Discussion Questions on Phil 2:12-18
by John Davis
The Gospel Conduct of a Servant
Questions for Further Discussion
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. 14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain. 17 Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. 18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.
- How does the phrase ‘as you have always obeyed’ help us understand what ‘work out your own salvation’ means?
- How does the word ‘therefore’ indicate that the kind of obedience required here is motivated by the gospel?
- What does it mean to have ‘gospel-obedience’? How does this differ from other forms of obedience?
- What does it mean practically, when Paul says that God is working in us constantly, purposefully, and effectively?
- Explain this statement: The powerful gospel-work of the Spirit cannot be contained within the soul; it breaks forth into a life of gospel-obedience or into the misery of resisting His work.
- with fear and trembling: Do you agree with this statement? Those who live by faith with a view of the cross are always awed by the terror of God’s holiness against our rebellion as he judges His Son for our sin and are moved by his extraordinary power in bringing Jesus out of the grave.
- What do you think of this statement: The gospel does not produce a frivolous, irresponsible freedom to live as one wants, but a careful, solemn commitment to live in a freedom guided by His grace.
- Why does the gospel produce obedience that is without grumbling and disputing?
- How does gospel-obedience become a light that shines in a dark world?
- In what way is gospel-obedience an offering up of our lives as sacrifices?
- Why do Jesus’ words (IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS) neatly sum up gospel-obedience?
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