“Work Out Your Own Salvation”
by Bill Lambert
In Phil 2:12-13, the apostle Paul writes about our relationship with God and emphasizes the importance of our dedicated attention to personal involvement in that salvation which is afforded us in Christ Jesus. Note: “Therefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” It is God working in us when we work. If we are not interested in going to heaven above all else, we will not go there.
This does not mean that we have to “work our way to heaven” in the sense that what we do will earn us a place there. What is intended is that we continually work, that we work until the end. There is not to be a “let-up” in our activity as children of God. We must have zeal for God.
A zealous person, according to Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, is an “uncompromising partisan.” God’s word teaches us the importance of continuous, zealous activity. Paul writes about the Lord, that he “gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works” (Titus 2:14). Are you “zealous of good works?” This is what the Lord requires of his “special (peculiar) people.” Do you consider yourself one of God’s special people?
When it is said of a person that he has been “working out,” we understand that he has been actively involved in strenuous exercises. So it is with the child of God. He must be an active participant in his salvation, and must be that until the end. Note these words of encouragement from the inspired writer.
We are encouraged to be “steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor. 15:58). Are you one of God’s good workers?
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