Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Work out salvation with fear & trembling

In Php 2:12-13 what does Paul mean when he says "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"? Paul is exhorting Christians here to make the self-abnegation and humility displayed by Jesus in V5-8 a fact in their own lives (CP V5-8). The words work out mean to "carry out to its ultimate conclusion." This does not mean that salvation is by works, but that Christians are individually responsible for obedience to God's word in the process of sanctification (CP Mt 6:19-20; Jn 6:27; 2Cor 13:5; 1Ti 6:17-19; 2Pe 1:10; Jude 1-3). Fear and trembling in Php 2:12 refers to the attitude with which Christians are to pursue their sanctification. It involves a healthy fear of offending God and a dread of sinning against Him, and of the consequences that may follow (CP Psa 2:11-12; 15:1-5; 85:9; 119:119-120; Pr 3:7-8, 9:10; 14:27; 16:6; Ecc 12:13; Isa 66:1-2; Luke 12:4-5; 1Cor 9:26-27; 10:12-14; Eph 6:5-8; He 6:4-6; 10:26-31). While believers are responsible for working out their salvation, it is God who actually produces the good works and spiritual fruit in their lives (CP Php 2:13 with Hos 14:8; Jn 15:5; 1Cor 12:6; 2Cor 3:5; 1Ti 1:12). It must be clearly understood though that God can only produce good works and fruit in those who conform to His word and allow the Holy Spirit to outwork in them. "Once saved" does not mean "always saved", as some teach (CP Mt 3:10; 7:19-27; Luke 13:6-9; Jn 15:1-8; Col 1:22-23). ~(An excerpt from Bible Truths Revealed at http://bible-truths-revealed.com/Philippians.html)

We are never to rest in a satisfied condition, and cease to make advancement, saying, "I am saved." When this idea is entertained, the motives for watchfulness, for prayers, for earnest endeavor to press onward to higher attainments, cease to exist. No sanctified tongue will be found uttering these words till Christ shall come, and we enter in through the gates into the city of God. Then, with the utmost propriety, we may give glory to God and to the Lamb for eternal deliverance. As long as man is full of weakness—for of himself he cannot save his soul—he should never dare to say, "I am saved."
(Selected Messages Book 1, Page 314)

For a more comprehensive study, please read Once Saved, Always Saved –Fact or Fiction?

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