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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Working Out, Not Working For
Wherefore, 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. (Philippians 2:12—NIV)
If I had a nickel for every time I have been accused of preaching "works" I could retire on the interest.
This obviously is an exaggeration. But it really has happened many times.
Therefore I am taking computer in hand to say we do not work for our salvation but according to the Scriptures we certainly have to work it out.
Not only do we have to work out our own salvation but we are commanded to do so with fear and trembling!
Now, what must we do to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling?
To begin with we have to determine what salvation is.
Salvation is two things: first, change into the image of Jesus Christ in our inward nature, and then, at His coming, in our outward form. Second, untroubled rest in the Person of the Father through Jesus Christ.
Every other aspect of the Kingdom of God, whether residence in Paradise or our return with Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth, is peripheral to these two central facts of salvation: change into the image of Christ and untroubled rest in the Father.
These are the two dimensions of the goal of salvation and are what salvation is and accomplishes in us.
When we speak of working out our own salvation with fear and trembling we mean working out our change into the image of Christ and our union with the Father through Christ.
We do so with fear and trembling because there are so many traps along the way, so many deceptions and tricks of the enemy to get us off course. We are in an evil world and there is much evil in us. Make no mistake about this. Because of our outer and inner enemies we must be very diligent each day of our life to make sure the work of change and union is proceeding on schedule.
There are five realms of Divine grace that operate to bring us to our goal.
Forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.
The continuing Presence of the Holy Spirit in our personality.
Obedience to the commandments of Christ and His Apostles.
The formation of Christ in us.
The dwelling of the Father and the Son in the new creation that has been formed in us.
Forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. The first commandment issued by John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ was "The Kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe the good news."
When we learn of the Kingdom of God that soon is to come and take over the rulership of the earth, our proper response is to repent and believe. Repentance and belief go together. Repentance is a change of our behavior. There is no such thing as an abstract belief that does not result in a change of our behavior.
To repent is to turn away from worldliness, the lusts of our flesh, and our own self-will and personal ambition.
To be continued.