07 April, 2006

Group Bible Study - Phil 2:12-13 (and 1-18!)

Phil 2
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.

Dee Said:
I will be happy to comment on the verse you mentioned

Milly said...
I posted Philippians 2-18 because, It’s just that good!

I love how it tells us to look at each other’s needs and interests.

I get from reading 6 that we aren’t to be God like we are to be humbled and obedient.

In 12 it goes on to say that even when he wasn’t present we should still obey. I’ve discussed during a different discussion that in the Old Testament God was as someone said “an in your face presence” we have examples of Him speaking to the person directly. When Jesus came He spoke directly to them. We are now left like teens in the house alone without the parents to yell “knock it off or I’ll come down there!” How we behave will depend on how we are rewarded.

I volunteer in things that interest me, No I’m not saying that you should pick stuff you don’t like. I’m saying that I have had to do things I don’t like and Wednesday was an example. We called the mail room purgatory. The machine has a mind of its own and sometimes it just doesn’t like me. I was blessed with talking to someone I love so I ended up having fun.

Philippians tells me that I should have bounced in and worked happily. I was doing His work. Mailing CDs and Tapes for the Workshop is important and I should have realized even the icky work should be done with glee.

Love this,that at the time of Jesus every knee should bow :-}

Dee said:
God gives us salvation not for only our benefit but for the benefit of others. They can see how our salvation has changed our lives and thru living for God we gain happiness and can lead them to God. If we work things out and live as we should, our lives will be enriched and we can reach those who need to be led to God. We will not feel we have to make sacrifices but we will want to make the sacrifices we must make to live a Godly life.

God works through us when we are doing the work he wants us to do.

Andreia said:
The thing that has always struck me about this verse is the idea that our salvation is a work in progress. Not to underplay that our salvation was bought by the blood of Christ, but to emphasize that whereever we might be in the journey, it is part of a process. We are ever-evolving. The doubts, questions and fears are part of it and the manner in which we handle the doubts and fears is what is important. I used to think that if I was a Christian I should not feel these things. This verse suggests the opposite. Despite those things, we still should stand in awe of a God that gives us salvation.

Danny Kaye said:
I am convinced that this is one of the most difficult things to emotionally understand about our Christianity.

Scripture teaches that we need to have "peace that passes understanding" (Phil. 4:7) and that we are to "approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need" (Hebrews 4:16). It is therefore extremely hard to appreciate the concept of "working out our salvation with fear and trembling".

Our emotions tell our souls that we simply cannot live with fear and trembling and still be at peace and have confidence. My take is this; we are always free to go before God's great throne in prayer. If we have not pulled our faith from Jesus, we may be at peace. But if temptation is staring us in the face, and we are considering trading our salvation for sin's pleasure, then it is time to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. God's mercies are most beautiful. But His mercies are equaled by His wrath.

Hebrews 10:26-30 says:
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, [27] but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. [28] Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. [29] How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? [30] For we know him who said, "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," and again, "The Lord will judge his people."

The above passage tells us that if we who had the knowledge of the grace and forgiveness of God that came through Jesus turn around and blatantly and intentionally sin against Him, it is the same as stomping on the blood of Jesus at the base of the cross.

If that is the case, there is a good reason to tremble before God and let the Fear of Isaac turn us back to Him.

Kevin said:
I think the thing that amazes me is that Paul believes fear and trembling are a part of God's beautiful plan for our lives.

I was raised legalist, so the fear and trembling were a huge part of my childhood. I just knew God was going to damn me to hell when I slipped and sinned in some little thing at age 69 1/2. When I found grace, I collapsed in a happy puddle at God's feet. I was going to endure it all in this life, because He had done everything for me. Praise the Lord!

Honestly, though, I watched my buds soak up the teaching of grace then fall into gluttony, dissipation, and eventually even adultery. I saw the Word of God used to justify these things, and I was confused. Jesus had saved me from the terror of death, twice! (Once into legalistic Christianity, and again when He saved me from it.) How could I even consider trifling with that gift? But trifle they did.

Andreia said that she learned that a true Christian should sometimes feel those fears. Danny Kaye gave us good reason to feel them! We really should be able to bounce into a purgatory to which the Lord sends us with glee. :-) (verse 14.) And so much of what we are given really is given to us for others, more than for ourselves.

God does work in us to make us able to do His good pleasure. God does not save us apart from His holiness, but into it. He transforms us as we grow more and more into His image. We do obey. Like Dee said, we obey because He makes us want to obey. There is something to be afraid of, but I don't think it's the same fear I was given as a child. They forgot to mention all that God has done, and will do for us.

{Hey, you know, I looked back at verses 8-11 on Milly's post, and maybe there's another meaning for the whole "fear and trembling" thing. Those verses talk about how Christ humbled Himself to the death of the cross. Maybe we also fear some of the things God may ask us to endure? }

The key is that God is working in us. We are not self-powering all this stuff. We are working it out by prayer, and by committing ourselves to Him in everything. And we are following in the example of our Forerunner. God is working that Spirit into us Whom His Son had.


I have to get to bed! Next?

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