Working out our salvation.

We have been experiencing record hot temperatures recently. This has made for very uncomfortable days, but very pleasant nights,  here in the finger lakes.  I was walking around our back yard the other night, gazing up at the stars and talking with God our Father and Jesus, also contemplating a bit about my life. I was thanking God for being a part of his family.  The millions of stars I was gazing at are part of our inheritance, and they will all burn out and fade away, but we will dwell in the house of our Lord forever.  This is awesome to think about. I began  to remember a time in my life, when I thought that salvation was something I had to try and earn, by my good works.  The harder I tried to live up to God’s standards, the more sin conscious I became.  Jesus stated that his work on earth was finished. He did everything he was sent to do, and  he needed to do, for our salvation.   In the gospel of John, Jesus stated, John 17:4 “ I have glorified thee on the earth:  I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”   And also in John, as Jesus hung on the cross his final words were ,  It is finished. John 19:30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Jesus finished all he was sent to do, in regards to our salvation. There is nothing we can do to add to it, or take away from it. This is part of the Good News.  Paul put it this way in his letter to the Ephesians.  Ephesians 2:7-9 7″That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9Not of works, lest any man should boast.”  Paul said that in the ages to come, God would show his grace and kindness toward us. Perhaps, to those who did not accept his kindness.  Trying to be good, to earn God’s favor, leads to self examination. But resting in Jesus finished work, and God’s goodness, leads to examining and contemplating on God’s goodness, and mercy, toward us. Again, Paul wrote to the church at Rome. Romans 2:4  “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” So we see, that thinking and meditating on God’s goodness toward us, leads to a change in attitude, and not trying to work out our own salvation.  As I was thinking about all this, a scripture came to mind, that had always been a bit puzzling. Philippians 2:12 “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.”  Nowhere else in the New Testament, does it talk about working out our own salvation. Christ has worked it out for us. In Hebrews, it is said,  we can approach God boldly. Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”  In  Philippians 2:11,  one verse before he mentions working out our own salvation, Paul writes, “11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”  It is God’s will, for everyone to accept the finished work of our Lord Jesus. This brings glory to God the Father, and to Jesus.  Jesus sacrifice paid for all our sins, past, present and future.  Paul put it beautifully, when he wrote this to the church at Rome. Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”  Faith in Jesus makes us righteous, and nothing else. I believe what Paul was saying in Philippians is, if anyone try’s  to work out there own salvation, then they need to fear and tremble.  Lets never try and work out our own salvation. If we do, we are not covered by the blood of Jesus, and we have every reason to Fear and Tremble!

1 Comment

  1. Angelita

    I believe what you have written here is so very true! I also think when the apostle Paul wrote work out our salvation with fear and trembling that he ment for us to set ourselves apart for God (which is santification) We do have a part in our salvation as far as obeying the scriptures growing in God learning to crucify our flesh ect But these alone with out the blood of Jesus could never save us as you said!

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