Philippians 2:12-30 | Happiness & Integrity
Debrief offers an abridged outline of the Sunday sermon for individuals or Community Groups alike, to re-engage the content of the Sunday sermon. This outline is far from complete, but serves to give a track or road map to walk through the content of Sunday in another context during the week.
BIG IDEA: We’ll be considering the idea that the happiest Christians on earth are also the ones that have the greatest integrity in their relationship with Jesus, their relationship to the world and their relationship with the Church.
Integrity: the concept of consistency of actions, values, methods, measures, principles, expectations and outcomes
Comes from “INTEGER” ~ WHOLE, COMPLETE = AUTHENTIC
BIG IDEA Restated: the happiest Christians on earth are those who understand and pursue the concept of wholeness in their life, which can only be accomplished through integrity. . before God, in the midst of the World, and among the Church.
Integrity With Jesus (2:12-13)
...Christ was obedient to the Father even though that meant going to the cross – implication being: those who are in Christ and belong to him must also be obedient. It’s an imperative. “He that obeys my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. . . “
Salvation is a Free Gift. - however, we are continuously being saved – transformation of our lives into the likeness of Chris......and we will be saved when Jesus comes again
What this is NOT SAYING. . .We do not work for it. We do not work it up.
Consistent with Paul’s teaching elsewhere in the NT and our belief that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation – there is no works based accommodation for being an object of grace and mercy in Christ. Eph 2:8-9, Titus 3:5
Work Out God Works In in order for you to Work Out - > Participation (1:27)
“Only let your manner of life. . . standing firm, striving side by side, engaged in the same conflict. .
Effort in Christ leading to Integrity (wholeness) Effort in Obedience => Christ likeness
FEAR AND TREMBLING
Obeying like your life depended on it. . the notion throughout the NT ‘to live is such a way’, to be Christlike is to live “before the very face of God” Work In God has done his part – He is inviting you to do yours, and it is God who continues to do the work! (Remember Phil 1:6?)
. . . it is true that in this life you will never be completely like Christ, matter of fact, as you would grow closer to Christ through sanctifying work you will realize how much unlike him you are! BUT YOU ARE TO BECOME LIKE HIM and God will give us the supernatural resources to endure, persist and complete the work.
Integrity With The World (2:14-18)
“Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 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, 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.”
Paul often used this comparison of the Exodus and the life of the New Testament Church. He is exhorting the Philippians to not fall into this response of ingratitude to God – especially in his absence –but also in the face of the saving grace from sin and death while thankfully acknowledging the continuing work of God in their lives.
We, likewise, are to be ‘blameless and innocent’ - not working against salvation with denials and complaining but working salvation out into every part of our lives. We are children of our heavenly Father, we can therefore turn away from a spirit of selfishness and complaint. If we choose to do otherwise, we will not be acting with integrity before the world – giving pause to the unbelievers.
The scriptures say – in spite of being in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, we will “shine as lights in the world – “
Jesus said on the Sermon on the Mount, that we are the light of the world, and we must let that light shine. Paul is in turn saying that when salvation is worked out into our lives we shine as lights in the world and hold fast to the word of life.
Our Christian witness is dependent not merely on what we say but on what we are – that requires wholeness, and we saw how wholeness of life is related to integrity. This light in our lives is an outward sign of the inward work of God in our lives.
Integrity With The Church (2:19-30)
Theme of Phil 2 is the Christian life. We as the Church were to let nothing be done out of rivalry or conceit but to count others more important than ourselves. We are to be humble and obedient to God copying Jesus and his example stepping down from heaven, taking the form of a servant, obeying to the point of death. Then we saw this morning because we are children of God, we are to do things pleasing to God without grumbling. We are to be without blame amongst a crooked generation but to shine as guiding lights to the word of life. This is our high calling and standard.
“Pretty hard practice that calling – how can a Christian meet such standards of integrity?”
I believe Paul would reply: “it is hard, but it is not impossible and I will give you three human examples – including Timothy and Epaphroditus - starting with myself.”
These words of Paul should not be construed as egocentric. Paul in Galatians 6:14 made it his aim to boast in nothing except the cross. The Philippian Church loves Paul and he seems to be appealing to this church so obviously devoted to him and his ministry (1:5) Are we developing these deep relationships in our church body? Are we serving our ministries and community groups to where it is obvious our motivation is in love for the people. What does a church look like if integrity of the leaders that God has bestowed on our church is grumbled upon or questioned?
Diving In offers a few questions to help you re-engage the concepts from Sunday. Feel the freedom to use all of the questions, or to simply camp out on just one. These questions aren't intended to answer all the issues that surface through the thrust of this weeks' message, but to simply raise them and allow you time and space to process them, ideally in the context of your Community Group.
- Is there any place where you sense a lack of integrity, a lack of wholeness in your relationship with Jesus? In what area of your life is there not integrity between you and Jesus because of continual unconfessed sin in your life? Where are you most likely to walk in disobedience to Jesus?
- What is the difference between effort and earning? Which is God calling us to? Why?
- How does the integrity of your relationship with Jesus affect your integrity with people around you? How does your disposition toward Jesus affect your disposition toward those around you who might not know Him? Give a recent example to illustrate. How does the integrity of your relationship with Jesus affect the integrity of your relationships with other believers, even within The Village Church? Is there a noticeable difference in your disposition toward other Christians when integrity is lacking in your relationship with Jesus? Explain. Give a recent example to illustrate.
- Read John 17:20-26. How does Jesus prayer here relate to and illustrate this idea of living with integrity in your relationship with God, other believers, and the world around us?
The Deep End is a short and simple formation exercise you can use to dive deep into your heart before God. Feel the freedom to divert from the directions if that makes it easier for you to connect with Jesus in this exercise.
- First, quiet your heart before the Lord. If you find yourself distracted by various thoughts (things on your “To Do” list, etc.), don’t “fight” the distractions, but rather spend some time praying over those things. Hopefully soon your heart will quieted down and you will be able to hear the Lord speaking to you.
- Next, spend some time reading and meditating over John 17:20-26. Read it through 2-3 times to make sure you have a clear grasp of what Jesus is praying there.
- Then, ask the Spirit to reveal to you a place where there is a significant lack of integrity in your relationship with Jesus. Confess what you sense you need to confess on that point, ask Him to forgive you, and ask the Spirit to empower you to live differently.
- Next, ask the Spirit to reveal to you any connection between that lack of integrity in your relationship with Jesus and a lack of integrity in your relationship with another Christian. Follow the same steps of confession above.
- Last, ask the Spirit to reveal to you any connection between that lack of integrity in your relationship with Jesus and a lack of integrity in your relationship with unbelievers in your life. Follow the same steps of confession above.
- End your time by thanking Jesus for making these things clear to you by His Spirit.
My hope is that these simple exercises in The 60 will help what we discovered during this week be distilled, and deepened in your heart and life with Jesus.