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Philippians, Chapter Two, Lesson Three

THE JOY OF OBEDIENCE           Page 2
V.12
(Cont'd.)

** Why does Paul begin this passage with the phrase "so then"?

He is looking back to the godly example we saw last week in Jesus Christ as He displayed true Biblical humility through obedience to the word of God in verses 5-8, and the joy that humility creates as we see His obedience bring glory to God (vv.9-11).

** Here in verse 12, what rather startling appraisal of their Christian lifestyle does Paul make?

"just as you have always obeyed" cf. Philippians 1:5-7

** Is he saying that they were perfect in their walk with Jesus Christ?

No - That would be impossible, he is referring to a visible or observable pattern that displays the stability of their Christian walk. cf.1John 3:9-10

** Does Paul want the Philippians' obedience to be in his presence only, so that he would be impressed?

No! In fact it should increase in his absence!

** Before we continue discussing "The Joy of Obedience" which was found by the Philippian believers, let's consider this question. Is it possible to offer the Lord a false obedience?

Absolutely!
cf. Psalm 66:1-4 God's enemies, Psalm 81:11-15 Israel and Acts 5:1-11 even in the church!

** What key motivator does Paul give to the Philippians for them to work out their salvation and avoid a false obedience?

"with fear and trembling" This term combines both the abject humility of the Christian and their utmost reverence towards God. When we obey the Lord from these two perspectives, we are offering to Him a genuine obedience.

** The verb "work out", katergazomai in the Greek, is in the present tense and literally means "to continually be working to bring something to fulfillment or completion". Is Paul talking about the Philippians earning their salvation?

No - he is merely instructing them to live it out diligently before a holy God. He did not tell them to work "for" their salvation!

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