Salvation Displayed in Action | Philippians 2:15

Philippians 2:15 Commentary

This excerpt examines Philippians 2:15 and the idea that a believer’s salvation should be displayed in actions.

Pastor: Rev. Dr. Dale B. Welden
Sermon Title: Closing the Gap
Sermon Series: Joy in These Times #8
Excerpt Text: Philippians 2:15
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And then secondly a believer’s salvation should be displayed in actions verse 15. He says 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 so.”

So I want you to notice how how connected action is to attitude. He talks about being blameless that’s a a purity of life that’s undeniable that’s that’s above reproach.

Too often, unfortunately, believers are known by what they don’t do rather than what they do.

It’s not about rules, And, here at Saint Andrews we don’t we don’t have rules for you. I’m not going to give you the rules of life because then you could just say well I don’t agree I’m not going to obey Dale’s rule. Our rule is the word of God itself. That’s our rule for life. But, we shouldn’t be characterized to the world by what we won’t do it’s how we live our life as people of the light. And then he uses that word pure, “by their pure lives,” not because of rules but because of the purity of the one that lives in us. That’s what should make the difference in terms of those who are followers of Christ. The word pure here that is used in the New Testament times for wine and metals. And, the reason it’s used is meaning unmixed. So like with a metal the where it looks okay it looks strong. But, when it hits the fire the impurities come out. And so he says we are to to live lives that are pure meaning this – that which is on the inside is equal with the way we act. It’s not two different things.

Notice also that he says we’re to live that way in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation. Does that sound at all like our generation? Well isn’t that interesting, though, because Paul wrote this and so what that means is that that preachers and teachers of the word of God in every generation have stood up and talked about living as light, in the middle of a crooked and twisted generation, and I’m sure every generation is saying, yeah, we’re we’re crooked we’re twisted. Everything’s falling apart out there. That’s how up to date this is but here is an angle that we could easily miss.

The more crooked and twisted things look, the more opportunity there is to be a light. Some of you, this is not an insult, but some of you look like you may have lived you may remember living through the 60’s. Some of you probably who lived through the 60’s don’t remember the 60’s either. Let me tell you about the 60’s. It was a it was a crazy decade – between assassinations, between a war that some of you honorably served in, between college campuses and cities that were on fire, racial tensions. It was a crazy time.

Toward the end of that decade a man named Malcolm Muggeridge, at the age of 66, came to faith in Christ. He was a social commentator and he was an avowed agnostic before that. He came to Christ, about 10 years later he wrote this.

“Let us then as Christians rejoice that we see around us on every hand the decay of institutions and instruments of power. We see intimations of empires falling to pieces, money in total disarray, dictators and parliamentarians alike nonplussed by the confusion and conflicts which encompass them. For it is precisely when every earthly hope has been explored and found wanting, when every possibility of help from earthly sources has been sought and is not forthcoming, when every recourse this world offers, moral as well as material, has been explored to no effect, and in the gathering darkness every glimmer of light has finally flickered out, it is then that Christ’s hand reaches out sure and firm. Then Christ’s words bring inexpressible comfort then his light shines brightest abolishing the darkness forever.”

Isn’t that a different angle? See it’s easy for us to to get depressed about the way the world is and he says no no no, don’t you know Christians don’t get depressed about that. Because as these institutions and as everything falls apart all the things that people are putting their trust in when they come crashing down, when people have tried them and they haven’t brought any hope or satisfaction, when that happens, when it’s the very darkest, that’s when Christ shines the brightest. And he says, among whom you shine as lights in the world. How does Christ shine? Through his people.

Here’s the concern the more like the crooked and twisted generation we look the less our lives are like Christ. So how are people to know about Christ? Well his ordained way is for us to be his witnesses for him. Not just to go out and witness but to be his witness in our lives.

Here’s what we say in our Vision 2022: “We wish to touch every family in our ministry area with the gospel. Our desire is for every member of SAPC to to be a witness and to share Jesus Christ with those who are without him or to who whom he has become distant. Every member a witness.

So do you get the point? Is that if every one of us is a light in our community, the community begins to light up. If every, uh, true believer in every church around here shines as a light in the darkness of the community, the community begins to light up. Where there, because there is hope in Christ. Now notice what Paul calls them, he calls them “lights in the world.” He’s saying to the Philippians, that’s your identity your identity is not people of the darkness your identity is as a light. And so when we don’t live as a follower of Christ when our attitudes don’t reflect Christ in us, we dim. We don’t shed darkness. It’s just the absence of light that causes darkness in the world.

So back to our introduction. Is it always hypocrisy when our actions don’t match up to our trust in Christ? Is it always hypocrisy? It’s always wrong. It is always sin. But it is only hypocrisy when we refuse to deal with it. There’s no better place to deal with those things than at the Lord’s table. And there is no better time than today to deal with those things.

One more thing from this passage that we alluded to earlier, and that is what if we come to the point in our lives where we can’t seem to do what’s right any longer? We’re all out of energy, I’ve tried. I’ve had people in my office through the years say that to me. I know what’s right but I just I can’t I can’t keep doing this I’m tired of trying to do it. The passage indicates that it is God that provides the energy and ability to obey. It is God who works in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure. So if you don’t have the energy to to go on it is an indication that you’re probably trusting in your own energy. Because God never runs out of strength or energy. He never says no to his children when they ask him to give me the strength to obey. He will always say yes to that and, so if you’re at the end of your rope realize you’re probably hanging on to the wrong rope. You’re trying to hang on to your own rope.


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