Philippians 2:11-15
Phil 2:11 (KJB)
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Should Confess - Outward verbal confession
Here the Apostle Paul reveals what is going to be the destiny of every human being. All beings on this earth are going to confess that Jesus is the Lord. The word “should confess” is the word for an outward verbal expression. This means that everyone is going to express verbally the fact that Jesus is Lord. This outward expression would bring glory and honor to God. In the early church, the term “Lord” was characteristic of the verbal confession. It is also interesting to note that the word “tongue” is used here. It is the same word used for the physical tongue and legitimate languages. It is definitely safe to say that all the tongues of the world will be verbally confessing Jesus as Lord. I do not know if it will be in their native tongues but definitely it will be a language, whether heavenly or earthly.
Phil 2:12 (KJB)
Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Work out - Accomplish, achieve or bring about
Here is a very misunderstood verse. Many have tried to use this verse as a proof text to show that one must work for their salvation. The Apostle Paul is stating here that even though he is absent or present, the Philippians could not count on him because of his situation, for the purpose of being faithful to God. It is like today that each individual Christian is responsible before God to be faithful and cannot count on another Christian or their church to make them faithful. God has given every Christian spiritual gifts for the purpose of fulfilling the ministry God has already prepared for them. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We are to engage in these good works because as we do, we are working out our salvation. True good works comes after salvation and not before. (Prov 21:27 KJV) The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? Proverbs 21:27 describes how God views the attempted good works of an unbeliever. True Christianity is not a spectator sport and we all must be involved to fulfill the requirements of the Great Commission. The Lord Jesus Christ is the great example of how committed we are to ministry in the Kingdom of God. Whatever ministry God gives us, we are to make the best to accomplish what we can and to train the next generation to continue on.
Phil 2:13 (KJB)
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
This verse is a great comfort because it shows us that any ministry we do, God is the one who is empowering us to do it. God gives us the will to please Him and the ability to do it. Whenever we become involved in the ministry, it pleases God. Now I want to say something about ministry. When I say ministry, I am not necessarily speaking of being in a full time ministry. Every Christian is already in a full time ministry. There is never a time we relinquish our spiritual nature, whether on the job or not. Remember, if you hold down a job, then you are God’s ambassador to that work place. The word “worketh” is in the present tense which means God is constantly working in us so that we may work the works of the Lord. Even in times of chastening, He is still working in us.
Phil 2:14 (KJB)
Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
Murmurings - Grumbling or complaining
Disputings - Thoughts, inward reasoning, or questioning
One of the characteristics of Israel in the wilderness was their constant murmuring. (Exo 16:7 KJV) And in the morning, then ye shall see the glory of the LORD; for that he heareth your murmurings against the LORD: and what are we, that ye murmur against us? Since it is God that is working in us, we to do all things without murmuring and disputings. The word “disputings” carries with it the idea of “inward reasoning” which means when I am given a task, I think to my self is this necessary or do I really need to do it. It is reasoning of a negative type and leads to outward murmuring. Our actions are products of our thoughts and when we begin to question, we begin to introduce doubts and those doubts will manifest themselves until an entire project or a person’s life is in total disarray. A person who constantly questions their boss on the job will bring disharmony to the company and it will eventually lead to termination. A Christian is to take things on faith believing God has everything under control and that will displace any murmurings. Disbelief engenders murmuring.
Phil 2:15 (KJB)
That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
Blameless - Faultless
Harmless - Unadulterated, pure, or innocent
Without rebuke - Without blame or fault
Crooked - Full of obstacles, disorganized, or corrupt
Perverse - Turned away, opposed, or corrupt
Nation - Generation
Here are the reasons that we are not to murmur or dispute and it can all be summarized in one word “testimony.” Christians are to live in this world blameless and innocent, that is, they are not to be getting into trouble with the world system. Christians need to realize that God brings us through certain processes in life and we are not to question them in the manner of rebuking God’s ways. We are to be without rebuke, that is, blameless in matters pertaining to God’s will for our life. We live in the middle of a corrupt society and Christians are to shine as lights in this world of darkness. What kind of testimony can we exude if we are always complaining and acting like the world. The world would see no difference in us. The Lord Jesus Christ went to the cross and did not complain knowing it was God’s will for Him. We are to follow His example to do the will of God in our life without adopting the ways of the world. Notice the verse very specifically calls us “sons of God.” If we act like the world, then our actions will bring shame upon the name of the Lord and give the unbelievers another chance to blaspheme God’s name and salvation. If we are saved, then we must exude actions which represent salvation and not be as the world. If we are to shine as lights, then we must let our light shine by being different than the world. (1 John 1:5 KJV) This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
We need to shed as much darkness as we can so the world sees us as lights.