Year 3 Day 79
Read - Philippians 2
Message - Scott Woodburn
The Christian is to walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ. What does such a life look like? It is a life that seeks unity in the local fellowship (v1). A life of love (v2). A life that shuns rivalry and conceit (v3). A life of humility (v3b) and a life that looks to the interests of others (v4). Paul based this wisdom upon the person and work of Jesus. Christ has made God known and therefore we are to imitate what we see in Christ.
Remember Christ's nature - He was true God and true man without sin. Jesus was God in the flesh and yet He didn't count equality with God something to be grasped (v6). In other words Jesus was absolutely God but He did not demand His rights or privileges. He willingly lowered Himself to a humble estate. He endured the mocking and the shame. He didn't turn the nails into rubber or the cross into sponge. Jesus was God and yet suffered for our sake.
He made Himself nothing by His being born in the flesh and was obedient even to death on a cross (v8). Christ's name is above every name (v9) and when His precious name is uttered everyone should kneel before Him and confess Him as Lord to the glory of God (v10-11).
What does walking in a manner worthy of the Gospel look like? It is a life of humility and obedience. It is a life that looks to Christ and takes Him as our example. It is a life that attends to the things of God and responds to them in faith. Brothers and sisters, look to Jesus!
If you are aware of your own weakness and the Christian life seems incredibly hard, Paul offers wonderful encouragement. He states two realities. Firstly, the Philippians are already an obedient bunch (v12a). Secondly, the work of sanctification is not all about you. God works in you to both will and to work for His good pleasure (v13). He will certainly complete this work at the last day. Therefore the Philippians are to continue to work out their salvation in Godly fear (v12b). This isn't a call to saving themselves but an encouragement to keep on going even in Paul's absence. Our works are always mixed with weakness and imperfection but it pleases the Lord to receive them because we are in Jesus.
Therefore there is no room for grumbling or questioning (v14). The Philippians are like lights in crooked and dark world (v15). They are to hold fast to the Gospel so that they will stand before Christ on the final day (v16). Paul's life is coming to a close, he is being poured out like a drink offering - this image in the ancient world was symbolic of someone giving up their life. Regardless Paul rejoices and wants the Philippians to rejoice with him (v17-18).
Paul was unable to return to Philippi due to his chains but he didn't want the Philippians to stand alone. He hoped to send Timothy eventually but he would send Epaphroditus to Philippi immediately. Paul wanted to hear good news about the Philippians and he wanted to send them aid. The Philippians were to receive these men and honour them as servants of the Lord.
Brothers and sisters, we are called not to inactivity but growth. Christ is our example in obedience and humility. Look to Him and follow Him! Yet when you stumble and fall (and you surely will) remember that the Lord has started the work in you and He will surely finish it. Fear Him, honour Him and walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel.
Q76 Which is the ninth commandment? The ninth commandment is, Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.