The First thing in working out your salvation is…

 “Do everything without complaining and arguing, so that no one can criticize you. Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people.”-

{Phil 2:14 -15}


IS COMPLAINING OPTIONAL?  Does God say, “Do a FEW things without complaining?” Or ” Do MOST things without complaining.?” Or does it say,” it’s only natural to complain.” Which of the above summarize you, me?

In the verse before it reads,”work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” So what great thing does God require for you to “WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION?” Note it is personal and indeed for all believers, it is not one thing for one and a different thing for another! WHAT GREAT EVIDENCE OF WORKING OUT YOUR SALVATION WILL BE SEEN?  To go to the other side of the world ?  To sell all you have and make some great sacrifice? What do you think it might be? Hmmm…  HOW ABOUT,…. STOP COMPLAINING, STOP ARGUING!

The first evidence in the passage of working out your salvation is in the crooked and perverse generation you live in you may stand out as a light, no, not “this little light of mine I’m going to let it shine.” The word used here us LUMINARY. It lights up the sky. It is huge. You can’t miss it . And God says in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation what I want to be HUGE before them and among them is they see YOU DO NOT COMPLAIN OR ARGUE! So, no one can criticize you! This is a TESTIMONY!

The word “DO,” is a command, (present imperative) that is to be the continual habit of our lives. It is a choice of our will, not based on our feelings but on a choice of our will in order to obey God, out of gratitude. In 1 Corinthians 10, the Israelites had complained and murmured and they suffered for it, God had enough and dealt with them on the issue. Complaining is a lack of gratitude for who God is and what God has done for you. It is to major on the minor- what you do not  have, believe you should have, rather than majoring on Who you have- fellowship with God through Jesus Christ and all the spiritual blessings you have in Christ. Complainers and thankfulness cannot co exist! One dominates!

 It is not optional, it is a command to be obeyed! The phrase, “All things” without exception. The Greek literally means, “all things DO,” the word “ALL,” being placed first for emphasis and there are absolutely no exceptions!

We are to stay away from complaining, the word “without” comes from a word that speaks of the space lying between two spaces or limits. We are to PUT DISTANCE  between us and complaining, grumbling!

The word, “COMPLAINING,” or as some translations write, “Grumbling,” comes from a Greek word which speaks of saying something in a low tone and is an audible expression of being dissatisfied, discontent, an act or state of disapproving something. Murmuring, grumbling, complaining, showing dissatisfaction, being annoyed, displeased, resentful, displeasure, in John 7:12 it is seen in secret displeasure not out in the open.

Complaining is sin.

Joy in the LORD is what is to characterize believers and Paul shows this in Philippians, he is unjustly imprisoned, he is unjustly treated by jealous preachers. He is suffering for the sake of the Gospel. He has known great difficulties and yet if you read the book, note how many times, the words, joy, rejoice are mentioned. Joy is satisfaction. Paul’s joy is in Christ! His gladness of heart is found in the Person of Jesus, who He is, what He has done, what He is doing and will do and so he looks away to Jesus and no complaining for he finds Jesus has done enough, is enough and that is enough for the lover of Jesus Christ. Himself, the treasure and One who makes him content! The follower of Christ can do all things and this includes doing life without complaining!  It is a choice to be made, the believer has the capacity to do so and now it is an exercise of love for Jesus to choose to instead joy, delight be satisfied with Him!

We live in a generation of complainers. It is like a sport, some are so good at it, they could be “professionals.” It is very in fashion to find fault and complain, and it is so in vogue it is easy to start up an abiding “friendship” with others of “like- mind”-  {polluted, sinful thinking that spews out in complaining, grumbling, whining, dissatisfaction} Nothing is too small or to big to complain over! It is nauseating but to be honest it is so prevalent. normal that people do not see it for the hideous sin it is!

In Numbers 14:36 “As for the men whom Moses sent to spy out the land and who returned and made all the congregation…what?…grumble against him by bringing out a bad report concerning the land, even those men who brought out the very bad report of the land…follow this…died by a plague before the Lord.” The LORD’S response to the grumblers was to kill them because they were spreading discontent against God! Complaining is serious to God!  They complained against Him calling them into the land. They complained against Him because it looked like there were too many of the enemy and not enough of them to overtake them and they were not happy! And so they came back to the people and spread a bad report that God in essence could not be trusted! This is what unbelief does, murmuring, complaining, grumbling, it is spread to others, it is infectious and God dealt with it drastically.

Thank God He has had mercy on my and perhaps YOUR complaining against Him ultimately! But let us never deceive ourselves into thinking it is not a SIN ISSUE!!

God listens to your complaining and it is offensive and grieving to Him as is mine.

It is time to stop embracing, promoting, spreading  complaining and murmuring attitudes, to be sure sometimes we speak it in hushed tones and among a few but nevertheless it is sinful and leads others into sin, it spreads, it is contagious, and if you are going to be a LUMINARY light for Jesus then STOP complaining, it is un-Christian, it is ungodly, it is disrespectful to God!

In the Greek Septuagint translation of Exodus and Numbers we read of Israel’s grumbling, murmuring, complaining. It is to complain expressed in A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE.


The emotional rejection of What God’s Will Is

It is the emotional rejection of your circumstances and is expressed in a mean spirited, grumbling and complaining, that comes out of your mouth is negative! You reject God’s circumstances for you. I am not speaking of sinful circumstances you have deliberately placed yourself in, and then blaming God for it!

It is an emotional rejection of  God’s Providence. God has placed you in a place to show Himself, no doubt it may be difficult but He is working people, things together to meet you, to Glorify Himself, To spread His Fame and Gospel. {Read Matt 5:16; Phil 1:12}. But you are so infuriated, “mad” about the situation, circumstances, frustrated, and it is against God that you feel these sinful emotions against!

It is the emotional rejection of  God, His will, His way, His Word and His command in how we should conduct ourselves in response to life’s hardships, difficulties. God says “rejoice” we say, “I would rather complain, and so I will” because I am more concerned about me than I am about YOU and others!”

 **** To “work out your salvation in fear and trembling”  is to work it out in obedience WITHOUT COMPLAINING and ARGUING WITH GOD!!


The second word, “ARGUING,” or “DISPUTNGS,”  as it is translated. The Greek word is  “Dialogismos,” it speaks of  “Questionings, Doubts, Criticism.”

 1. – While Grumbling, Murmuring and Complaining has to do with the EMOTIONAL side.

2. – This second word has to do with “AN INTELLECTUAL DEBATE WITH GOD.” It is the desire to argue with God, the, “Why’s.” “Why are things this way…why can’t it be that way…”It is to seek to take God on! No, really, we see ourselves as co-equal and we argue with Him why our circumstances are the way they are, why is my work the way it is, why  am I looked over in my job? Why can I not get better grades? Why is my spouse the way they are? Why did my spouse die and leave me alone. God why did you allow this, What is wrong with YOU? Why have you allowed so much pain in my life. Why am I single? It is to argue with God that we are wiser, know more and really should be running if not the universe at least  my own life and so I want to DEBATE God on the issue.

Paul in Romans 9:20-21 gives us some great insight and closure into this spiritual arrogance, “On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me like this,” will it?  Or does not the potter have a right over the clay, to make from the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for common use?”

The first is emotional the second is intellectual debating! And God says, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”  and that means stop your whining and stop trying to Debate God as if you are co equal, because you and I are not! Do things God’s way, and in obedience work it out! 

 We often can think God is so hard to live with. He asks so much. What utter rubbish. He makes it simple He works in us both the desire and the ability for us to work out our salvation… “For His Good pleasure” – {Phil 2:12-13 }… and what is the FIRST thing that is to show forth?



Time to take God serious

Time to take your witness serious before a lost and dying world

Are you constantly complaining? Are you Arguing and Debating  against God?

Do you always have to have the last word?

Are you always arguing until YOU win the argument and people give in?

You are on your way to heaven

Your name is written in the Book of life

What do you have to complain about?



 1. – RENEW YOUR MIND. Hide this verse in your heart . Write it out on a 3 by 5 card and carry with you for a week, looking at it when you have a free moment and meditating and applying it when tempted to complain!

 2. – REJOICE IN THE LORD. Delight in the LORD JESUS, His Person, His Promises.


Count your many blessings one by one and you and I will find we have no time to complain.

 ** COMPLAINING AND ARGUING IS UNBECOMING OF A CHRISTIAN,… DIMS THEIR WITNESS… so this passage teaches. Got problems with that?  Then you have  Got problems… with God!!!

Anything above Hell is a privilege!

please feel free to pass on…