Philippians 2: 13-14


(Tim Ramey) #1

@Aradhana_Priya_Mehta @kelelek @Keldon_Scott @JasonWalker @Michele_Schuman @joyce_yung @Jennifer_Wilkinson @David_Cieszynski

Here I come, ready or not! Actually, be encouraged because it almost feels like we are cheating this week because the verses are so short. Is it going well for everyone? Let us hear from you if you ever have a chance. Any input on the verses from last week would be appreciated. I’m a little gun shy as, not just here, but also in other posts that I’ve put out there, it seems like my interpretations are always different than most everyone else’s, which is unusual in Connect because it seems like most are so agreeable.

I ran in college back in the 70’s and I would run some marathons. Back than, it wasn’t in vogue and everyone thought that it was amazing that I could run so far and with so many people, which in Boston, there were 1,200 people compared to some races now that have over 50,000! But as I ran, people would be at the 13.1 mile marker seeking to encourage us by yelling that we were half way there. Little did they know that it was discouraging as I was already tired and still had half left. That’s a long introduction to telling you that we are almost halfway through Philippians 2, but I say that to encourage you. Instead of being tired out by tired out by this race, throughout life, it will be invigorating!

Here are this week’s verses:

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, (ESV)

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
Philippians 2:14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, (NIV)

Philippians 2:13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Philippians 2:14 Do all things without complaining and disputing,

Please keep in mind to pray for others - that as you go over these verses, many times someone will come to mind. When that happens, I wonder if it is the Lord prompting us to pray those verses that we are memorizing just then, over that individual.

(David Cieszynski) #2

Hi Everyone,

I find it interesting in verse 14 how each translation differs questioning, arguing or disputing. As each word has a different context, which can (in my experience) has been abused by the church leader. What are your thoughts?

(Tim Ramey) #3


I’m sorry. I’ve been out of town and still am so I will respond to you probably on Saturday. I really appreciate thought provoking questions like yours.

In Jesus


(Tim Ramey) #4

@David_Cieszynski @Aradhana_Priya_Mehta @Keldon_Scott @kelelek @JasonWalker @Michele_Schuman @joyce_yung @Jennifer_Wilkinson

David, in answer to your question about the different ways of translating verse 14, what I think that it is not saying that we are not to complain or never question. Rather, it conveys, in context of the surrounding verses that we are not to be like the children of Israel when they were in the desert for 40 years. They murmured and questioned, not Moses, but as he and actually even the Lord reminded them that they were rebelling against Yahweh.

The Greek word for murmuring is in the New Testament only in John 7:12, Acts 6:1, IPeter 4:9, besides here. Murmuring is not a courageous act but a coward not wishing his words to be discovered and causing trouble in the process. The murmuring in the wilderness crescendoed until it rippled through the camp.

The Greek word for questioning is in the New Testament 13 other places besides here and it means contentious. The word for questioning is translated as thoughts very often. I think that this verse in Luke summarizes it well. Luke 24:38 And he (Jesus) said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? (KJV) Often Jesus could “read” their minds and hearts and He knew that they were questioning Him. They were mumbling under their breath and their hearts were dark, not desiring Truth.

When is says not to question, it means, I think, that we are not to question what we know is true.

(David Cieszynski) #5

Thanks Tim, it makes sense now you’ve broke it down. It’s similar to the ‘unforgiveable’ sin, in disowning the power of the Holy Spirit after witnessing it in work

(Tim Ramey) #6

@David_Cieszynski @Aradhana_Priya_Mehta @kelelek @Keldon_Scott @JasonWalker @Michele_Schuman @joyce_yung @Jennifer_Wilkinson

I wanted to add one thing that I ran out of time for in regard to David’s comment on Phil 2:14 and another on a comment a number of weeks ago.

Many years ago, I attended a church where the church was made up of those in our 20’s who were “rebels”. We were all young in the Lord so the pastor served to be a type of father to us. This was in the 70’s. As time went on, however, he did not want to have his “kids” grow up but tightened the reign of authority. As David mentioned, it turned into an ugly “no questioning his authority” mess. As time went on, we went our own ways and grew in the Lord. But I feel that is what David was wondering about when “questioning” is not allowed. The scripture really deals with questioning the Lord and not man, I think. Any other thoughts?

Another aside comment that I wanted to add, especially for those who memorized Romans 8, was in regard to a benefit from learning the scripture verbatim. Reviewing the chapter, I realized that near the end of the chapter, it asks “who” will separate us from the love of Christ and then lists a number of things like tribulation, distress etc. It hit me that the “who” is the enemy who comes in the form of persecution, sword etc. That is what is so great about memorizing; when we review, new insights pop up.

I do wish to make another comment but will do so in the appropriate area of Philippians. Please - it’d be great to hear from you!!

(David Cieszynski) #7

Hi Tim,

In my last church the pastor did a sermon on 'non negotiable s’mores and listed seven of them which as members we ‘had’ to adhere to. One of which do as we (leadership) say even if it inconveniences you, at which point my gut physically clenched. He was very good at it as he ‘linked’ it all to his interpretation of the scripture. Needless to say we left soon after that sermon along with a few other families.

(Patrick Teo) #8

Dear brothers & sisters

Ref: Philippians 2: 13-14

When reading the Bible verses, we tend to neglect or miss the context by not reading the verses before. Philippians 2 : 1-12 are just as important in order to drive verses 13 - 14 home. Without it, we are taking it out of context.

Phillippians 2: 1 - 12 is taking about Christ 's doing the Father’s will in surendering all in humility even to the cross. As a true believer of Christ, how much more we would need to serve like Jesus to our church like Jesus to the Father. Obedience is the is the key ingredient. Abraham was credited by God as righteousness not because of his good character, but of his obedience to God by offered his one and only son Isaac to the offering. Abraham was save after the circumcision by his action but not before.

When verse 12 said that continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling , is a very significant action. Once we are being predestined into the kingdom of God, we need to maintain our faith through the help of the Holy Spirit to work out our salvation. It is the fruit of the Holy Spirit that we would be naturally want to do good work. Otherwise, it will be a doubt whether we actually receive Christ in our heart. Jesus said that not all said Lord Lord we used your to drive out demons and heal the sick would enter the kingdom of heaven! it is those who do the will of the Father which obedience to God purpose. Therefore, verses 13 -14 are trying to teach us to be obedience to our church leaders as they are appointed by God. As they are also human beings of much inperfection. If we find our leaders not acting accordingly, we are to pray for them or use heavwnly wisdom to restore them to the right track. That is why we study aplogetics.

In conclusion, we are to serve our leaders with obedience while exercise the wisdom from heaven. Otherwise, our behaviour would only be canal and personal autonomy.

(Tim Ramey) #10

@ptengineering @David_Cieszynski
In all due respect Patrick, because we are in a group that is memorizing Philippians 2 in its entirety, I do not believe that the verses are taken out of context. I just addressed that one verse as David had spoken to it a few weeks back when we were learning those two verses.

In the RSV, the preceding verses tell us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. When a pastor is telling us to break the law because our organization is above the law, I had to be obedient to God and not man. By the Holy Spirit, I had to be responsible for my walk with Jesus and work out my own salvation.

I’m not referring to an opinion that you don’t agree with; I’m referring to where people are punished for not doing what the pastor says. I was an elder in the church. When he told us to submit, I went to him in love and said, for his own good, we are a body and we are all needed. His reply was that he was the neck of the body so that everything that the Lord wanted went through only him.

I could go on and on but I question whether you have ever been in a church where there was a wrong use of authority to the point that you were to sin for Jesus. If you heard the stories from dear brothers and sisters that had attended the church that is now defunct, you would be appalled. In the 70’s misuse of authority by pastors was rampant.

As Peter said to the Pharisees, who were his authority, after they told him not to preach anymore, he said that he had to follow God and not man. Peter had to work out his own salvation and I’m sure that it was with fear and trembling.

(Jason Walker) #11

@Aradhana_Priya_Mehta @kelelek @Keldon_Scott @Michele_Schuman @joyce_yung @Jennifer_Wilkinson @David_Cieszynski @Tim_Ramey so doing “everything without grumbling or arguing,” makes us “children of God without fault" ?

(Tim Ramey) #12

@JasonWalker @David_Cieszynski @Keldon_Scott @kelelek @Aradhana_Priya_Mehta @Michele_Schuman @joyce_yung @Jennifer_Wilkinson

No, I wouldn’t agree with that statement Jason. Could you read this thread? Also, do any of you have an opinion? And what do think as well Jason?

(Patrick Teo) #13

Hi Tim, your point is taken. It is a common occurence that most of the pastors would not like to be told off or to admit that they are not being appropriate. It is a human nature including us. Biblically we view a leader of a country or a pastor of the proper church of Christ is being appointed by God. Whether he is good or bad is up to the God to judge. If we percieve that the pastor has doctrinal different from us, it is better to pray for him for God to give him the wisdom or convict him to do the right thing first. Plan B is to get two or three elders to discuss with him. ti calls for heavenly wisdom… We are all at best the ‘filthy rags’, therefore, when dealing with another filthy rag, it call for wisdom. Otherwise, we are not any better. Let God be the judge by praying unceasingly to change the pastor.

As for taking verses out of context, may be i am wondering away from the topic you were discussing preciously. Very often, preachers will pull out verses which can sweetly echo to our ears while neglecting other harsh verses in order to please congregation.

For instance, very often we hear people quote John 8:32 ‘Then you know the truth, and the truth will set you free’. If we don’t refer to verse 31, we will not know exactly what it meant! The truth is none rather than refer to the ‘teaching of Jesus’. Christ.
Food for thought :slight_smile:

(Tim Ramey) #14

Thanks Patrick for the food for thought. I so appreciate your emphasis on being contextual. It’s one reason that I do appreciate memorizing a chapter as I feel that so many of the verses on our refrigerators can easily be taken out of context as you explained using John 8:32.

Regarding my situation years ago with the church, we did as you said. All of the elders together lovingly approached our pastor, assuring him that we wanted his best and were there to help. It’s involved but he received us but within a few hours held a meeting with us saying that what we had said was demonic. We had held him in such high esteem that we were hesitant to approach him. But Patrick, I am not emphasizing the negative aspect to verse 14 but agree that it needs to be realized for its value.

Thanks Patrick as I think we agree but even if we wouldn’t, it would not be the first time as it has happened to me often in Connect. I think disagreement with interpretations is healthy as it challenges us. Where unity is vital is as Christians desiring that Jesus be glorified.

(Patrick Teo) #15

Hi Tim

Thank you for your wisdom in Christ Jesus. In your case, may be no choice but leave the church. For you have done the best you can.

i encounter the same problem as you case right now. i attain a Chinese church. Our Chinese pastor comes from a military back ground who has a very strong personality & also has a strong faith in Christ Jesus. He like to use ’ the Lord has spoken to me as his assurance of absolute authority’. What can you say when someone declared that statement! Our congregation had very small number of people around 30 when our church was established three years ago.

Our pastor is very charismatic. He likes to speak in tongue in prayer meeting all the time and before congregation. Due to this reason, he has freightened a few new comers within these three years since the establishment of our church. Few of the brothers and sisters also left the church due to personlity clash with him. However, he is getting better.

i publicised the whole teaching of Paul in related to ’ speaking in tongues’ and the appropriate occasions to do so in our church Wechat connection group one year ago so that all of us would have a better understanding.

i did a very intent study on this subject because the Calvinism regards it as demonic and Chrismatic regards it as a gifting all believers should eagerly purchase. Due to the sensitivity of the subject, an absolute biblical interpretation must be sought!

He took it as an personal attack and even change his sermon on Sunday morning and purposely preached on speaking in tongue just to teach me a lesson in front of the congregation.

Since then, i keep opinion in very low key and continuous praying for him. God sent me there three years ago. i am in the worship team. i would stay on because of obedience until the Lord instructed me to leave.

Therefore, i understand how you guys must have felt. Please pray for us for the Lord to bless us. Our church has only 25 members rifght now.

(Tim Ramey) #16

@ptengineering @kelelek
Patrick, the key to your post, I feel, is that in light of the Word, you are obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I am blessed to hear of your obedience in the face of being humiliated. I will pray for wisdom for you.

I have posted this to Kelly and we have teamed together in RZIM to pray. I am sending this to her to add your church to our prayer concerns. We both value the dire importance of prayer. Please keep us updated as to what transpires at your church.

(Jennifer Wilkinson) #17

@ptengineering, I’m praying for you. I’ve been in similar situations, and I know the pain. I wish I had something meaningful to share, but Tim said it all when he referenced being obedient to the Holy Spirit. God will guide you. I’m praying you feel His peace as you walk each step with Him.