c to many – Salvation is flat/one dimensional word
        • It means… getting out of hell and into heaven when u die
        • And there is truth in that…
        • But to Paul Salvation is a not a
          • It’s not just about you… its about all of creation
      • Not just future: Paul uses salvation past/present/future tense
        • Paul: You WERE SAVED (moment u passed to life)
        • Paul: You WILL BE SAVED (the day of the Lord – most used)
        • Paul: You ARE BEING SAVED (still a work in progress
          • Were saved/will be saved/being saved…
    • Like marriage I was married > Am married > will be married
      • There was a moment Oct. 1 2005 – I was married… I said “I DO”
        • And by the grace of God Michelle said the same thing
      • And I will spend rest of my life living up to that truth
        • But I’m already married… I’m not earning that
        • But I’m living up 2 that… every day an opportunity to grow
        • Sometimes with Fear & Trembling
          • Same way… you’re already saved
          • Now u have opportunity 2 live out what’s already true

    Then comes the last two words…with fear and trembling”

    • This is one of those lines (if anything like me) that you skip over
      • I don’t really want to know what that means
      • I just hope it doesn’t mean what it sounds like it means
    • But this idea is all over OT: Speaks of encountering God’s presence
      • Think of Isaiah getting a vision of God in the temple

    Is 6:5

    Rev 1:17 

    • Jesus puts hand on John’s shoulder – says do not be afraid (why)
      • Because John was scared to death…
      • And I really think we’ve lost something of “Fear & Trembling”
        • Over 100x in OT it talks about the “Fear of the Lord”
        • There are 36 commands to “Fear God”
    • And we feel like fear is a bad thing… but it isn’t always bad
      • The issue isn’t fear – Its that we fear the wrong things
      • We fear money… unemployment… sickness… death
      • God says “Fear me” and you’ll have nothing else to fear
    • And people try to explain “Fear God” away with reverence/respect
      • Funny though… it says FEAR
        • There are words in Heb/Gk that mean reverence/respect
        • That is not one of them
      • And don’t think of this idea of cowering in the corner scared
        • When I think of fear – Like being on edge of Grand Canyon
        • The majesty… intensity… consequence… overwhelming
        • Yet being there – No where else u rather be (amazing)
      • And that’s the creation… imagine standing b4 the creator
        • Its awe & inspired… yet with fear and trembling
        • Still have fear & love at same time… dad and the paddle

    So lets clarify something here – b/c this is a lot

    Paul says “ your salvation” not “ your salvation”

    • Not saying you earn ur salvation… Paul writes 2 Xians (holy people)
      • BUT he doesn’t say to WORK IT OUT…
      • And work means to: Labor – Carry out – Get to work
    • We live in a hyper sensitive time towards “Good works”
      • Backlash to the Catholic doctrines b4 the reformation
      • So there is mass paranoia over ideas of works v grace
      • Problem is – Biblical Fathers weren’t paranoid
    • Think of the famous verse on GRACE in Ephesians’’

    Eph 2:8-10

      • DO NOT disconnect the 2nd part of that paragraph from the 1st
        • Yes you are saved by grace…absolutely… not by works
        • BUT you are saved FOR good works
      • And the moment we believe the 1st w/o the 2nd
        • You are out of balance in your theology of salvation/grace
        • Because WORKS is what we are called to
    • Think of another time Jesus is talking to the Rick Young Ruler
      • Guy asks Jesus… what do I need to DO to be saved
      • What we think Jesus should say
        • Hey man… you don’t need to do anything
        • I’m about to go to the cross… you’ll have grace…
        • Is that what Jesus says??? First thing he says is…

    Luke 18:19

    Luke 18:21

    • No.. he says go sell all you have
      • I’d say this falls under working out salvation (just quoting Jesus)
        • To Jesus & all those he taught – Good works are…
        • We r created to DO GOOD WORKS (Why)… created by God
      • Moment ur saved by God – Become part of the mission of God
        • You are called… remember the job of a citizen of Philippi!!!
        • How are we doing that?
      • Yes you are saved BY grace – FOR good works
        • Yes ur adopted thru nothing on your own – and have job

    Lets go on… b/c now in the how of these “Works”

    Phil 2:13

    In you in the Greek is Enerjon (Where we get word… energy)

    • Paul believes there is a divine energy at work in you
      • Remember the start of the letter “He who began a good work”
      • Paul brings us back to creation – began… it is good… Holy Spirit
    • And all you have to do is plug in to that power source
      • And if this sounds super NEW AGE – Remember truth is twisted
      • And if you plug in… there is power 
    • What Paul is not saying in work out salvation w/ fear & trembling
      • Not saying… make it happen… suck it up… up to u… 
    • What Paul is saying… you are a tool in the hands of the creator
      • And there is a power deep inside of you
      • All you have to do… make sure you are connected
      • Then all you have to do is tap into that power 

    This is exactly what Paul is saying – The Holy Spirit lives inside of you

    • All you have to do is allow the Spirit to move in your life
      • He is the power source behind any success God calls you to
      • He is the Enerjon… the energy source – And you are not!!!
      • So stop trying to make it happen without the Spirit

    Phil. 2:13

    • This is a piece of theology that we do not talk about enough
      • It’s the idea of when u are saved… your will changes
      • It’s called regeneration
    • Says when saved… at that moment you are filled w/ Spirit of God
      • And you are regenerated – God puts a new heart into you
      • Ezekiel – Takes out heat of stone… in
      • And God regenerates your heart
    • Now ur DEEPEST desire is to obey… strongest desire might not be
      • Example: When you are dating…
        • With them and there is temptation
        • In that moment – Strongest desire is not for purity
        • But your deepest desire – It is for purity for ur relationship
        • That u trust in what God says is best… and walk that out
      • And the deepest desire comes from the Spirit (Ener – Jon)
        • At work in you to will and to act
        • That not only does God give you the power if saved to will
        • But he also gives you the power to (act) follow thru
          • Power that raised Jesus from the dead… it’s in YOU

    Wraps up with what Paul closes with

    In order to fulfill his good purposes

    • Can translate “In order to fill his good purpose/ur good pleasure
      • Lots of argument on how to translate that… so which is it
      • The answer is YES – Both/And – Why pick a side?!
    • Understand God’s good plan/Your good pleasure – 1 in the same
      • And God is after obedience b/c it is your good pleasure
      • God wants u 2 be joyful… b/c it’s what’s best 4 you/body/future
    • Gods commandments are not (like speed limits)
      • There is a job determining speed limits… 35 or 40???
      • God’s commands not like that at all… Sex b4 or after marriage
        • Think of how u think of speed limits… what’s the big deal
        • God’s commands are a big deal
        • Jesus said that “My teachings are the road to LIFE”
    • Obedience isn’t just a road… it’s a road to LIFE
      • Disobediences isn’t just a detour… that lead to disaster

    I love how Paul answers the WHY questions (never just says DO IT)

    • Paul lays out reasons… actually Paul gives us 4 reasons why
      • Why – Jesus obeyed… Jesus only asks what he will do
      • Why – Jesus is Yahweh… made the universe
      • Why – The Holy Spirit is at work inside of you – empowering
      • Why – God’s purpose = Your pleasure – One in the same
    • That is more than enough reason to obey


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