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Philippians 2:10-12

by Don Costello  
6/18/2008 / Bible Studies

Philippians 2:10, 11

That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

a. Amplified Bible: "That in (at) the name of Jesus every knee should (must) bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, And every tongue (frankly and openly) confess and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

1. This Scripture is from Isaiah 45:23, "I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear."

a. It is interesting to note this Scripture is spoken first person.

2. Isaiah 45:23 is also quoted in Romans 14:11.

a. The Scripture in Romans 14 is a reference to the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is saying that the legal basis for the whole world being accountable to Jesus Christ for their actions is his death and resurrection.

b. Romans 14:7-12 "For none of us liveth unto himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's. For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living. But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. So then everyone of us shall give account of himself to God."

3. The above Scripture is speaking of the judgment of Christians, but Jesus is also the Judge of the whole world.

a. John 5:22, 23, 26-29 "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him."

John 5:26-29 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation."

b. Acts 17:31 "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead."

c. Cp. Acts 10:42; 2 Timothy 4:1, 8.

Philippians 2:12

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.

1. "Wherefore,"

a. Wherefore is a conjunction and means 'because of which'. It is linking what he's going to say with what he's already said. What he already said in verses 10 and 11 was refer to the Judgment Seat of Christ by quoting Isaiah 45:23. We are accountable to God, to Jesus and in light of that, he continues.

2. "as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence,"

a. Obedience is for our own good: "But this thing commanded I them, saying, Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people: walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you." Jeremiah 7:23.

b. Obedience is presenting my self to God, or on the flip side, my obedience to the devil is presenting myself a servant to him. "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?", Romans 6:16.

c. As we obey, we are fashioning or conforming ourselves to his written word that says to be holy. "As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy." 1 Peter 1:14-16.

3. "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
a. This phrase has to be read in light of verse 13, that our work or labor is in response to God's working, enabled by God's working to do what he has told us to do. For instance, Colossians 1:29, "Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily." Paul is not referring to our working our way to heaven or going it alone so to speak, but co-laboring with God. "We then, as workers together with him," 2 Corinthians 6:1. In that line of reasoning there is a definite link between obedience and "salvation", in the total definition of the word, safety, deliverance, preservation, healing and soundness. There are countless examples that could be given where salvation- safety, deliverance, preservation, healing and soundness would be given through simple obedience. Obedience is an essential component to faith. James 2:18, "shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works."

b. An interesting passage to throw into the mix is John 6:27-29. "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent." In light of this verse, what Paul is saying in Philippians 2:12 is, "Believe God for your safety. Believe God for your deliverance. Believe God for your preservation. Believe God for your healing. Believe God for your soundness, faith your way through it."

c. fear (5401 * phobos) Vines: "a reverential fear of God, as a controlling motive of the life, in matters spiritual and moral, not a mere fear of His power and righteous retribution, but a wholesome dread of displeasing him." (Note: Here we are told by Paul to "fear"/phobos; and in Revelation 1:17, we are told by Jesus to "Fear not"/phobeo; different Greek words.) This definition easily complements the verses in the Old Testament that define the fear of the Lord, such as Proverbs 8:13 "to hate evil", or Proverbs 16:6, and by the fear of the Lord men, "depart from evil."

My name is Don Costello. Ever since I received Christ in November of 1976 I have had a passion to study and know God's word.My wife Melissa and I have 5 children.

My e-mail address is

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