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August 8, 1999
INTRODUCTION: Mark Twain said, "few things are
harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good
Admiration for a great person can inspire us, but it cannot
enable us. Unless the person can enter into our own
lives and share his skills, we cannot attain to his heights
of accomplishments. It takes more than an example on
the outside; it takes power (energy) on the inside.
Paul has just presented Jesus Christ as our great
example. We read it, and we agree with it, but how do
we go about practicing it? The passage before us
displays the divine pattern for believers and the divine
power to accomplish what God has commanded. His
commands are our enablements. As we respond in
obedience to our Lord Jesus, He makes divine provisions
available to us.
GREAT TRUTH: It is not by initiation but by incarnation -
"Christ liveth in me."
Gal 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer
I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now
live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave Himself for me."
On the basis of these truths, Paul was telling the
believers to work out their salvation.
I. EXHORTATION CONCERNING SERVICE. 12a
"wherefore" -- because of this; Paul had urged the
Philippian believers to put "others" first and then he had
explained how Christ put others first, even to the extent
of emptying Himself of the glory He had with the Father
and dying on the cross. (5-8)
A. HIS COMPASSION.
"my beloved" -- Paul first came to Philippi on his second
missionary journey. A close bond of fellowship had
developed between Paul and the Philippians. The
preacher had grown to love the people. Term of
endearment and affection.
B. HIS CONCERN.
"obeyed" -- trust and obey are the two feet on which the
Christian successfully pursues his pilgrim way. The
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