Summary: How do I work out my salvation? What is fear and trembling?
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Title Credit: Gerald Steffy on Sermoncentral.com - content is mine, but the title is his.
Philippians 2:12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-- not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-- continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,
Work out the details of your salvation. Salvation isn't something you work FOR but it is definitely something you work OUT.
The Gospel REQUIRES repentance and faith, and PRODUCES obedience.
There is some room for disagreement between Christians on behavior.
Ways you work out your own salvation:
• Personal convictions
• Areas of personal carefulness
Why "Fear and trembling?"
Because God is not someone to be toyed with. God is not a troll sitting around looking for a reason to bash you over the head, but He is also not
I can't give you every detail of what it will mean as you follow Christ. I don't know. They will invent some new technology that I can't even predict. There will be new fashions and new values and new sins people invent... You know as well as I that the Apostle Paul could never have predicted the internet and space travel and virtual reality and television and nuclear warfare.
What I can tell you is that there will be hard decisions to make, and you must work them out with the respect of realizing the stakes you're playing with: Eternity, heaven, hell, your soul... your children and their souls!
Now, this might sound a little heavy. Responsibility is a heavy thing to carry. It makes you SIGH deeply sometimes, just from the weight of carrying it.
So I've got to keep focused all the time, and never mess up and always keep in mind judgement day, and never give in to tiredness...
It's hard to do right all the time.
“No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good. A silly idea is current that good people do not know what temptation means. This is an obvious lie. Only those who try to resist temptation know how strong it is. After all, you find out the strength of the German army by fighting against it, not by giving in. You find out the strength of a wind by trying to walk against it, not by lying down. A man who gives in to temptation after five minutes simply does not know what it would have been like an hour later. That is why bad people, in one sense, know very little about badness — they have lived a sheltered life by always giving in. We never find out the strength of the evil impulse inside us until we try to fight it: and Christ, because He was the only man who never yielded to temptation, is also the only man who knows to the full what temptation means — the only complete realist.”
C. S. Lewis
It's hard to do right always. To carry that responsibility is a weighty thing.