The Ins and Outs of Christian Living (Philippians 2:12–18)


Working-Out-Your-Salvation“Few things are harder to put up with,” wrote Mark Twain, “than the annoyance of a good example.” Perhaps the thing most annoying about a good example is its inability to accomplish the same achievements in our own lives. 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 accomplishment. It takes more than an example on the outside; it takes power on the inside.

In our previous study of Philippians, Paul has just presented Jesus Christ as our Great Example in the exercise of the submissive mind. We read it and agree with it, but how do we go about practicing it? How could any mortal man ever hope to achieve what Jesus Christ achieved? It seems almost presumptuous to even try! Here we are, trying to develop humility, and we are exercising pride by daring to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ!

The problem is really not that difficult. Paul is not asking us to reach for the stars, but is setting before us the divine pattern for the submissive mind and the divine power to accomplish what God has commanded. “It is God who is at work in you” (2:13). It is not by imitation, but by incarnation—“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Gal. 2:20). The Christian life is not a series of ups and downs. Rather, it is a process of “ins and outs.” God works in us, and we work out. We cultivate the submissive mind by responding to the divine provisions God makes available to us.

You a=have to go to his site to read the rest:

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