Sermon outline Phil 2 12-18

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Phil 2:12-18

Prior Context:  encouragement and exhortation to grow into worthy citizens of the Gospel kingdom looking to the example of Christ.

Immediate Context: Christ provided Christians with the perfect example of sacrificial humility and obedience to the will of God.

12 Therefore my beloved,              {dearly loved, prized, valued; special relationship}

            as you have always obeyed, so now      {to follow instructions; to grant a request}

                        not only as in my presence but much more in my absence

     work out your own salvation  {achieve, accomplish, do; bring about; prepare                someone; overpower, subdue conquer} {deliverance, preservation; salvation}

                        with fear and trembling {fear, alarm, fright; reverence, respect} {trembling, quivering}

13 for it is God who works in you   {work, be active, operate, be effective; work, produce, effect}


                        to will

                       and                   .

                        to work

     for His good pleasure    {good will; favor, good pleasure; wish, desire}

14 Do all things

            Without grumbling or questioning   {behind the scenes talk; complaining} {reasoning; opinion; argument, dispute; doubt}

15  that you may be children of God 

                                    blameless and innocent

                                    without blemish

                        in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation

                        among whom you shine    {produce light, shine; be visible, appear; be recognized, be apparent, be revealed; to make an impression on the mind}

                                    as lights in the world   {star; splendor, radiance}

16 holding fast to the word of life

            So that in the day of Christ

                        I may be proud

                        That I did not run or labor in vain

17 Even if I am poured out

            Like a drink offering

             Upon the sacrificial offering of your faith

     I am glad and rejoice   {be glad, cheerful; happy greeting} {experience joy in conjunction with someone else; congratulate}

            With you all

18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

M.O.T.: Christian Life

C.I.T.: Paul reminded them that the example of Christ should motivate them to pursue the Christian life through obedience in the midst of sacrifice.

 Thesis: The example of Christ and His willingness to sacrifice should motivate us to pursue obedience in our Christian lives.

Proposition: I want my hearers to consider the example of Christ and the seriousness of their common pursuit of the Christian life.

Probing Question: “How are Christians to model obedience in their pursuit of the Christian life?”

Unifying Word: directives

Title: “Obedience: It’s a Light in the Dark”



I. Rely on the Power of God to Live Obediently in Your Relations with God (vss. 12-13)

II. Resist Complaining in Your Relations with Each Other (vs. 14)

III. Resolve to Show Integrity in Your Relations with the World (vss. 15-16)

IV. Rejoice When Offering Your Sacrifices in Your Relations with God (vss. 17-18)







For the past several weeks I have been reading on the Herald Leader website about the ongoing tragedy that has been occurring in our communities of Lexington and Winchester.  Do you know what tragedy I am referring too? Does anyone wish to make a guess. >>>>>>>>>> The Herald Leaders publishes and average of 71 obituaries each week in for residents of Lexington and Winchester.  Now you might be saying that death is a sad event, that it happens to us all, you might be wondering how the death of 71 people a week is a tragedy among such a large population.  Well I am going to tell you.  Last summer for a church growth class I had at seminary I was required to develop a church growth plan for Cornerstone Baptist Church.  As part of my research I gathered demographic data on our community.   Statistically, in our communities of Winchester and Lexington 29% of the population have no faith tradition at all and 31% have a non Christian or unbiblical faith tradition.  By unbiblical I mean they are not trusting in Christ and Christ alone for salvation through faith.  This means that last week in Lexington and Winchester the odds are statistically, that 60% or 43 of the 71 people who died, died without having a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  Now some might say that 43 lost people dying in their sins without Christ is sad but not a tragedy.  Well how about two thousand two hundred and thirty six people dying and going to hell?  Because at an average of 71 people a week, that is how many have died without Christ in the past year alone in Lexington and Winchester, 2,236.  2,236 people in the last year dead without having a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  Now for those of you who still might not think that that many lost people dying without Christ here in our communities constitutes a tragedy.  Let me put it in perspective.  Since the founding of Cornerstone Baptist Church by the charter members listed out in the vestibule, more than 29,000 lost people in our community have died and gone to hell.  My brothers and sisters, if that is not a tragedy, I don’t know what is.

Brothers and sisters we live in a dark world filled with those who are hurting and in need and their greatest need is to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, to trust in Him and Him alone for their salvation.  Jesus command us who would be called His to be light in this darkness.  In  Matt. Chapter 28 verses 19 and 20 He gives us our marching orders.  We are to go into all the world, making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.  This means that we are to evangelize the lost.  We are to be a light through which God shines His love and brings the good news about Jesus into a dark and lost world.  We are then to teach our new brothers and sisters to observe all that our Lord Jesus commands.  And we are to do this trusting in His promise to be with us always even until the end of the age.  

This brings us to our text that we will be studying tonight. Turn in your Bibles with me to Philippians chapter 2 verse 12.  I will be reading verses 12 through 18.

Lights in the World

Christ is our example.  Summarize verses 1-11.  Christ is our perfect example We are commanded to have the mind Christ.  We are to do nothing out of conceit or rivalry. 

Obedience: it’s a light in the dark.

    Being afraid of the dark – tell story

We are lights in the world only to the degree that we are obedient to the commands of Christ.




I.                  Rely on the Power of God to Live Obediently in Your Relationship with God (vss. 12-13)


          Discuss works and salvation and explain this difficult passage.


          In Luke chapter 10 Jesus tells us who the was who truly loved his neighbor, it was not those who simply claimed verbally to love others, it was not the religious, not those who worship regularly at the temple, it was not the priest, it was not the Levite, it was the Samaritan, it was the man who ministered to the one in need out of what God had provided him. 

Be it little or much, make no mistake God not only expects, but He command us to minister to others using the resources, and by resources He means all of the resources if necessary with which He provides us.  I ask you my brothers and sisters, are you using what He has provided you sacrificially to evangelize and minister to others?

We should stand reminded that Jesus routinely taught in the synagogues and the temple.  But who was he teaching?  He was teaching the religious, the people who were getting it wrong.  We must be vigilant that we have not become like the scribes and Pharisees, that religion, that coming to this building one, or two , or three times per week has not replaced our desire to be obedient to our Lord.  Because brothers and sisters no where in this book does God teach us to build building, go inside, close the doors and feel good about ourselves. 

As brother Cameron told us this morning, we need to step up, get out of our comfort zone and be willing to be used by God.  Make no mistake, it is God who does the work, He just commands us to be obedient by stepping out in faith, by taking a risk, by surrendering our will to His.  Just as Christ humbled himself, humbled his will to that of the father, even until the point of death on a cross, we are to humble our will to that of our Lord.  We pray that the Lord’s will be done, well that means that we have to step up and get busy, because he accomplishes His will through our faithfulness and obedience to His commands.







II.               Resist Complaining in Your Relationships with Each Other (vs. 14)


It is unfortunate that we Baptist have a reputation for grumbling and complaining.  How many jokes are there about Baptist congregations arguing over the minutia associated with the buildings in which we meet.  Don’t get me wrong, I love being a Baptist and I think our form of church government is the only biblical form.  However, we need to remember that Christ is the head of this church.  No me and not you.  This links back to what we just discussed about obedience.  We are to see our Lord and masters will, not our own.  So often Baptists claim that God has brought His man to lead them, and then they constantly question the leadership he is providing.  We cannot have it both ways either we believe that god has ordained and called a man to be the pastor of a local congregation in which case we should submit to His leadership.  Or deep down, we really believe that it is not God but men who choose their pastor and they therefore have the right to question his leadership. 

Gossip, backbiting, slander, malicious talk have no place in the body of Christ.  If you are doing such things, STOP.  Repent and claim God’s forgiveness.  After all, we have all sinned, we have all fallen short of the Glory of God.  And as Jesus teaches us in John chapters 7 and 8, let the one who is without sin cast the first stone.  Brothers and sisters, rock chuckin’ has no place in the body of Christ.

When the world looks at the church and sees us fighting and arguing and questioning one another we are not being a light, we look like the world and therefore are adding to the darkness.  It is not having a fish symbol on the back of your car that shines light into the world, it is how we act in our relationships with God, each other and the world through which god shines his light into the world.  God’s Word is clear on how we are to treat each other.  We are to love one another, we are to treat each other with humility sacrificing our wills by counting others as more significant than ourselves.  Brothers and sisters if you are obediently counting others as more significant than yourself, then you will not backbite, gossip, judge, criticize, complain, hold grudges, get your feelings hurt or chuck rocks.


III.           Resolve to Show Integrity in Your Relations with the World (vss. 15-16)


If when we are in the world we look like the world and act like the world God is not shining His light into the world through us, we are adding to the darkness and we become stumbling blocks for the lost.


IV.           Rejoice When Offering Your Sacrifices in Your Relations with God (vss. 17-18)


Discuss Paul’s situation.  Prison for the sake of the Gospel, facing a death sentence and yet rejoicing.  Read chapter 1 verse 12-18. 


Obedience to the commands of Christ.  Sacrifice, getting out of our comfort zones, boldly seeking the lost wherever we can find them regardless of the cost is ground for rejoicing.  God promises us that when we do this He will give us peace, contentment and true joy that lasts.

Christian, you see, when you live your faith manifests itself in obedience to the commands of our Lord, you will become so focused on being in the center of His will and on the advance of the Gospel, that next to it, nothing else compares and then regardless of cost and circumstance, you can and will rejoice like Paul.


I. Rely on the Power of God to Live Obediently in Your Relations with God (vss. 12-13)

II. Resist Complaining in Your Relations with Each Other (vs. 14)

III. Resolve to Show Integrity in Your Relations with the World (vss. 15-16)

IV. Rejoice When Offering Your Sacrifices in Your Relations with God (vss. 17-18)






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