Passage: Philippians 2:12-18

Speaker: Steve Hands

Series: Partnering Together For The Gospel

Work Out Your Salvation

            Recently my eight year old spent some time reading the newspaper. As she asked questions about shootings and court proceedings, I was reminded of how dark the world actually is. How can we proclaim in the midst of that: “this little light of mine; I’m going to let it shine!” We must live as heavenly citizens who bring the glory of heaven to every square inch of creation. Philippians calls the church to “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 1:15). Yet how do we keep our little light shining in the darkness of the world? We must work out our salvation in all things for joy in Christ. 

            First we must work out our salvation (Phil 1:12–13). The key to working out our salvation is simply taking the next step. No matter how many steps of obedience we may have taken, there is always a next step. But the beauty of the next step is that as we do so we find that “it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (1:13). But what types of steps of obedience should we take?

            We work out our salvation in all things(Phil 1:14–15). We are to do all things before God, so that we might be blameless and pure in all things and “shine as lights in the world” (Phil 1:15). The scope of our obedience should be reflected in all things, so that in a crooked and twisted generation we shine as lights in all things.

            Why? We work out our salvation in all things for joy in Christ(Phil 1:16–18). Joy in Christ is found not in the comfort of our situation but as we are poured out like a drink offering on the obedience of others’ faith. Paul finds great joy as the Philippians respond in obedience. Similarly he invites them to enter his joy. This joy is found in Christ for others.

            So what? Let us take the next step so that we might shine brightly as lights. We must work out our salvation in all things for joy in Christ. Our next step may not seem like much, but that step is our opportunity to encounter his transforming power at work through us.  So let us take that next step.

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