Nov 15, 2020. Philippians 2:14-16

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SEETHING SAINTS. Philippians 2:14-16. 11/15/20. #9.

Philippians 2:14-16 [New King James Version]

14 Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

  • Complaint is the natural response to adversity
    • This is one of the most difficult commandments to obey
      • We tend to grumble when under duress
      • Many of us have prickly personalities
      • Disappointments, challenges, pain, opposition, ingratitude, and desires lead to fussing and dispute
    • Many complainers in Bible: Cain, childless Abraham and Sarah, Jacob (days few and troubled), Moses (did I birth all these children?), Job (“I will take my complaint to the Lord”), Jonah, Elijah (“I’m the only one left”), Habakkuk, David (how long, Lord, until you avenge me?), Peter (what will you have John do?), Hezekiah (I will die before my time), Jeremiah (you have tricked me, Lord)…
    • Grumbling is a function of reacting negatively to what adversely impacts us
      • Complaint is self and time focused
      • Complaint tends to result from a sense that we have been unjustly or unfairly (feeling based)
  • Grumble is not humble
    • The word grumble or murmur means to mutter in a low tone (Greek: gonguzo; English word for “gong”)
      • Used of complaint, astonishment, or talking to self
      • Usually, refers to complaining or disapproval
      • Closely related to grudge and expressing opposition
    • Denying one is complaining does not change matters
    • Dispute [dialogismos = dia (through) + logos (reason, to rationalize, or consider)] means to deliberate, question, challenge, doubting, debate within, or willfully resist
    • Paul is not saying to never doubt or challenge anything
      • Paul debated with philosophers and Pharisees
      • Acts 17:11 Paul commended the Bereans for making sure what he said was Scriptural
    • Three areas where we sinfully debate God and his will:
      • Circumstances of life (trials and tribulation)
      • Resisting obeying God’s will by Word and leading
      • Not overcoming our own snarky personalities
    • We will never overcome a complaining spirit if we feel justified in our complaints and are self-focused
      • Grumbling shows a lack of faith on our part
      • To complain against circumstances is to grumble against God (Jonah 4)
    • World’s first complaint: “This woman you made for me…”
    • To follow feelings is to fuss and fume about almost everything
      • Rain is a pain, hot is rot, my spouse is a louse…
      • Nothing is ever going to be perfect and to our liking
  • Faith is a greater issue than our comfort
    • Paul indicates that if we grumble, we are like the world
      • Our testimony requires fortitude in face of trials
      • Reactions of faith requires joy of our spirit
    • Faith response transcends temporal discomfort:
      • Philippians 4:4 rejoice evermore; again I say, rejoice
      • 1 Thessalonians 5:12-22  Paul urges Thessalonians to always rejoice and in everything give thanks
    • Our testimony often hinges on our joy in the Lord (John 15)
    • Paul acknowledges that the fallen world is unpleasant
      • A crooked and perverse generation
      • The world is full of pain, sorrow, trials, and evil
    • Paul gives several reasons for our transcending joy:
      • We are children of God (the world can’t subdue us)
      • We’ve been sent as light to shine in the darkness
      • We are called to hold fast to Word of Life (obey attitude and response commands as moral commands)
    • No greater battle than subduing fleshly responses (focus)
    • Not stoicism, but faithful obedience to Lord (relational)

Key verse: I Thessalonians 5:12-22 [New King James Version]

12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.