It’s a Choice
Verse 12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
Now that we have looked back at what his ‘therefore’ is referring to, we can head forward into the reason for his former statements.
We mentioned yesterday that just as we don’t always obey, neither did Paul’s readers, so why did he say they did? Paul’s reason for pointing out what Christ has done is so that we can understand that our obedience means nothing without His obedience.
The whole plan of redemption is a dance between obedience and disobedience. The world came into being by the atoms obeying God’s voice and falling into place as He commanded them to. The humans that They created chose to sin. This point is important for us to remember. It is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking that “the devil made them do it” which lets them off the hook in our mind. But could it be that we think that because don’t want to be held accountable for our sins?
We must remember that we do have a choice in the matter of sinning. It isn’t something that happens in our life with no thought given to it. If sin is that much of a habit for us then we need to seriously question our position with Christ. If we are so willing to live in a way that goes directly against God and His ways, He is not likely the Lord of our life.
Our level of obedience reveals the true level of His Lordship in our lives. This is Paul’s reminder to his friends in Philippi. They need to be encouraged to continue in their obedience as it shows who the Lord of their life truly is. We would do well to encourage each other in the same way. One of the ways Paul encouraged them to live in obedience was by living in obedience himself.
We like to think that we are accountable only for ourselves but that is only partly true. As the body of Christ we do have a responsibility to each other. While we aren’t held personally responsible for each other’s sins, we do have a responsibility to help each other hold higher standards than we may want to left to our own strength.
Making It Personal
If you are honest with yourself, what does your level of sinfulness say about the position Jesus holds in your life? In what ways can you hold others accountable? How willing are you to allow others to hold you accountable?
Making It Personal Kids
What does it mean to hold someone accountable? Have you ever tried to keep someone from sinning? Do you like it when others try to keep you from sinning?
Father, we know that we fail You when we choose our sin instead of obedience to You. Help us to desire You more than our sin and help us to encourage each other against sin. In Jesus’ name, amen.