The Holy Spirit indwells us, freeing us from the grip of sin; cleansing us from the pollution of sin; and alleviating the sense of guilt of sin.
Scripture: Phil. 2:12-18
- Everything about Jesus' life challenges our modern notion of celebrity.
- God transformed what the world only perceives as shame, weakness, folly, condemnation, sin, and death into glory, strength, wisdom, acquittal, righteousness, and life (cf. 1 Cor. 1 26-30).
- All these have become ours when we are in Christ. (Rom. 8: 1-11). They are attained by the Spirit, not by the flesh.
- Our life in Christ has implications for our minds, our spirits, and our behavior. Our life in Christ is even hidden from us (Colossians 3:1-4). We need to look to Him to see it.
- The Holy Spirit indwells us, freeing us from the grip of sin; cleansing us from the pollution of sin; and alleviating the sense of guilt of sin.
- We are a kingdom of priests, and every vocation can be pursued for the glory of God.
- The cross is the ultimate expression of weakness (seen from the world's perspective), by which God redeems and renews His creation. As such it is our glory.
- In every action, there are two parts: the intention to do it, and the power to do it; Paul attributes both to God alone (cf. v. 13).
- It is the ultimate blow to false human pride to know that we can do nothing to please God apart from His grace, i.e. His effectual presence in our lives.
- Even our desire to serve God is not our own: it is prompted by God. This does not deny us our humanity. In following Christ we find our true humanity.
- Human responsibility is taught in Scripture as complimentary to God's sovereignty.
- We find our true humanity in obeying God's commands and following Jesus' human example.
- If our will and actions are guided by God, then even in our work and callings God is bringing these areas of endeavour under His reign.
- We have no excuse for grumbling or questioning (verse 14).
- God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. (2 Cor. 12:9). The affliction we suffer is not a contradiction of His love, it is a sign that we are His true children.
- Humble circumstances are for our good and God's glory.
- Paul knew that he was blessed even though he was a prisoner of Rome.
- Unconfessed sin may lead to complaining as it makes us rebellious against the circumstances God brings into our lives.
- We want to hold fast to the word of truth that we may rejoice in the fruit of God's work (verse 16).
- The prosperity gospel is fraudulent, and it is utterly impotent to equip us for life in the real world.
- The worst kind of trial is no trial; trials tell us that our faith is alive and that God is working on us.
- How was Jesus' life the opposite of a celebrity, a) during His ministry and b) during the last week of His life?
- Compare and contrast the concept of celebrity in our day with Paul's reference to “shining as stars” in Philippians 2:15.
- How does God's operation confound human standards of success? See 1 Corinthians 1:27-30.
- Read Philippians 2:12-13. How much does God leave to man, and how much is God's work?
- Do we really believe that God's intentionality and power are at work in our lives, or do we hold onto false pride in ourselves?
- Explore the purposes and power of God at work in the lives of Joseph and David.
- Look back on your life and identify examples where God was guiding, empowering and working through you.
- Why is the prosperity gospel fraudulent? What is the benefit of real world trial in our lives?