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Exhortation to Unity—A Final Word Concerning Obedience (Philippians 2:12-18)

The Subject/Complement and Exegetical Outline

Subject/Complement: The result of God inspired obedience in the face of opposition is purity of life, effective witness to the world, and blessing to those who lead us.

    A. The Command to Obey (2:12-16)

      1. General Statement and Theological Rationale (2:12-13)

        a. General Statement: Work Out Your Salvation (Obey) (2:12)

        b. The Theological Rationale: God Is at Work in You (2:13)

      2. Specific Application and Results (2:14-16)

        a. No Complaining or Arguing (2:14)

        b. Becoming Blameless and Pure (2:15)

        c. Holding Out the Word of Life (2:16a)

        d. Paul’s Boast (2:16b)

    B. The Example of Obedience: Paul (2:17-18)

      1. His Life as a Drink-Offering (2:17a)

      2. His Desire That They Rejoice (2:17b-18)

Homiletical Subject/Complement and the Teaching/Preaching Outline

Underlying Question: The reason the Philippians are to obey the Lord even when Paul is not with them is because (1) God is working in them; (2) they must maintain a godly witness to a fallen world, and so that (3) Paul’s ministry will not be in vain.

Underlying Homiletical Question: What are some results of obeying God even if we live in difficult circumstances?

Homiletical Subject/Complement (Big Idea): Obedience Initiated by God Leads to A Pure Life, Effective Witness in the World, and Blessing to Our Leaders

    A. We Need To Understand Why God Wants Us To Obey (2:12-13)

      1. To Obey Means to Work Out Your Salvation with a Certain Fearful Attitude (2:12)

      2. Remember That God Is at Work in You (2:13)

    B. Obey So That You Will Grow Spiritually and Your Witness Will Be Effective (2:14-16)

      1. Obedience Means No Complaining or Arguing (2:14)

      2. Obedience Results in Becoming Blameless and Pure (2:15)

      3. Obedience Includes Holding Out the Word of Life (2:16a)

      4. Obedience Means A Sense of Worthwhile-ness to Those Who Shepherd Us (2:16b)

    C. Obedience Entails Self Sacrificial Service to Others (2:17-18)

      1. Serve Others Sacrificially: Paul’s Life as a Drink-Offering (2:17a)

      2. Rejoice in Your Service to Others (2:17b-18)

Related Topics: Fellowship, Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Sanctification, Teaching the Bible