So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, for the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish though you live in a crooked and perverse society, in which you shine as lights in the world. – Philippians 2:12-15
Verses 14-16 doesn’t have any conjunction or connector that would tell us how to relate this passage logically from the preceding verses. The immediate context seems to imply that this is an inference from or at least a way of working out your salvation.
For the following reasons:
Now how does “not grumbling” would result to blamelessness?
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may be blameless and pure, children of God without blemish
If you can control your tongue and not stumble from it, then you can control and bridle your whole body and not stumble from it(James 3:1-2). It means you’re already perfect. Sin of grumbling is the most hard to overcome, because it flows from the dissatisfaction of the heart. Scripture says “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”. If we treasure in our hearts earthly things that will never give us lasting satisfaction, our hearts will just abound with complaints hence grumble against God. Therefore if we don’t grumble anymore, that only means we’re perfectly satisfied in God.
Do we really need to strive to attain perfection? Am I being a legalist if I pursue that?
Yes and No. Yes, we need to strive because Paul did and we are to imitate him as he imitate Christ. No, we are not being legalist nor perfectionist. Paul strived to make it his own because he already belongs to Christ(Philippians 3:7-21)
Therefore the way to work out is by doing all things without grumbling until the completion of our salvation, namely the attainment of blamelessness at the coming of Christ. And the grounds for this command is that God is working in us both the willingness and ability to look for the interest of others which is a means to a murmur free life.