Given how packed and rich the text of yesterday’s sermon (Phil 2:14-18), I submit the following as a brief supplement to 2:16-18 as we had to speed on by. Certainly these verses are no less important!
We saw that Gospel obedience looks like being pure and blameless, and that this is a fruit of Christ when faith, hope, and love grow up within us.
But who was gospel obedience for? On Sunday we focused primarily on how the Lord uses our gospel obedience for the world… we shine Christ as we obey Him, like a burst of color in a black and white world.
2:16-18 show that gospel obedience is also for God and for us. It’s for God first and foremost, for his glory and honor today and forever. This comes from 1:6, 1:11 among other places. In making us like Christ, God brings fulfills his the purpose of creation, the making of a people (not to mention a whole cosmos) that will exalt and delight in Him forever.
It’s also for us – for our future joy, our redemption on the Day of Christ, our great satisfaction at seeing God complete His work in us and others. This is our coming joy – we will be fully redeemed and the glorious love-song of the Father will be ringing in our ears. This is also why Paul says that on the Day of Christ, his labors amid them will have been worthwhile (v16b).
Also in view is how gospel obedience contributes to our current joy. We can rejoice and be glad with Paul (v18) because we know where this gospel obedience is heading. We have certain hope he has that this will come to pass. All this is even amid suffering, amid pain. This is what’s in view when Paul talks about how he can pour out his life out like a drink offering (v16b). The image is of one being spent as a sacrifice to God, being given completely over. ~
Looks like gospel obedience is a win-win-win, I suppose. For God, for us, and for the world!