Spiritual Growth series, Philippians 2:12-18
Luis Cruz, GCF Durham
Spiritual growth springs forth from your relationship with Jesus. As we continue to follow Him and obey Him, we grow to become like Him. However, some may grow slower than others, others may grow quicker than others. And if Christ is truly in you, then He is at work to help you become like Him each day. But growth is not entirely the work of Jesus. He gave us the responsibility to desire growth. For sure, His life and ministry encourage us to be like Him, but the desire must come from us. Desire motivates us to act, to persevere, and to develop Christ-like character in us. That’s the essence of growth! And we begin by…
1. Working out your salvation.
Philippians 2:12-13, “12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
It is a lifelong process of vigorous pursuit (“fear and trembling”) of obedience to Jesus.
The goal is to allow external expressions of God’s salvation.
It cannot refer to salvation by works.
“8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Philippians 2:8-10
We have been saved to do the work He planned long ago.
We are being recreated to become God’s masterpieces.
We are being transformed every day to better reflect Jesus’ image in us.
So, how do we work out our salvation? We start by…
2. Embracing Biblical Perspectives.
“14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Phil. 2:14-16
Biblical perspective means to know the “whys”.
Grumbling and argument destroys peace.
They mock the image of God in us. God is the God of peace (see 1Cor. 14:33).
Because as we actively obey, we are living out our identity as God’s children.
Because we’ve been called to turn away from our old life and saved to reflect the image of Jesus in us.
This is a daily struggle for growing Christians.
The next step in working out our salvation is by…
3. Living out your biblical conviction.
“Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky 16 as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain.” Philippians 2:15b-16.
Embracing biblical perspective leads us to having spiritual convictions.
It is a firm, unmovable, belief which produces a lifestyle that is based in His Word.
It motivates us to produce the fruit of salvation in us.
As we labor in our growth, we are confident in the day of the Lord, where He will judge all things according to His word.
Take the time to honestly assess yourself.
Do I have the desire to grow?
Am I building biblical perspectives through the intentional study of the Word of God? Have I asked the “whys” enough?
Am I living out my convictions at home, work and church?