Working Out

Philippians 2:12 – 13 “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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.”

Brother Bennie, my dear childhood pastor, always said, “When you see the word therefore, you should always look to see what it is there for.” Paul tells his readers, in light of the previous verses, they should continue to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. In light of God’s great sacrifice for us, we should do the same, working out our salvation with great reverence for the One who provided that salvation.

Notice that Paul doesn’t tell us to work for our salvation. There is no need to work for a free gift. We could never earn such a gift, anyway. Instead, we should work out our salvation. I’m not sure how theologically accurate this is, but I like to think of this as a spiritual work-out! By obeying, by doing what is right even when no one is looking, by living our lives in gratitude for Christ’s immeasurable gift to us, we actually build our spiritual muscles!

But for all of us, there are times when we don’t feel like working out. We don’t feel like obeying. We don’t feel like doing the right thing. And it might be easy, during those times, to just let our faith slide a little. But never fear! We have a hero, a coach, a trainer in our great and wonderful God! It is He who causes us to love Him, and when we are weak, He will carry us through. He will send His Holy Spirit to keep us going, when we don’t have the strength or willpower to keep going on our own.

Our salvation is possible only because of God – because of what Christ did for us on the cross. But we should work for Him, live for Him, love Him as though it depends only on us. With the greatest of heart-felt reverence, we should – we must! – live each moment as a passionate thank you to the One who gave up so much for us.

Dear Father, Thank You for Your Son, who left His throne to become a poor human, so that I could one day call myself Your child. Thank You, thank You, thank You.


2 Responses to Working Out

  1. October 4, 2007 #

    You, my dear, just summed up succinctly the Catholic doctrine and view that “faith without works is dead”.
    Gee, I think that’s in the Bible somewhere, like James…
    You are so right – we are never justified by works, but the working out of our faith is the proving ground of its reality.
    Love you, my Protestant friend,

  2. October 23, 2007 #

    Great post. God works it in and we work it out.

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