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Make a Decision

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(Php 2:12) 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.

The “wherefore” of verse 12 means “so then” . Because of these truths so now you take steps to be the same kind of person. So then work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

 Decisions are a foundational principle of Godliness. God makes decisions and if we are going to be a godly people then we have to make decisions. God the Father makes decisions, Jesus the Son makes decisions, and He tells His people to make decisions.

 Decisions are necessary to working out of the will and power of God in our lives. God rules by decisions: He chose what to speak, He chose when to speak, He chose by whom to speak, and He chose the way to speak. He made a decision to send His Word to us, and then, He made a decision to perform His Word in those who would believe and act on what He said. God speaks His Word, we believe His Word and then, we by a decision, act on His Word. This is the definition of Faith and the only way God enables men to walk with Him. His Word requires a decision on our part. The just shall live by faith.

 It is the Grace of God that enables us to make decisions.

(Php 2:12) 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.

(Php 2:13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

 Verse 12 tells us to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling meaning this needs to be a priority in our life. Paul is saying this is not optional, do not be casual about this, make the working out of your salvation the one thing you will not overlook. Do not fail of the grace of God, do not let this slip.

He is not saying salvation is by works. But He is holding forth Jesus as our example, He is pointing us to Jesus Christ, who, even though God, emptied Himself and became obedient even to death on the Cross. What was the nature of this humility, how far would this “humility” go, was it for real? When put to the test would it stand?

The Scripture makes this point that the humility of Jesus, our Lord, and our Example, led the way in His obedience to the will of His Father, even though it meant the death of the Cross.
More than rejection, more than verbal insults, more than economic loss, even more than physical pain, the humility of Jesus Christ led Him to a place of slaughter! It is the Scripture that makes this point-so what are we to understand from this?

Paul is saying “Listen you have a life to live, it is be lived with Jesus Christ as the example. No longer are you to live for yourselves but Christ must be your example. He did not live for Himself but He made a decision to live according to God’s redemptive purposes for mankind. God has a will and an eternal purpose, in Christ Jesus, for each of us. His stated will prior to Creation is that we be conformed to Christ and that we be holy, and without blame before Him in love.

Verse 13 Work out=accomplish, finish, fashion, to work fully. Work out your salvation –completely bring your life into agreement with Jesus Christ, with the way He thought, with the kinds of decisions He made, and with the way He actually lived while on Earth. Paul is saying, you see how Jesus lived, you see the nature of His humility, so now you take this body of knowledge and you work it out in your life. You do what ever you need to do, you make whatever changes you need to make but you work it out because it is God that is working in you.

 The Power of God is in the Decision

(Php 2:13) For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

 To will=a studied intent to fulfill a planned purpose. We are to consider what Paul is saying about Christ and we are to make a decision about how we are going to change our life so that we may be like Christ. We evaluate our life and we identify the changes that need to be made.

To do=this is the energy to take action on planned changes. God makes our action efficient, effective, and mighty. God is working in us to give us the ability to make a decision and then do it!

The grace of God works through our decision making process. This is not living by human strength or human effort. This is not a works theology. The grace of God is the rule of the Holy Spirit. It is God (the Holy Spirit) that is working in every born-again Christian to make decisions that will enable the will of God to be worked into our lives.

Every Christian needs to make the decision to believe the Word of God. Believe it, and to act on it Just as it is written, regardless of the cost.

 One would think that every Christian automatically lives by the Word of God but this is not true. It is not that they do not want to live by the Word of God but that they have never learned to live by the Word of God. They don’t know how to live by the Word of God because they have never made a formal decision to live by what the Bible says and consequently have never learned to plant their very existence in what God says. The Word has never become the fabric of who they are.

 If we are going to allow God to work His will in us and direct our lives according to His eternal purposes for us then we have to plant our lives in the Person of Jesus Christ by planting ourselves in His Word! Stop negotiating, stop doubting, stop turning, stop ignoring/denying what God says. Come to grips with His Word and make a decision on how you are going to make the Word of God the very foundation of your thinking, your attitudes, your personality, your ambitions, your priorities, your desires, and your dreams.

 Make a decision on how you are going to use the Word to take every thoughts captive and make it obedient to Christ. When we say were going to conform ourselves to Christ that can be grey, or a fuzzy decision because it is open to interpretation, it can mean anything. But if we say we are going to conform ourselves to Christ based on what the Scriptures say then we have an objective standard, a written set of guidelines that will not change and that will lead us in a good way. God will be working in us through His Word and through His Spirit.

The way of Christ is not Heavy. It is not a way of living that that will harm us, or be to difficult to bear. Just the opposite is true. To conform ourselves to Christ is to find rest. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. He says to yoke ourselves to Him and to learn from Him. This is a decision we make!!
(Mat 11:28) Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
(Mat 11:29) Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
(Mat 11:30) For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Php 2:8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to his death on the cross.

The humility of Jesus. Our humility, to be meaningful, must be from the heart and born of redemption. It is the redemptive work of Christ that causes us to give ourselves to the will of God. God is saving you and He is working through you to further His redemptive purposes in Christ Jesus. Our humility must be submitting to the will and purposes of God.

It is important that we understand humility, specifically the humility of Jesus. Jesus was not just being a good or a religious person. Humility is usually thought of in terms of ones piety or the devotion to religion. But the humility of Christ was for a different reason. His humility enabled the redemptive purpose of God to be fulfilled in Him, and through Him. His humility was not merely to be a good person, His humility was to give His life so that others might live. His humility found expression in obedience to the will of His Father, even though it meant suffering, not for His own sins, but for the sins of others.

To be humble just to be a good person has no real meaning. To pursue humility just to be humble is pointless. We pursue humility for in humility we find obedience to the will of God, even if it means suffering for the cause of Christ.

The humility of Christ was about the redemptive purpose of the Cross. His humility was about death, He understood this, and willingly gave Himself to the will of His Father. Heb. 10:7,9 I have come to do thy will O God.

Does our humility lead us in working out the will of God in our lives. Is our humility real, are we humble because that’s the way we’re supposed to be or does our humility lead the way in obedience to the will of the Father. To be conformed to Christ means that our humility must reflect Christ. It must have a purpose larger than ourselves. Our humility is born out of love for God and must have Christ as its focus and be willing, whatever the cost, to obey the will of God.

Are we giving ourselves to the redemptive purposes of God. Are we willing to put on Christ by making His will more important than our will.

But Made Himself Nothing

Php 2:8 He was humble and walked the path of obedience all the way to his death on the cross.
Php 2:8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross
Php 2:8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Phil 2:9 In human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminals death on the cross.
Phil 2:9 And being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.

The message is that we as followers of Christ are to humble ourselves by being obedient to the redemptive purposes of Christ in us and through us.

Paul says, so now, in view of Christ’s humility work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

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Thank you,

Jim