Work Out Your Salvation

Scott Stevenson

"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."  Philippians 2:12-13

Under the subtitle of “Shining Stars” in Philippians 2, Paul talks about shining stars in a “crooked and depraved generation.”  For some reason, I tend to just read God’s Word and that’s it!  I get up from my time with God and I don’t take it into the world with me…big mistake!

How am I to make a difference for God if I don’t obey what I read?  I know the sinful nature has a lot to do with our actions, but there’s a power that resides in us that will give us the victory and that power comes from the Holy Spirit.  We take away the power of the Spirit when we are disobedient; we have to put in work at being obedient to God.  Here’s what the Lord says about the Holy Spirit that resides in us:

"But you are not controlled by your sinful nature.  You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you.  (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)"  Romans 8:9

I guess with that, I need to ask myself, does God break His promises?  Of course not!  I get up from reading God’s Word and don’t do what it says and expect something good to come of it…is lunacy.  If we look at it that way then we have nuts walking all over the place, in fact, you have one of the crazy crowd writing to you.  Sin makes all of us crazy but God gives us the choice to follow Him.

So, with that in mind, how do we become stars in a dark world?  How do we work out our salvation?  I think the first thing we need to realize is that God said “work”.  It will take work to do what comes in v. 14-15.

"Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world."  Philippians 2:14-15

Ouch!!!  Yes, I’ve asked the Lord to forgive me, I have repented, but I need to work hard at becoming a star in this world.  It is time to put in work.  I leave you with a single word that can change your life for eternity…OBEY.




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