Philippians 2:12-17

In March 2020, churches entered into a situation like never before. Due to the pandemic, all physical gatherings have been moved online, including Sunday Services. Originally, we expected the situation to be only temporary. However, it becomes clear that some of the changes are here to stay. What does this imply to the Church?

BC planned its reopening in mid- May. We were told that we are entering a “new normal”. This is equally true for the churches. We are entering into an unknown situation, in which everything is new. Should the church maintain the status quo? Or, should we explore and venture into this new direction?

We are living at a time similar to the early church.

  1. There was no precedent before them. “Church” was a new concept for their generation.
  2. They lived in the midst of uncertainty and hostility.

How did Paul address the church in such a time?

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, ….(Philippians 2:12)

  1. Obey, all the time.
  2. Obey, even the situation looks unfavorable. (Ref: Philippians 2:15 “in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation”)

….work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12)

  1. Hold on to your personal relationship with Jesus, especially in tough times.
  2. Be persevered and live out the image of Jesus.

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)

  1. Paul encouraged Christ’s followers that we are not alone but God is with us and behind us.
  2. It is because of God’s good will that we can live out Jesus’ characters.
  3. It’s the Holy Spirit in us motivating us to follow Christ.
  4. The Holy Spirit enables us to live out His will and embrace the uncertainties.

One thing we can be certain is that God has a good plan in everything and He will bring us into His Promise Land. Paul reminded the church to remember and hold fast to this belief so that they would not grumble against God like the Israelites in Moses’ time (Philippians 2:14) 

In such an uncertain time, we must be even more dedicated in responding to God’s calling in following Jesus our Lord.

For Paul, obedience is an active following that knows no limit.

Reflection Questions

  1. How do you describe your relationship with Jesus? In the pandemic, do you notice any specific area that you need a breakthrough as Christ’s follower?
  2. Has God put any opportunity in your neighborhood that you can share the gospel in your community through serving?


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