Work out your own salvation

Philippians 2:12 – work out your own salvation

Some people develop a passive view of Christianity that says that they don’t need to do anything towards their sanctification. They just carry on living however they want to live and hope that God does the rest.

That is not the gospel.

Here’s the reason: faith is the link between God’s work and ours. This is what Paul is saying in this verse. THe idea of “work out” is an imperative to do something. Even though it is God who does it, the link between my doing and His is faith.

Essentially you’ve got to work out what God works in.

Look at some of these bible passages:

Colossians 3:1–10 (ESV) — 1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. 5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Galatians 2:20 (ESV) — 20 I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

2 Peter 1:3–7 (ESV) — 3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.

What each of these passages mean is that God’s work enables our work because God lives in us. As we exercise faith, that God is doing what He said He would do, and we start to put action behind it, God continues to be faithful in His work.

So faith involves two things: a will and a work. It involves radical devotion to God in our lives (the will) and it involves radical dependence on God’s work in our lives (a work).

Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 15:10 (ESV) — 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

This is what makes sanctification happen. Getting up in the morning and declaring “God I can’t do this today, I need your grace to sustain me and empower me”  and then exercising  faith in God as you start to walk in it.

You believe that God will continue to show grace to you so you do your devotions  and you share your faith as best you can and at the end of the day you say – not I but the grace of God in with me

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