The Main Point: Believers must strive to work out their salvation because the same God who worked in Christ Jesus is working in them! The specific application to the Philippians is to take on the mindset of Christ in pouring themselves out for others knowing that God was working in it to bring them to final glory. This is the obedience—Phil. 2:8. The trouble was that they were seeking their own interest to the exclusion of others. This was not in concert with them being citizens fitting to the gospel they proclaimed. They should be obeying reverently, fearfully, quakingly knowing that they are citizens of heaven whom God pleases to dwell in work in cooperate with for His pleasure and glory.
Here are some illustrations of God's Soveriegnty working with man's responsibility in scripture:
God told Adam & Eve to have dominion over all the earth, to be fruitful and multiply, to name all of the animals, and to tend the garden, but they wouldn’t be able to do these things unless, God subjected the earth to him, gave them children, gave them wisdom, and gave them increase in their garden.
--why didn’t God just run the earth, name the animals, make the garden maintenance free, and create a world full of people?
God told Noah to build a gigantic boat and put all the animals on it, but God would have had to send him all of the animals.
--why didn’t God just supernaturally protect the animals w/out Noah?
God told Abraham to have a child with Sarah, but unless God worked a special miracle that would never happen.
--why didn’t God just send a baby down or give them a child naturally when they were younger.
God told Moses to stretch his rod over the red sea to part it, to hit the rock, to raise the serpent, to talk to the rock etc.
--why didn’t he just part the sea, make water flow automatically, make a serpent in the sky?
God told the children of Israel to take the promised land, but they weren’t strong enough to do it. So God gave them miraculous victories as they fought.
--why didn’t God just drive the wicked people out w/out Israel?
= God did all of these things because He delights in working out His soveriegn will by granting faith and ability to people who will then respond and accomplish His desires!
- God wants you to evangelize your friends and yet they won’t believe unless God opens their hearts:
Romans 10:14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?NIV
Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.NIV
- God wants you to grow spiritually.
1 Peter 2:2 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,NIV
2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.NIV
2 Peter 1:4-10 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 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, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,NIV
- God wants you to serve in the church.
Galatians 5:13 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. NASB95
Romans 12:6 Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; NASB95
- God’s wants you to be pure and unspotted with sin.
Colossians 3:5-11 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. NASB95
Jude 24-25 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.NASB95