FEB 27 8am
Newer believers often get confused by Phil. 2:12, where we are told to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
Notice that Paul did not tell them and us to work FOR their salvation; rather, he told them to work OUT their salvation. Salvation isn’t something we work for, but it is a gift of the grace of God that we receive through …faith.
The phrase work out was translated from the Greek verb “katergazomai,” and according to Wuests Word Studies from the Greek New Testament, it means to carry out to the goal, to carry to its ultimate conclusion. The Philippians and we are exhorted to “carry our salvation to its ultimate conclusion, namely, Christlikeness,” Andrew Wommack points out in his commentary.
Another way to put that would be to allow our New Creation spirits – the new man, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit – to influence our thoughts, words and actions, rather than be influenced by the flesh, which wants to focus on fulfilling bodily and emotional needs and desires. I want His desires, and can trust Him with mine. I am saved, and now I need to live out of that knowledge, in His power. We now walk not according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit Rom. 8:1 and 4.
Why fear and trembling? The Amplified version renders those words as self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ. The flesh is to be mistrusted, and it is easy to follow fleshly ways unless we stay close to the Lord and maintain our relationship in the secret place, keeping our hearts and minds focused on Him and who we are in Him.
The flesh still feels like flesh and thinks I’m the same old person. So I need to be concerned to keep it in it’s place, reminding the flesh that I am a new person in Christ, and that it is no longer allowed to control me. I have no concern or anxiety because I am free in Christ, the Old Man truly is dead. Yet, I do recognize that in this life, I still live in a fleshly body, and thus I take seriously overcoming its propensity to lead.
In other words, because we are saved, we very much want to live out our destiny in the here and now and be all He has made us to be. Many Christians have a defeated walk. We desire to live victoriously in Him. So, we do our part, in His power, staying connected to the vine to bear fruit.
And Praise the Lord, Vs. 13 tells us how that is accomplished: “For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.” We submit to Him working in us. How wonderful that He not only saves us, He empowers us for godly living, as “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us by His own glory and virtue” (2 Pet. 1:3). For that I am truly thankful.
So, we work out our salvation in our prayer closet, abiding in Him and letting His Word abide in us, paying attention to His life within us, which keeps us in His presence, all of which accelerates the outworking of what He has placed in our spirits into the soulish realm and our daily life.
That is how we overcome in this life, and fulfill our destiny of being a useful tool of the Lord in His Kingdom, submitted and available to allowing Him to fulfill His desires in and through us to reach the world for Him.