Becoming a Better Me Message Series


1 – God’s Part & My Part In Changing Me
Philippians 2:12-13

February 28, 2021
Dr. Mark S. Hartman, Lead Pastor



A. Philippians 2:12-13  So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.

B. Our job in changing our lives is to work out our own salvation.  (Ephesians 2:12)

1. Ephesians 2:8-9  God saved you by His grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.  9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  (NLT)

2. Titus 3:5  God saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. (NIV)

3. 2 Peter 1:5-8  So don’t lose a minute in building on what you’ve been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, 6 alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, 7 warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. 8 With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. (MSG)

4. The “fear and trembling” means that we are afraid we might miss out on all that God has for us.  In other words, take your salvation and your own personal growth seriously.  Work at it as though it is the most important thing in your life. 

C. God’s part in changing our lives is to work in us to be changed to be like Jesus. (Ephesians 2:13)

Philippians 2:13  …for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.



A. God uses the Bible to change us.

1. 2 Timothy 3:16-17  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

2. 2 Timothy 3:16-17  (Paraphrase)  The whole Bible was given to us by inspiration from God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives; it straightens us out and helps us do what is right. 17 It is God’s way of making us well prepared at every point, fully equipped to do good to everyone.

3. When we take seriously what the Bible tells us to do, it changes our way of thinking so it will change our actions.

4. Proverbs 4:23  Be careful how you think.  Your life is shaped by your thoughts.

5. Change always begins with new thinking.

6. Romans 12:2  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.

7. When you think differently, you will begin feel differently, and when you feel differently, you will begin to act differently.

B. Second, God uses the Holy Spirit to change us.

1. Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He …will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you.

2. Choose to be filled with the Holy Spirit.

The filling of the Holy Spirit isn’t getting more of Him.  Rather it is allowing Him to get more of you.  The more you surrender in obedience to the Word of God, the more God controls your life and empowers you for change.

C. God uses circumstances to change us.

Romans 8:28-29  To those who love God and are called according to His plan everything that happens fits into a pattern for good.  For God chose us to bear the family likeness of His Son.

D. Respond correctly to circumstances.

1. Romans 5:3-4  We can be full of joy here and now, even in our trials and troubles.  These very things [the trials and troubles] will give us patient endurance; this in turn will develop a mature character.

2. We can’t choose what is going to happen to us next week, next month, next year.  We don’t have that choice.  But we can choose how we’re going to respond, whether it’s going to make us or break us, whether it’s going to be a steppingstone to maturity or a stumbling block to failure.

E. The power to change comes from God’s power and your choices.