Saturday, October 20, 2007

Working it out?

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

Philippians 2:12

For a long time I have wondered what it means to work out my salvation with fear and trembling. To set this up, I want this post to be more of a forum-type setting, where a dialogue if you will (and I will) is created. So I will start with what I think Paul is trying to say here and I really would like for others to post with what their own take on it.

Here it goes: First off, salvation is a free gift from God, which we all know. I think that after we received this free gift afforded to us by the amazing grace of God, it is our job to perfect our salvation - ie. reading, praying, listening, loving, serving, encouraging, etc. By this we will avoid falling into the category of living by "cheap grace" that so many Christians do. Their sole motivation is to avoid hell, not to go deeper or fall more in love with our Beloved King Jesus. Will they make it to heaven? Sure. Will they be close to the throne? Probably not.

The second part of this particular verse stems from the fact that only He is the author and perfector of our faith. The fear and trembling arise out of sheer awe of who God is. We are a weak people that depend on God to be and provide for whatever we need. He is a Holy God, and our Sustainer! Once we realize this fact, and realize that He is our strong and wise adversay, then automatically the attitude of fear and trembling will be birthed.

Thoughts?

Grace and peace.

2 comments:

ManUtd17 said...

The best illustration that I can think of is marriage. Marriage does not begin and end with the wedding day. Marriage is a long process. Sometimes it's very complex and sometimes it's as simple as an exchanged glance.

Salvation comes in an instant, but there's a lot to work out after that day to get a complete picture of what it means to be saved.

What working out one's salvation looks like is different for everyone. I don't think there's a list of things to do or be that we have to satisfy to show that we're working it out.

Back to the marriage analogy: if I stopped conversing with my wife after we got back from the honeymoon, our relationship would never grow. She wouldn't know me. I wouldn't know her. I wouldn't know what she desires of me or what she thinks of me. Or what she thinks I can become!

In that same vein, our Lord wants to converse with us. Because in those conversations, we get to know each other better. We get to know that He thinks we are special. We get to know what He desires for us and for those around us.

That dialogue deepens the relationship and is the heart, I think, of what working out our salvation is.

Justin said...

Bill,
That's a great analogy! I have heard numerous times the comparison of our relationship with God and our relationship with our spouse. I had forgotten about it (probably because I'm not married), so thanks!!