A Christian’s Job Description

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Philippians 2:12-18 Sermon

INTRODUCTION: Philippians 2:12-18

A. When we are given responsibility, most of us like to have a job description

1. We want to know exactly what we are expected to do

2. We want to know how we are to do it

B. There are many passages in the N. T. that be thought of as a “job description” for the Christian

1. Some verses are concerned with what we are to do

2. Other verses speak of the how

C. Philippians 2:12-18 is a “job description” focusing on our mind set – our attitude – as we endeavor to fulfill our responsibilities for the Lord

DISCUSSION

A. JOB REQUESTED

1. The Need To Obey

a. Philippians 2:12a, b

b. The phrase “so then” ties this verse with what preceded

1) Jesus was obedient (2:8)

2) “So then” we should be obedient

c. Paul made an amazing statement about these brethren: “ye have always obeyed” God’s instruction as I have revealed it

1) This was a group of people who were always ready and willing to obey

2) Wouldn’t it be great if this could be said of us?

d. Paul urged them to continue on this path even when he wasn’t present (“in my absence”)

1) He wanted them to behave as though he was still with them

2) When left alone, sometimes many play instead of work

3) This is true of many spiritually speaking

4) We must obey God because it is right – not just because someone is looking

2. The Need To Work

a. Philippians 2:12b

b. This phrase disturbs many of our denominational friends

1) Those who think that salvation is not of works

2) They try to explain away the passage

c. The New Testament says a great deal about Christians needing to work, e.g.

1) 1 Corinthians 15:58

2) Acts 2:40

d. Paul is not speaking of meritorious works – but works of obedience

1) Works of obedience are the practical side of faith

2) Faith can only be seen on our works

e. There is a job to be done, but what are the…

B. JOB REQUIREMENTS

1. Work Reverently

a. Philippians 2:12

b. “Fear” comes from fobos? from which we get our English word “phobia”

c. fobos can also be translated as “respectful behavior”

d. This attitude should not drive us away from God – but to Him

1) We must work for God with serious caution

2) Desiring never to offend God

2. Work Confidently

a. Some may be saying, “Working for God sounds hard. I’m not sure I can do it”

b. But we are not alone _ Philippians 2:13

c. “Worketh” comes energein from which we get our English word “energy” and “energize”

1) God energizes us – miraculously? NO!

2) This may occur through:

a) Reading the Scripture

b) A timely sermon

c) Encouragement of a friend

d. God works in us “for his good pleasure”

1) It pleases Him when we obey

2) He takes no pleasure in disobedience

e. Verse 12 says we are to “work out”, and verse 13 says that God is “at work”

1) God’s part and man’s part

2) We can work with confidence knowing that God is working in us

3. Work Willingly

a. Philippians 2:14

b. Many today want to argue with God about the unfairness of life or what He requires of them

c. “Do all things” with out complaining

4. Work Inoffensively

a. Philippians 2:15

b. Our character can sometimes mar the efforts we put forth for Christ, thus Paul says we need to be:

1) “Blameless” – NOT sinless, but to live a life at which no finger of criticism may be pointed

2) “Harmless” – Innocent (RSV, NAS), the Greek word literally means to be “unmixed” – we are to be unmixed with evil

3) We must be good on the outside (“blameless”) and good on the inside (“harmless”-innocent)

4) The words “blameless” and “harmless” are summarized in the phrase “without blemish” (without rebuke – KJV, above reproach – NAS)

a) We must do nothing that will hold the religion of Christ up to ridicule by the world

b) It makes a big difference what the world thinks us for “light in the world”

c) If we are without blemish or above reproach we will shine brightly as Christians

d) Light is not needed in the sunlight, light is needed in the darkness.

e) The world is in darkness and we need to be shining our light brightly among them

5. Work Steadfastly

a. Philippians 2:16b. We must hold securely the light so that others can see and follow it

1) The psalmist said that God’s word was a lamp to his path (Psa. 119:105)

2) How do we “hold for the word of life”? _ Matthew 5:14-16

c. Paul gives the incentive for being steadfast – “that I may have whereof to glory in the day of Christ, that I did not run in vain neither labor in vain”

1) We must be ready for the second coming of Christ

2) In the case of the Philippians Christians, Paul was hoping that his labor with them would not be in vain

6. Work Cheerfully

a. Philippians 2:17-18

b. Paul he was, and we should be, cheerful whatever the circumstance – which includes our work.

1) Are we working cheerfully for the Lord

2) Or, do we consider our work for the drudgery?

c. Psalm 118:24

d. It is true that we will have our sad moments, but our basic disposition should be one of happiness

CONCLUSION

A. God has given us the Christian’s job description

B. How does He want us to accomplish this work?

1. Reverently

2. Confidently

3. Willingly

4. Inoffensively

5. Steadfastly

6. Cheerfully

C. Work like that will enrich our lives and will glorify our Father

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