Work out your Salvation
"Therefore, my beloved, as you 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; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure." —Philippians 2:12–13
A New York woman who survived the Spanish flu in 1918 also survived the coronavirus at age 101. So, what’s the secret to her longevity? Her family said she loves to eat Oreos. I don’t know about the health benefits of Oreos. But experts tell us there are health benefits from exercise. And just as we need to work out physically, we also need to work out spiritually.
The apostle Paul wrote, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:12–13 NKJV). We need to work out what God has worked in. Notice that Paul didn’t say, “Work for your salvation” because salvation is a gift from God. Ephesians 2:8–9 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” (NKJV).
So then, what does it mean to work out your own salvation? Remember, Paul was writing to Christians. In fact, he addressed them as “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi” (Philippians 1:1 NKJV). From the original language, work out also could be translated, “work it out,” “carry it out completely,” or “bring it to full completion.” The Bible tells us that the Christian life is like running a race or being in a war. There’s effort involved. You can't just sit by and expect God and others to do what God has called you to do. God always does His part, but we must do ours. So, get to work and work out what God has worked in you!
Going and Growing 2022
I am thankful for you!