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.
Notice Paul didn’t say, work for your salvation, or toward your salvation, but work out
your salvation. According to verse one of this book, he is writing to those who are already
A man comes to the gates of heaven and is met by St. Peter. "What do I have to do to get in?" Peter says, "It takes a thousand spiritual points to get into heaven. What have you done?" The man begins to recite his accomplishments: "I went to church every Sunday, attended every prayer meeting and fellowship dinner, read my Bible each morning and shared the gospel with everyone I met. What is more, I tithed ten percent of all I made, sang in the choir, cooked Thanksgiving turkeys for the Senior Citizen's dinner and EVEN HELPED WITH THE JUNIOR HIGH BAPTIST YOUTH..." For two hours he went on reciting an awesome list of all he had done for God. Peter looked at with love and said, "That's very impressive! It will add up to one spiritual point." The guy was flabbergasted! "You mean to tell me that everything I've done, the sweat I've poured, money I've given and time I've spent is only worth a SINGLE POINT?? "I've got one point and it takes ONE THOUSAND to get into heaven? LORD, HAVE MERCY!!" Peter replied, "Oh, that will be worth the other 999. You can come on in." 1
We know the Bible teaches us that our salvation comes only by God’s grace and mercy, not by any of our works. Jesus is the only way to heaven. Someone has said, the Christian life is not a life of ups and downs but rather a life of ins and outs. God works in, and we work out The phrase "work out" means to carry to out to the goal, or to carry to its ultimate or final conclusion. As a student works out a math problem, we are to bring our salvation to its ultimate conclusion: being like Christ As a miner works out the silver or gold buried deep in the mine, so we are to work thru all the difficulties of life to bring our life like Christ! As a farmer works out his fields to bring about the goal of a bountiful harvest, so we are to labor faithfully t become like Christ! 2
I-WORK IT OUT WITH COMMITMENT: V-12, “obeyed”
1-Paul was aware that obedience to Christ was the key to living the Christian life.
2-There is the problem of obedience in our homes, in our schools, in our government, and even in the Church. But God requires it, and if we fail to obey Him, He will take us to the wood shed.
3- William Bradford, the governor of the Plymouth Colony of pilgrims, insisted, "Those who believe in the Holy Scriptures are bound to observe its teachings. Those who do not are to be bound by its consequences." 3
4-You have probably seen such signs many times. When a company takes over another company, there is often a sign placed outside the premises announcing, "Under New Management." No sign so accurately summarizes what takes place in Christian conversion. When Christ takes over a life, that life is literally "under new management." How hard it is to learn this lesson, and to acknowledge the new authority in our lives! How hard it is for those who have obeyed the flesh, to obey the Lord Jesus Christ! But that is required in being a Christian. 4
4-These Christians were obedience not only in Paul presence, but also in his absence.
II-WORK IT OUT WITH CAUTION: V-12, “fear and trembling”
1-Paul doesn’t mean that they might lose their salvation, but that they must use it in the proper way to honor God, and respect Him.
2-A little boy who got saved, said to his friend, I got a new heart? His friend said, let me see it?
3-The world is asking us the same question, if we say we are saved, and got a new heart, they want to see some changed actions in our lives. They should see our living for Jesus, not the devil.
4-For us to do this, we must have an awe for God knowing He is judging us.
5-I read a story about C.T. Studd told by his roommate. His roommate woke to find him in the corner of the room reading the the Bible by candle light. He asked him why was he doing this at such a late hour? He replied, I felt like I was not close enough to God, so I was reading His Word to see if I had disobeyed any of His commands. (He had learned what it means to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.)