Summary: Our spiritual growth requires daily work outs
Do you have a daily work out plan or know someone who does?
Each day some people have a routine of doing some form of exercise. Some either walk or jog in their neighborhood. Others go to the gym and use special equipment to work out. All of this is to improve physical strength, endurance and abilities.
Our physical body is not the only part of us that needs a daily work out. We need to give our spirit a daily work out to make our spiritual life stronger. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Philippians about this need for ongoing spiritual strengthening.
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, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose. Philippians 2:12-13
We are also meant to have spiritual work outs as well. Paul says to work out your salvation. There are times when this phrase has been misinterpreted so let’s look at what Paul is not saying first.
Paul is not saying that we can somehow earn salvation
There is absolutely nothing that we can do to earn our salvation. This may sound a bit harsh but Jesus really doesn’t need your help in providing salvation. The work is already done. Paul himself said that if righteousness could be gained through the Law Christ died for nothing (Galatians 2:21) There is no way to do anything that makes you worthy of being saved.
Paul is not saying that there is anything more needed for salvation
Christ is the source of salvation. There is nothing else needed other than faith in Jesus to gain salvation. You cannot do anything to add to the work of Christ to get something extra for salvation. Remember the work is already done. The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross paid our spiritual debt and the resurrection gave us everything we need for eternal life.
When I first came to Christ there were a lot of things that needed His work. I had a lot of rough edges that needed to be worked off. Even though I was saved I still needed to grow.
When Paul speaks of work it is not our working for salvation but rather because of it. Once we accept Christ, we often have growing left to do. The word for work out literally means to complete, to finish or to accomplish. The work of salvation is not just to get us to heaven but to make us more like Jesus. Each day we need to be striving to grow more and more like Him and that takes effort on our part.
The need for us is to do things that stimulate that spiritual growth. We need spiritual work outs.
1.) Prayer - Prayer is communicating with God and building that personal relationship with Him.
2.) Scripture - Bible reading is essential to knowing the direction and the leading of God. God gives guidance through His word.
3.) Worship - Worship is more than just gathering on Sunday morning. If that is all the worship you are doing, you’re selling God short and cheating yourself. Worship is the experience of lifting praise and song to God. You need to worship God on a daily basis.
These three are not exclusive but are essential building blocks to developing a vibrant relationship with God.