Sermon Notes: Just Do It

Today, I preached at Hesston MB on Philippians 2:14-18.  Below are notes from the message.

Just Do It

Philippians 2:14-18

Introduction: Title of sermon is based on Nike’s Slogan-This slogan was coined in 1988 & was highly successful as one of top two taglines of 20th century because it was "universal and intensely personal. While Reebok was directing their campaign at aerobics during the fitness craze of the 1980s, Nike’s objective was to target all Americans regardless of age, gender or physical fitness level which led to Nike becoming worn as a fashion statement, not just as fitness gear. (wikipedia) As humans, we are doers.  We gravitate towards DIY (do it yourself). As I read our passage today, be listening for how we “just do it.”

Indicative and Imperative

Elyse Fitzpatrick defines indicative as what has already been indicated or declared about you, it informs us, an accomplished fact, it’s what has been done by God; imperative comes to us in the form of a command or direction, it’s what we are to do. Trying to disengage our work for Christ from our union with Christ does violence to the method by which the Spirit has obviously chosen to sanctify us.

Imperatives-what we are to do

·         Vs. 14-Do everything without complaining or arguing

o   We are told to “do everything without complaining or arguing.” I don’t know about you, but I fail at this.  I often complain and argue.

o    “Complaining” is the translation of a word which reflects a bad attitude expressed in grumbling. It was most likely  in reference to “grumbling of Israel in the desert (See Exodus 16:7-12)

§  and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him—what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, ‘Come near before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.’” 10 And as soon as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the people of Israel, they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, 12 “I have heard the grumbling of the people of Israel. Say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread. Then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’”

o   “Arguing” reflects a legal connotation of disputing[1]

o   Evidently the believers were complaining (to God and each other) and arguing (with each other). The Philippian assembly needed to show themselves as united and as one in Christ. Non-Christians were not being attracted to Him by the saints’ strifes and contentions.[2]

·         Vs. 15-Become blameless & pure

o   How many people have left the church or will never step foot inside because of our behavior? Watch how people treat each other they disagree with especially on social media.  Look at how our desire to be right crushes relationships.

o   Blameless-This does not mean sinless perfection. The corporate testimony of the church is in view. Pure Greek word that was used of wine which had not been diluted and of metal which had not been weakened in any way. Pure is directed more toward the heart (pg. 246 NICNT)

o   Who makes us blameless and pure? Us or God? A quote I remind myself and my family is “live from your identity (what God says about you) not for identity.”

·         Vs. 15-Crooked & depraved generation

o   Most likely a reference to Deuteronomy 32:5- They have dealt corruptly with him; they are no longer his children because they are blemished; they are a crooked and twisted generation.

·         Vs. 15-Shine

o   About a month ago, we as pastors/wives went out together for supper and then to Key Quest Escape Room.  If you are not familiar with this, it is a game where you are locked in a room and then try to escape the room within a certain amount of time by figuring out clues.  One of the interesting aspects was the lack of light.  It was dark but there were a few lights (flashlights, candles) in the room that we needed.  As we broke into groups to figure out clues, a few times we had to call out to someone to bring a light to help us see.  As I began to study this passage, it reminded me of the idea of “shining”. It is not just about being different from the world. But also as the light helped us see what we needed to do, Jesus as light of the world & we as light are to shine. How?

·         Vs. 16-Hold out the word of life

o   This mission was accomplished by their holding out the word of life.  All assume that the “word of life” is the gospel, of which Paul had so much to say in this epistle. The word “hold out,”also could mean “holding fast”. We need to keep the gospel central.

·         Vs. 16-Boast

o   In Self or Christ-we see this in anything where we use our specific abilities whether its sports, drama, parenting, marriage, occupation, etc. We either focus on own skills or abilities or the One who gave the skills/abilities.

o   Fee writes, “Boasting has nothing to do with what Paul has done but with what Christ has wrought through him (NICNT pg. 249), boasting points to the ground of one’s confidence and trust, Christ himself, in whom one therefore “glories”.

§  31 so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:31

§  14 But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, Galatians 6:14

·         Vs. 17-18-Be glad and rejoice

o   poured out like an offering

§  His terminology of being poured out as a drink offering may refer to his potential martyrdom or to his imprisonment,.[3]

o   Sacrifice-Most people would associate sorrow with suffering, but Paul sees suffering and sacrifice as doorways to a deeper joy in Christ.[4]

o   Fee continues, “Joy in suffering, it should finally be noted, is not “delight in feeling badly”; rather it is predicated on the unshakeable foundation of the work of Christ, both past and future. Joy has nothing to do with circumstances, but everything to do with one’s place in Christ. (Fee NICNT 257)

Indicatives-what has been done

·         As we think about these things we should be doing, we need to be reminded of the previous verse. 

·         So often our verse and chapter breaks cause us to miss out on the intent of the passage. Remember there were no chapters or verses in the original text.  Chapters were added in 13th century & Verses in middle of 16th century.

·         However, if we remember verse 13 we see how this will happen “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

o   The only way this (or any command or imperative) could be realized was through God who would enable them to do it. The verb works means “energizes” or “provides enablement.” God makes His own both willing and desirous to do His work.[5]

·         Vs. 15-Children of God

o   Don’t forget who you are.  You are a child of God.  We are not God’s employees but his children.  We do these things as children who are loved not because of obligation.

§  See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. (1 John 3:1)

§  14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. (Romans 8:14-17)

§  24 So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. (Galatians 3:24-29)


Closing: Thankful for what God has done

[1] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 655). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[2] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, pp. 655–656). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[3] Sapaugh, G. P. (2010). The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians. In R. N. Wilkin (Ed.), The Grace New Testament Commentary (p. 901). Denton, TX: Grace Evangelical Society.
[4] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 80). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
[5] Lightner, R. P. (1985). Philippians. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 655). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.


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