PHILIPPIANS 2:12-13 – Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
THEME OF THE DAY: REMEMBER GOD IS AT WORK – ALWAYS. Today’s verse is arguably one of the key passages of scripture showing us a dual responsibility in the Christian life. We work. God works. The context is that of sanctification or spiritual growth. The statement “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” is not to be interpreted as earning one’s salvation or working for salvation. It means the new life in Christ given at salvation is to go on to maturity, to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, to conform more and more into His image, and this work has two active participants – us and the Lord.
How does this work itself in the day-to-day life of the Christian? First, our part. What is required of us to work out our salvation? It might be summed up in one simple word, not an easy word to do, but simple to understand – obedience. The whole life of the Christian is one of loving and intentional obedience to God’s Word. When obedience is occurring in a believer’s life so is the working out of salvation. When obedience is lacking in a believer’s life, the working out of salvation has ceased. So, to understand our part in this work just remember why we are saved – to obey God. It was our created purpose before sin came into the world and it is our re-created purpose in salvation. Now God’s part . . .
The Apostle Paul states “for it is God who works in you, both to will and do for His good pleasure”. Time, space, and even our finite understanding does not allow us to explore the depths of God’s work in the lives of His children, but we may make one statement of God’s work in His children. It comes from the familiar passage in the eighth chapter of Romans – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). How does God do His work in us as we do our part in the working out of our salvation? In all things. Yes, I know, not very profound but true.
God is constantly at work in us each day in every circumstance, situation, relationship, event, trial, test, difficulty, and anything else His providence brings into our lives. That is why it is so important we walk each day with a spiritual mindset and awareness that nothing comes into our lives by chance. All are the workings of God in the working out of our salvation.
So, the application? As we work out our salvation in obedience, God works it out in us through challenging circumstances, intense trials, and seasons of sufferings that require us to exercise such maturing obedience. It is in the obedience to His commands in the unfolding of God’s providence we grow in grace or work out our salvation in fear and trembling.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I complain about circumstances in my life forgetting they are Your work.”
QUOTE: “As we work out our salvation in obedience, God works it out in us through challenging circumstances.”
Because of Him,