Welcome Valley Bible Studies

Lesson 2: Living Out Salvation

Text: Philippians 2:1-30

Philippians Chapter 2

[1] If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,

[2] Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

[3] Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

[4] Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

[5] Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

[6] Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

[7] But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:

[8] And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

[9] Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:

[10]That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

[11] And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

[12] Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

[13] For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

[14] Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

[15] That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

[16] Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

[17] Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

[18] For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.

[19] But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.

[20] For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.

[21] For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

[22] But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.

[23] Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.

[24] But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.

[25] Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.

[26] For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.

[27] For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.

[28] I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.

[29] Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:

[30] Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.


In Philippians 2, Paul moves our attention from evangelistic passion to practical Christian living. Based on what the believer has received in Christ, he is to live as Christ’s representative in this world. This lifestyle includes spiritual and mental unity for the church as a group. It precludes actions stemming from personal pride or carnal ambition. It demands that each of us treat the needs of others as equal with his or her own needs. It isn’t enough to magnify Christ in our worship and missionary zeal. We must also magnify Him by putting ourselves in the backseat during everyday life. Such humility may seem extreme to us, yet it falls short of the humility, obedience, and suffering of our Lord.

A concept that could lead to difficulty is found in Philippians 2:12, which says: “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” An inexperienced believer might understand this verse to mean that one’s salvation was based on his or her efforts at living a holy life; however, that is not the case. Salvation is a free gift given by God to all who trust in Jesus. Working out salvation means letting our salvation change and guide every aspect of our lives.

This chapter gives three examples of holy living. Jesus is shown in humble effort to please the Father rather than Himself. Timothy is shown to be reliable because he places the things of Jesus Christ above his own interests. Epaphroditus is shown to put the interests of Christ’s work above even his own health. With examples like this, it would take the insanity of misguided ego to engage in self promotion.

Points to Consider:

* God’s presence in a life should result in unity with other believers. (Verses1-4)

* Don’t act from contention or self-centered pride. (Verse 3)

* Be concerned with other people’s needs and not only your own. (Verse 4)

* The reason for humility is the example of Jesus Christ. (Verse 5)

* Jesus is God. (Verse 6) *

* Jesus became a man and a servant at that. (Verse 7) *

* Jesus was willing to obey, even when it meant death by crucifixion. (Verse 8)

* In response to Jesus’ humility and obedience, God has exalted Him above all others in Heaven and Earth. (Verses 9-11)

* It is our duty to confess the Lordship of Jesus Christ and to worship Him. (Verses 10-11)

* We are to work out our own salvation, not work for it. (Verse 12) *

* Our obedience to God is the result of His saving power in our lives. (Verse 13)

* God’s desire is for us to represent Him as light in a world of darkness. (Verses 14-15)

--The first step toward this exemplary life is refraining from murmuring and disputing.

--This discipline will lead to being blameless and harmless.

--Then, we can shine as God’s representatives among perpetually disobedient and perverse people.

* Our Christian life not only glorifies God, it reassures and honors those who try to help us grow spiritually. (Verses 16-17)

* Our Christian lives also increase our fellowship with godly people. (Verse 18)

* An example of what has been taught this far in the chapter is Timothy, who seeks the things of Christ rather than of himself. (Verses 19-21)

* People who thus live can be trusted with the service of God. (Verses 22-23)

* Another example of godliness is Epaphroditus who has great concern for the fears of his Christian friends and who was willing to come close to death for the work of Christ. (Verses 25-30)


1. In Philippians 2:2, what four attitudes on the part of the Philippian church will bring joy to Paul?

2. From Philippians 2:1, what four graces will lead to the condition described in verse 2?

3. From Philippians 2:3, what isn’t to motivate our participation in the church?

4. From Philippians 2:4, whose interests are we to look after?

5. According to Philippians 2:6, who was Jesus before becoming flesh?

6. What social status does Philippians 2:7 indicate Jesus took for Himself upon becoming a man?

7. According to Philippians 2:8, how far was Jesus willing to go in obeying God?

8. What has been God’s response to Jesus’ humility and obedience? (Philippians 2:9-10)

9. Looking at Philippians 2:14-15, what behavior patterns do we need to adopt if we are to represent God well on this earth?

10. Why could Paul send Timothy to the Philippian church with confident assurance rather than anxiety? (Philippians 2:20-22)

11. In Philippians 2:26, what was Epaphroditus concerned about?

12. In Philippians 2:30, what was Epaphroditus willing to risk to further the work of the Gospel?

13. In this chapter what three examples do we have of people who put God’s will above their own comfort, position, and success?


At the heart of sin is putting one’s own interests above God. We live in a world that is warped in its thinking and unable to see either it’s current state of ruin or its peril of Hell as a result that grows from this sin. Those of us who are Christians have a duty to so live--we might say to so display the power of God in our lives--that His holiness, love, and grace stand out like lighthouses in the darkness. Even people in rebellion against God must take notice when God’s people begin to live His love, purity, and power before them. May we be such lights.

* Other Scriptures establish these doctrines more clearly than Philippians 2 does by itself.

This study is in the public domain and may be copied and distributed freely.