Faith in Christ leads to action
Jesus Our Lord and the Model for Us
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The passage has added significance when considered in the context of the themes expressed prior to and following the passage. Preceding the passage are themes of salvation given by God and Christian life compatible with the way of Christ. “Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel, and are in no way intimidated by your opponents. For them this is evidence of their destruction, but of your salvation. And this is God's doing” (Phil 1:27-28 NRSV). To these themes is added suffering for the cause of Christ as mentioned above in relation to verses 29-30.
The verses following the passage expand on the same themes as presented in the verses before the passage: salvation, living for Christ, and suffering for Christ. “Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Phil 2:12-13 NRSV). Here the themes are linked, so that even though it is God who works in the believer in the process of salvation, it is also the believer who somehow carries out the process as enabled by God.
Therefore, the major themes of the passage, living with humility toward others just as Christ humbled himself for the sake of humankind, fit naturally within the themes of salvation, living in the way of Christ, and suffering for the cause of Christ that are presented before and after the passage. In fact, the passage clarifies and expands on the themes surrounding it. Living with humility is the attitude that will lead to living in a way that is worthy of Christ. The example of Christ shows how this attitude is expressed in real living. Each believer has a purpose as part of God’s plan (Philippians 2:13). By following the pattern of Christ, we fulfill God’s plan for us.
Act_17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.