Comments, notes, thoughts on Philippians 2:14-18

Philippians 2:14-18 

2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning.  The all things is comprehensive.  This is one of the comprehensive commands in Scripture that touch all aspects and must be considered in every temptation or thought of complaining.   Grumbling can be thought of as complaining.  Questioning refers to asking questions not to get answers, but to disobey or neglect the responsibility given upon the person.  The present tense of the command means that it is a command that is to be habitually obeyed as a way of life. 

2:15 That you may be blameless and innocent.  This refers not to the fact that one is justified and therefore in a position of innocence before God.  This refers to the actual experience and life of the believer before death or the consummation.  children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation.  We are to be a clean people in the midst of dirty people.  The crooked and twisted descriptions refer to the perversion and distortion of thought, feeling, desires, and actions that characterize the unbeliever.  among whom you shine as lights in the world.  The shining in the midst of the darkness of people around us is tied to the attitude of the Christian who doesn’t complain.  

2:16 holding fast to the word of life.  The word of life is not the Christian Scriptures per se, but the gospel, the message of life.  The gospel is authoritatively communicated to us by the Christian Scriptures, but the reference here is to the gospel message.  The Christian, in shining in this world, is to be do so by holding fast to the gospel.  This ties not complaining to holding fast to the gospel.  so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.  The day of Christ probably refers to the judgment day or coming of Christ.  On that day, when we give an account for our lives and service, Paul does not want to see his effort and labor for the Philippians as wasted.  He wants to be proud that his work with them counted.  This is not to say that if they would have turned away that his work with them would have been wasted in an absolute sense.  It is wasted in regard to the purpose of the Philippians being in eternity with Paul in the presence of God forever.  Paul doesn’t want to see his labor for them and their profession nullified because they have not held fast to the gospel.  The present tense in “holding” tells us that the holding is to be habitual, constant, repetitive, and continual until it’s over.  The result of the Philippians holding fast to the gospel is the pride and joy of Paul in their salvation and fruitfulness and the glory that brings to God.  

2:17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering.  This is a way of saying, “Even if I die.” upon the sacrificial offering of your faith.  Paul poured out his life to the point of exhaustion and physical pain in order for the faith of the Philippians to exist and grow.  He lived a sacrificial life.  And it was for the faith of the church, not other “needs.”   I am glad and rejoice with you all.  Even if Paul dies, he’s glad and joyful because it would have been worth it.  The only possible way I could see Paul say this without lying is for eternity with Christ to be a reality and not an imagination.  In Paul’s calculation, eternity is included, because if it wasn’t Paul would not be rejoicing at this point for what he’s spent his life on or for his death.  So the goal of Paul’s life was not necessarily a safe, healthy, or comfortable life now, but a sacrificial life prepared to celebrate the life to come.  

2:18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.  Paul not only shows them his joy, he calls them to join him in rejoicing over his life poured out for their faith.  This is the nature of Christian joy: it spreads contagiously and multiplies and even increases in the present experience of joy.  Again, their joy can only be genuine if in their calculation they properly include eternity and the consummation.  Christians should celebrate together the grace of God experienced together in light of eternity.


About pjtibayan

I love Jesus Christ and live to share life and share Jesus together with First Southern Baptist Church of Bellflower primarily to Southeast Los Angeles County.
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