14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing; 15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world
So last week we discussed how working out our own salvation has everything to do with humbleobedience to God.
Paul’s example of HOW they can work out their own salvation is: by doing all things without grumbling or disputing.
14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing;
Complaining indicates a problem in the vertical relationship between us and God.
In Exodus 16:2-3 Israel complained.
Exodus 16:4 tells us that God provided the manna as a test.
So we see that complaints and grumbling indicate a lack of trust.
We also see that complaints and grumbling can bring about tests of obedience.
Tests are to show US whether we will obey Him or not.
God, through Paul, wants to let the Philippians know, to let the Philippians grow!
Paul wants them to have Godly sorrow over their shortcomings and repent.
Disputing is the working out of this problem between us and God into problems with us and others.
Disputing disrupts unity; one of the themes of the book of Philippians.
15 so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent,
A big part of this more intimate relationship is by trusting God more. And this will be evidenced in our lives by not grumbling or disputing.
children of God
Being God’s child has everything to do with trusting Him in humbleobedience.
If God is really our God, then we must trust Him as His children
above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation,
This phrase, “a crooked and perverse generation” is not here by accident.
Our amazinggrouse can hide His amazinggrace, if we’re not careful.
among whom you appear as lights in the world,
The world has no other source of spirituallight than God.
We are lights in the world to the extent that we truly represent God’s character
9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
For this reason also,
That symbol that meant slavery, God has changed to mean freedom. That meant torture, God changed to comforted. That meant death, God has changed to mean eternal life. That exhibition of death God changed to draw men to Jesus.
God highly exalted Him
This Greek word hyperypsosen means to elevate above and beyond others,
This glory is an affirmation of what Jesus has done
at the name of Jesus every knee will bow
In more ancient days it meant one thing: Humility
Bowing the knee means willing service. Acts 9:5-6: “Who are you, LORD?” and, “What do you want me to do?“
Bowing the knee means obedience. Jesus said in Luke 6:46: “Why call me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?“
of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth
Every knee will bow. Those who have responded to the gospel gladly, with great joy. Those who have hardened their hearts will bow the knee with great fear and trembling.
Even in the Old Testament, this phrase “every knee will bow, every tongue confess” is connected with salvation—fulfilled in the Person and Work of Jesus.
and that every tongue will confess
Our confession as believers is that Jesus is Lord.
Our belief is in the resurrection
Jesus Christ is Lord
Our confession that Jesus Christ is Lord is by the Holy Spirit.
glory of God the Father
So what is the result of all of this? God the Father is glorified.
Philippians 2:7-8 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
Jesus was in Glory with the Father before creation.
Jesus as our ultimate example of Christian behavior, of humble self-sacrificing service to one another.
Act as citizens of Heaven by, not just emulating Christ’s example, but conforming ourselves to His example.
But emptied Himself
Jesus emptied Himself, made Himself less in order to serve.
How can I empty myself to serve?
taking the form of a bond-servant
But the word here is bond-servant, or really slave.
It’s a service personally chosen, and a service that lasts forever.
Made in the likeness of men
One of the best places to find this is in Isaiah 53.
Jesus was subject to getting cold, hot, tired, and sad, just like we are.
Jesus was born into, a poor working-class family
Jesus looked like any of the other boys from Nazareth.
God didn’t give Him a special Charisma
He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
His life was filled with sorrows.
Jesus knew about grief, and the death of relatives like Elizabeth and probably Joseph.
He humbled Himself
Jesus had the glory. It was His choice to set it aside.
Jesus chose to obey His Heavenly Father
obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
It was Jesus’ obedience to God’s plan, His love for God, and His love for us that kept Him on that cross, not the nails.
So what does He ask of us?
That we also be suffering servants.
That we also humble ourselves.
That we conform ourselves to the example of Jesus.