With Fear and Trembling – And God Who Is At Work

November 17, 2019


Philippians 2:1-13, and especially verses 1-3

If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.  

Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who

though he was in the form of God,

did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,

he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

Therefore God also highly exalted him

and gave him the name
that is above every name,

so that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

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.


I am preaching on this passage from Philippians Chapter 2 for three weeks. Each week I am going to emphasize the renewal and revival of our faith.

On November 10 I preached about the last few verses – “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.”

On November 24 I am going to preach about the middle of the text – about how Jesus chose to come as a human, and to suffer and die for us – and then how God has raised him to a place of great honor.

On this Sunday, November 17, I am preaching about the opening words of this passage. God wants to renew our faith and our commitment to one another in the church.

Jesus calls on his followers to love one another. It is the love that we have for another that shows how the Father sent his Son Jesus into the world.

But the followers of Jesus have always fallen short. The disciples fell short. The early followers of Jesus fell short. The church in Philippi fell short. And we fall short today.

Jesus wants us to love one another. But we are often selfish and self-centered. Let us hear the call of renewal. If there any encouragement in Christ, if there is any love, if there is any sharing of the Spirit – let us be united – let us sacrifice of ourselves to build Christ’s Body – to build our congregation.

God calls us to be welcoming, to be caring, to reach out to others. God calls us to give our money, our time, and our efforts.

Yes, we fall short. But we always have the opportunity for renewal and revival. We are called to renewal today.

Bible References

  • Malachi 4:1 - 2
  • Luke 21:5 - 19



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