by Randy White Ministries Sunday, May 8, 2022

Philippians, Rightly Divided, Verse-by-Verse


Session 9 | Phillippians 2:13-


Philippians 2:12-18 | Expected Behavior

  • Verse 12 -- See session 8.

  • Verse 13 -- Blue

    • Because God worketh in you the believer is to cooperate and work out his or her own salvation“you can lead a horse to water..." category.

    • “silence" of God we must not forget that God worketh in you (present, active, participle). In fact, the way in which God's good pleasure is carried out in our world is not God's miraculous and supernatural intervention into the affairs of mankind or the physics of creation, but rather by using the work force of the Body of Christ. We, therefore, should cooperate with this work of God with fear and trembling (v 12).


  • Verse 14 -- Blue

    • The thoughts of this verse continue into verse 15, and arguably are the continuance of verses 12-13. Because God worketh in you then we should do all things without murmurings and disputings.


      A murmuring is an under-the-breath complaint. While such complaints are not plainly spoken, they are almost always plainly known.
    • The disputings are more verbal, coming from διαλογισμός [dialogismos], literally (by etymology) to thoroughly talk about it.


      Together, without murmurings and disputings“don't mumble about it and don't over-talk it, just do it."
  • Verse 15 -- Blue

    • The end-goal of working your salvation is to be blameless and harmless in this crooked and perverse nation.


      Note that the word nation“any class of people," and it is used in this verse with that context rather than a “nation/state" context. The Greek is γενεά [genea], often translated generation.
    • The believer who works his or her salvation can shine as lights in the world, and this should be their desire.


  • Verse 16 -- Blue, then black

    • The way to shine as lights in the world (v. 15) is to be holding forth the word of life. Those of us who heed the instruction to follow Paul (1 Cor. 11:1) have a truth that provides the saving Gospel and makes people free from confusion, manipulation, and religious danger. We should be holding forth this word of life.

    • Note: The phrase word of life is used in 1 John 1:1, where it is printed as Word of life and a reference to Jesus Christ. The Greek in 1 John uses dual articles (The Word of the life), and the context is clearly of Jesus. Here, Paul uses no articles,“logos of life," which could be understood as the meaning of life.

    • Paul then begins to speak in the first person, saying that these instructions (of vv. 12-16a, or possibly vv. 1-16a) should be carried out so that Paul may rejoice in the day of Christ.

    • During the day of Christ, the body of Christ has been raptured and will ever be with the Lord (1 Thes. 4:17). See note on Philippians 1:6, 10. As the hymn states, When we all get to heaven, What a day of rejoicing that shall be! Paul looks forward to knowing that he has not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. With the state of Pauline theology today (almost wholly rejected by the Body of Christ), one wonders if his prayer will be answered.


  • Verse 17 -- Black

    • Paul speaks symbolically of the sacrifice and service of your faith, saying that he will joy, and rejoice if such sacrifice and service causes him to be offered as a libation (drink offering) on the sacrifice. The symbolic reference appears to point to his imprisonment, which was exacerbated by publicity.


  • Verse 18 -- Green

  • The same cause appears to be Paul being offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith (v. 17). Rather than grieve the pouring out of Paul, he asked the Philippians to rejoice with me. Indeed, Paul did appear to rejoice in this, as can be seen from Philippians 1:21 and 2 Timothy 4:6-8.



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