Work Out Your Salvation?

We are going to, for the next few days, reflect upon one of daily lectionary readings that are used by so many as part of what’s called the Morning Office.  You can find a link to these readings here.

Today in Philippians 2:12-13, we read these words:

12 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

weightliftingThese two verses here share with us some of the most important details of being a Christian. The first of these details is when we come to saving faith in Jesus Christ, that is not the end of our journey of faith.  But in fact, it’s just the beginning.

Paul here tells us to work out our salvation with much fear and trembling.  That I think is important, but also dangerous and scary if we don’t read the entire verse.  It’s important, because God desires that we be faithful.  God desires us to grow.  To learn.  To do our part.  Our “part” doesn’t save us, only God saves us.  But when we are faithful, when we do things that allow us to grow, it really does please God.  We work out our salvation as we are faithful.

Now here’s why we have to read the entire part of this verse.  As Paul says in verse 13, but know this.  It’s God is who is at work in us.  We aren’t “doing” it.  God is doing it for us and through us.  It is God that is the one that is at work.

For all that we do, remember, it’s God’s grace that enables us to do it.  It’s God’s grace that empowers us.  It’s God’s grace that makes it all possible.

So yes, we do our part, we are at work. But know, just as oxygen and food give us the ability to do the things we are supposed to do each day, that’s how God’s grace is.  His grace, it gives us the ability to be faithful.

We can’t do it, we can’t do anything, without God’s grace.

So, today, may we be faithful.  And may we remember that it is only through God’s grace that makes us faithful.

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