Discovering Joy Despite My Circumstances
Part 5: Choosing Joy from Responsibility
Sunday, June 4, 2017

What is discipline?

Is it important?

Are there any benefits?

Paul tells us to “work out” our salvation with fear and trembling; what does that mean in terms of joy?

Philippians 2:12-16
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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labour in vain.

“Therefore”: Paul moves from doctrine (Philippians 2:1-11) to practice (Philippians 2:12-16).

Three Areas of Responsibility

First:  I will do my part

  • “Work out your salvation” (v.12): working something through to its full completion
  • Working out what God has already worked in Illustration. Second Peter reminds us that we have been given “all things that pertain to life and godliness.” (1:3)
  • God added to our stockpile of resources the “exceedingly great and precious promises.” (v.4)
  • Peter does not encourage a passive attitude towards faith; he encourages: “For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love.” (5-7)
  • “Fear and trembling”: proper sense of respect and responsibility.
  • Paul is reminding us in his letter to realize that God has given us great resources and we are to go out and reach our full potential in Christ Jesus.

Second: I will depend on God 

  • All we can do is to respond to what He has done.
  • We work in co-operation with God to see the potential in our lives.

Third:  I will be different from the world by:

  1. Joyful living in an unhappy world
  • “Do everything without grumbling or arguing.” (v. 14)
  • Grumbling or complaining is an outward activity that grows out of the inward spirit of disputing or questioning
  1. Straight living in a crooked world
  • “Blameless and pure,” not diluted with evil (v. 15)
  • Conduct was to be lived out before a “warped and crooked” world.
  • “Crooked”: Greek is skolias; from this we get “scoliosis” which is the curvature of the spine, so Paul is speaking of a permanent disfigured condition.
  1. Radiant living in a dark world
  • We are to just exist but to shine as a light that offers hope of God’s word (v.16)

Ephesians 5:8
“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Walk as children of light.” 

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