Philippians 2:12-18 – An Appeal for Obedience

My teaching notes for Wednesday night, Oct. 20th. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the teaching. They are provided to help you follow the sermon as you listen each week. The church provides a live stream of the service each Wednesday at 6:30 on Facebook at Tabernacle Facebook Page. We also provide the services through YouTube later on Wednesday evening at TAB YouTube. You can also find our Worship Guides, Family Devotional Guides, Prayer Lists and other resources at our Church Website.

Philippians 2:12-18

[12] Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, [13] for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

[14] Do all things without grumbling or disputing, [15] that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, [16] holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. [17] Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. [18] Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me. (ESV)


  • Paul’s appeals to the church. 1:27-2:18
  • An appeal for unity, humility, and now obedience
  • THEREFORE in v. 12… points to the previous section. Have the mind of Christ (He is our example)
  • Obedience is the privilege we have as CHILDREN OF GOD
  • Obedience to the things of God is not an option
  • Obedience = Love.

The Priority of Obedience – v. 12a

Beloved, to the believers within the church.

  • Whether Paul was with them or not.  His desire was for them to HEAR, BELIEVE, and OBEY (DO) what God is asking of them
  • Obey the Word of the Lord

The Basis of Obedience – vv. 12-13

Work out your salvation

  • Cultivating that which we possess
  • Growing in our salvation. Our Sanctification.
    • Regeneration/Justification is the beginning
    • Sanctification continues
    • MOVING TOWARD MATURITY (not glorying in our past)

For it is God who works in us

  • God produces both the desire and the effect
    • His Will and His Work
  • God would never command of us something we could not do.
    • The Spirit of God
    • Word of God
    • People of God

For His good pleasure

  • His glory and our benefit

The Practice of Obedience – v.14

Do all things without complaining and disputing (ALL THINGS)

  • How we respond as we live our life (our reaction to circumstances)
  • How we respond to God
  • How we respond to others
  • When things are good and when things are bad
  • Our actions and words are a direct response to our understanding of who God is and who we are in relationship to who God is.
  • Our grumbling goes against His sovereignty!
    • He is either God or not.

The Fruit of Obedience – vv. 15-18

Standing blameless and innocent before God

  • Not perfect, but blameless.  NO GUILT
  • Without blemish

Shining like lights in a dark world

  • Used to make things evident
  • Used to guide

Holding fast the Word of life

  • Contrary to the crooked generation
  • An obedient/growing Christian is one that holds forth the Word of life.

Rejoicing in the life that we live

  • As servants and as missionaries
  • Our life impacting others for the KINGDOM

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