SOUL SEARCHING QUESTIONS
Paul exhorted the Philippian Christians to diligence and seriousness in the Christian life. His teachings to these brethren provide us with some soul searching question. He wrote, "Therefore, my beloved, as you 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; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, 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, 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. Yes, and if I am being poured out as a drink offering on the sacrifice and service of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all." (Philippians 2:12-17) Ask yourself these questions and give an honest answer.
Are you being obedient to God in life? Christians must be diligent and serious in their Christian obedience. Paul wrote, "Therefore, my beloved, as you 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." (Philippians 2:12) We are required to work out our own salvation. We cannot be saved on the goodness of our parents or the faithfulness others. Salvation is a personal matter and each person must obey God himself. Our obedience begins with our belief in Christ as our Savior, repentance of our sinful ways and baptism for the forgiveness of our sins. Our obedience continues as we live according to His word as revealed to us in the New Testament.
Are you doing the work of God in your life? Paul said God works in the life of Christians. "For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13) The life of a Christian will not be futile because God is at work in and through that life. Christians must go forth, in total dependence upon God, and His grace. All our working depends upon God working in us. God's good will in our life is the cause of good work from our life.
Are you cheerful and positive in your actions? Christians are taught to, "Do all things without complaining and disputing." (Philippians 2:14) Christians are peaceable, loving and cheerful in action. It is not always easy to be cheerful but when we think on the goodness of God who provides our physical and spiritual blessings our spirits will be lifted. Complaining is usually a sign that we are ungrateful. Disputing over things which are not a matter of right versus wrong creates an atmosphere which is unchristian and harmful to us and to those around us. We must continually work to show the life of Christ in our life.
Are you harmless and blameless in your conduct? Paul encouraged Christians to "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." (Philippians 2:15) We must do all the good we can and the least amount of harm possible. Christians must be blameless before men and sincere before God. To be blameless before men we must follow Jesus' teaching at all times. Christians must be good people who shine as lights in the world.
Are you able to defend the truth? The gospel is called the "word of life." Christians are admonished, "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.” (Philippians 2:16) The truth is what brings life through Jesus Christ. Christians must hold forth the truth. It is not always easy to defend the truth. Truth has nothing to fear from evil; we must be both strong and kind in our defence of the faith. If we are properly prepared we will not fear the false prophets who are sure to come into our lives. (2 Peter 2:1)
Are you sacrificial in your service to God? Paul would gladly lay down his life to promote the cause of Christ, help the brethren and spread the gospel. He understood that the cause of Christ is worth his labour. (Philippians 2:17) We need to strive to have this same attitude. Have you be baptized into Christ to put on Christ so that your sins can be forgiven by His blood? "For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ." (Galatians 3:26-27) Believers contact Christ's saving blood by being baptized into His death. As Christians we are God's people, children of our heavenly Father, and we must show that to the world.
By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,
Greenville, Alabama 36037