Let’s jump right in and read Philippians 2:12-13 NIV.
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
In this Scripture, Paul is encouraging the Philippians to adopt the mindset of Christ. To be humble and obedient in doing the things they’d learned since they were saved.
There are many believers that think as soon as they’re saved, that’s it. Nothing else to do but attend church and read the Bible.
All that’s great, but according to this Scripture we have a responsibility.
I think the issue may be with the word “salvation.”
There’s your initial salvation when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior; however, there’s more to the word salvation than meets the eye.
One the many Hebrew words used to signify salvation in the Old Testament is, yasa. It’s where we get the names Joseph, Jesus (Yeshua). It means to save, to help in distress, to rescue, to deliver, and to set free. So, when you accepted Jesus, you were saved, rescued, and set free.
The Greek word for salvation used in the New Testament is soteria, which means deliverance, health, well-being, security, and healing.
With that in mind, Philippians 2:12 NIV offers all of us a challenge.
It says, “…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…”
Let’s highlight the word continue. So, you made the initial decision to accept Christ and are “saved.”
Your initial salvation means you will no longer be eternally separated from God. He may have even transformed you in some ways immediately.
I’ve heard people say, “I stopped smoking.”
Others have said they stopped listening to secular music or stopped drinking.
Some have even stopped using drugs.
If that was you, “Awesome!!
And yet, there’s more to do in order to continue to grow in Christ.
Now, let’s focus on the words “work OUT.” It’s important to note that Paul didn’t say work FOR your salvation. He didn’t work TOWARD your salvation. You’re already saved.
He said work OUT your salvation. In other words, when you got saved, God put somethings inside of you that need to be worked out.
I’ve heard ministers use the example of a gold mine.
If God placed gold inside of you, but you never mine it, how will it be made manifest? How will others who need it know it’s there? How will you use it?
Answer: Start working it out!
The good thing is we’re not doing this alone. We are co-laborers with Christ.
Philippians 2:13 NIV, says…
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
God’s helping you to work it out! He’s working in us to help us, teach us, correct use…and more.
Don’t depend on the spiritual leader to work it out for you.
Ephesian 4:11-12 NIV reads
11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Their job is to equip us for works of service. Your job is to study to show yourself approved and to work out what God placed inside of you.
In Philippians 2:12 NIV, now let’s look at the words “fear and trembling.”
“…continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…” It means to have an awe and respect for God, be confident in His ability to help you work it out. Rely on Him not yourself. Learn to partner with God.
We know that we can trust God. Philippians 1:6 NKJV assures us,
6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;
Let’s draw closer to God, appropriate more of His promises, and bring to completion our salvation.
Working out our salvation knowing that God will help us fulfill His purpose…now that’s the point of purpose. See you next time.
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