Today, my focus is on two interesting, insightful, and forceful verses located in Philippians 2:12&13, “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.””
“Therefore” connects the reader to what Paul the Apostle is going to say to what he just said. So, let’s take a look at what he just said. In verse 5, Paul states for each of us to “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus” and follows that in verses 6-8 by telling us what Jesus’ mindset is. “6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
- Being equal to God, Jesus “made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
- Furthermore, “being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!”
This is the amazing story of the gospel. Jesus humbled Himself before God and as sinless man died for us on the cross.
In verses 9-11, we read God the Father’s proudful reaction to the graceful and merciful obedience of His Son, “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
God the Father placed in Jesus the desperate need for man to be saved. There was only one harsh, lonely, ultra-painful path…the trail that led to the cross. Jesus worked out what God had worked in by His humbled obedience. The result was His “salvation”, His eternal purpose fulfilled, and the adoration of His Father…” God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name.”
Notice in verse 12, Paul stated “as you have always obeyed.” He gives us the very path that Jesus took to work out what God had worked in, “obedience”.
God’s love language is O-B-E-D-I-E-N-C-E. Sometimes this path is harsh, always humbling, most assuredly unpopular in the eyes of the world, even physically painful; however, if you are willing to walk that trail, God will lift you up! So, “deny yourself, take up your cross daily, and follow Him” (Luke 9:23)…fulfillment, purpose, and eternal joy will be the end result.
God works it in, you work it out!