The Present and Eternal Benefits of Glad-Hearted Submission (Sermon Recap)
THE PRESENT AND ETERNAL BENEFITS OF GLAD-HEARTED SUBMISSION (SERMON RECAP)
In our most recent sermon, we reflected on Philippians 2:14-16. In this passage Paul continues to describe the pathway to glory. True Christians walk this pathway in God's strength (Philippians 2:13), not their own. This pathway includes the glad doing of one's duties (v. 14), which leads to both present (v. 15) and eternal (v. 16) benefits. Scripture says:
"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 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, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain." (Philippians 2:14-16 ESV)
This passage unfolds in three parts. First, the apostle Paul exhorts us to live in a particular manner, namely, to have glad-hearted submission to God in the midst of life's many circumstances and difficulties (v. 14). We are to have a gracious spirit, not a grumbling one. This gracious spirit – this glad-hearted submission – means that in the depths of our heart we trust the Lord, we believe that He who redeemed us continues to be with us for our good, we understand that He who is sovereign over all things is also at work in us (v. 13), and therefore we do not grumble at how He is directing and orchestrating our lives, and we do all that we do with joy.
Second, we are told that if we live in glad-hearted submission to God, then we will have a good reputation at the present time – and this good reputation will be consistent with our good character. We will be "blameless," "innocent," and "without blemish," thereby revealing and demonstrating that we are true "children of God" (v. 15). As God's "lights in the world," we will shine brightly for Him and faithfully display His character "in the midst of" this world's darkness and corruption (v. 15).
Third, we are told that if we live in glad-hearted submission to God and thus prove to be His faithful children, then we will – in this way – pave the way for a great celebration in eternity. Paul wants the Philippians to persevere as God's faithful children "so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain" (v. 16). Paul will not have "run in vain" or "[labored] in vain" if the Philippians stay the course and safely arrive in the city of God.
In order to walk this path, we must always be "holding fast to the word of life" (v. 16). God upholds spiritual life and spiritual growth in our hearts through His Word. Therefore we must hold fast to His Word, and keep it close to our hearts, and keep our feet in the path that the Word lays out for us, and trust the Lord to work in us through His Word to keep us going and growing in His ways.