To the Philippians: Living your Salvation

Philippians

Sunday 10/04/20

Series: Do we REALLY believe?

MESSAGE: To the Philippians: Living your Salvation

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To the Philippians: Living your Salvation

Let’s turn again to Philippians where we left off last week. 

We came to Philippians in order to examine Paul’s words regarding salvation to these believers and see if you don’t recognize many of the things we’ve uncovered regarding Salvation, in our messages on ‘Salvation…a 30,000’ VIEW’. 

As we have covered quite a bit lately – Salvation is not about us – it is about God. Their corporate will, desire & pleasure… not simply our well being. 

Even for us… it is not just about being saved from an eternity of death & destruction… forever separated from God, but that the other side of the coin of salvation is what we were saved to – coming again to bear His likeness, His inner character. As this manifests it’s evidenced through a life of selfless love and devotion towards God and our siblings in Christ. 

All of this world’s itself our quite naturally within the greater context of relationship. 

We were not called to walk alone, or live a life FOR God, but rather WITH Him, in union with Him… Koinonia. 

To think God simply wants performance implies He’s satisfied to view our lives independent of Him from afar… I honestly don’t think any of us understand just how hostile to the Gospel of Jesus Christ that very notion is.  

We have been Saved TO a life lived in union with God – progressively free and freer from the shackles of self and Freed to live our lives for the benefit of God and others. 

This works towards Christ’s likeness being perfected in us again – NOT through self-effort as if we were doing something apart FROM God FOR Him, but rather allowing the Godhead to do Their work IN us for Their corporate pleasure and our eternal benefit. 

Once we’ve changed kingdoms and Lords…  we have and enjoy  fellowship with God beginning now and continuing on to perfection forever.

Have you arrived at Philippians yet? 

Now, we looked at the first chapter last week which covered these basic thoughts:

  • That we have received grace and peace from God.
  • We are PARTNERS in the gospel
  • That it was God Who has begun HIS GOOD WORK in us and that furthermore, it is God within us Who will carry that work on to perfection in us, as we place our trust in Him and His inner work.
  • That knowing God intimately, causes us to value what is truly valuable and live lives of increasing devotion towards Him.
  • This results in a fruitful life – filled with evidences of our right-standing with Him, which results in the praise and honor of God, through Jesus being formed in us!
  • That it has been granted to us, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him.

Now we pick up in chapter 2 of Paul’s letter to the Philippian believers.

Php. 2:1-30, 

“(1) If then there is any encouragement in Christ, if any consolation of love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,  (2)  fulfill my joy by thinking the same way, having the same love, sharing the same feelings, focusing on one goal.  

(3)  Do nothing out of rivalry or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves.  

(4)  Everyone should look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.  

(5)  Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus,  

Really we need no further proof than this of our call to become like our Lord in all things. Salvation is primarily about God being glorified in us – through us, by Christ being formed in us!

(6)  Who, being very nature God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His Own advantage.  (7)  Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,  (8)  He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death–even to death on a cross.  

We are called upon to enter into His death with Him and so raise with Him to a new way of life. That is what the communion reveals.

It is the truest expression of Koinonia that there is – which is why it is ONLY for believers.

Romans 6 says, “(8) Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,  (9)  knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.  (10)  For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.”

And 1Cor. 15:14-28 says,

“(14) And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.  (15)  Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise.  (16)  For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.  (17)  And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!  (18)  Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  (19)  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.  (20)  But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.  (21)  For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  (22)  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.  (23)  But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.  (24)  Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power.  (25)  For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.  (26)  The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.  (27)  For “HE HAS PUT ALL THINGS UNDER HIS FEET.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.  (28)  Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”

We can see that Christ rising from the grave AS A HUMAN BEING, made Him Lord of salvation for all who will believe. But, one thing which is often overlooked or just not realized by many Christians is all Christ gave up to reconcile us again to God. He became human. It isn’t that Christ became less than He was before the incarnation, if anything He became more. The passage we read in Philippians did not say, He took off His Godhead, but that He took ON flesh. It isn’t that He stopped being God, it is that as God, He also became fully human. The Creator became one of His Own creations. But it does not end there. Before Jesus became Human, there was perfect equality within the Godhead and none was subservient to the other – except in actions – that is They ALWAYS deferred to One another due to love and devotion, but not because it was incumbent upon Them to do so. However, NOW that Jesus has partaken of flesh and blood, He will forever be subservient to the Father. This is why He is and has been exalted to such a high position. Notice – Jesus was GIVEN a name which is above every name. He did not take one, nor create one for Himself, for as a man He could not. But the Father has so honored the Son as to anoint Him with the oil of gladness ABOVE His companions and given Him a name which is above EVERY name.

Zechariah hints at the eternal nature of Christ’s humanity in Zechariah 13:6-9, which is referring to the time when Jesus returns to earth to begin His millennial reign and 144,000 Jews believe on Him at once. The passage says, 

“(6) And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’  (7)  “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the LORD of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.  (8)  And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the LORD, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:  (9)  I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’ “  We know this passage is taking about the Lord because He said as much in Matt. 26:31.

Let’s continue in Philippians 2, starting now in verse 9

“(9)  For this reason God also highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name,  (10)  so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow–of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth–  (11)  and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  

(12)  So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence, but now even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.  (13)  For it is God Who is working in you, enabling you both to will and to act for His good purpose.  

(14)  Do everything without grumbling and arguing,  (15)  so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God who are faultless in a crooked and perverted generation, among whom you shine like stars in the world.  

(16)  Hold firmly the message of life. Then I can boast in the day of Christ that I didn’t run in vain or labor for nothing.”  

God Bless!

I hope this message will bless you richly…not because I taught it, but because it reveals Christ. He alone is our blessing and if in any way – whether big or small, 100% accurate or even just partially so – I have revealed our great God and Savior to you in a relationally knowable way, then this was time well spent on both our parts.

We at Living Grace Fellowship encourage you to place your trust in Jesus Christ, deliberately choosing Him and bowing the knee to Him as your Master and Lord, so as to come to realize Him as your Savior.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. The fact that you exist… that you are His creation, says you were in His heart, you are His delight!

If you do not know Him, please reach out to us. Give us a call at the number located on every page of this website or use our ‘Contact Us‘ page. We would be deeply honored, if you gave us the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will EVER be mentioned.

If you HAVE been spiritually fed by this ministry and WANT to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but please understand that all the outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.

Blessings!

Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it right...safety in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!

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