Summary: Paul calls us to an amazing life of working out the gift of salvation.
One of golf’s moments came when a Scotchman demonstrated the new game to President Ulysses Grant. Carefully placing the ball on the tee, he took a mighty swing. The club hit the turf and scattered dirt all over the President’s beard and surrounding vicinity, while the ball waited on the tee. Again he swung, and again he missed. The President waited patiently through six tries and then quietly stated, “There seems to be a fair amount of exercise in the game, but I fail to see the purpose of the ball.”
Too often, “The only exercise we get is jumping to conclusions, running down friends, sidestepping responsibility, pushing our luck.” work out your salvation
If your physical appearance was based upon your spiritual condition, what would your body look like? Ripped? ABS ‘ a big stomach’
2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;
2:13 for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.
A man was driving with his wife at his side and his mother-in-law in the back seat. The women just wouldn’t leave him alone. His mother-in-law said, “You’re driving too fast!” His wife said, “Stay more to the left.” After ten mixed orders, the man turned to his wife and asked, “Who’s driving this car – you or your mother?”
Salvation consists of Someone that is working in us.
To many, salvation is no more than the promise of going to heaven. But salvation also means that today heaven can come to us.
It is knowing that God has saved us but salvation also means that the same God that saved is also the God that sanctifies us.
1. THE GIFT OF SALVATION! In verse 12, Paul said, "work out your own salvation." To understand first considering what he was not saying.
Paul was not suggesting one must work for salvation. He had just stated that salvation had been provided by the Lord Jesus: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross" (2:6-8).
Jesus had taken upon Himself the form of man that He might die for man. Paul had made it very clear that salvation was not what man may do but what Jesus has done. Salvation is not something to achieve, but something to receive. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph.2:8-9).
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."
A lifetime of good works cannot and will not save anyone. Salvation is by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, plus nothing, minus nothing.
Franklin Graham spoke in Chattanooga. The next day the headlines in the Chattanooga Times read: "Evangelist Went Too Far Students Say. Franklin Graham’s fire and brimstone chapel talk this week has some Baylor students pretty fired up." The article told of how 250 Baylor students signed a petition protesting the 20 minute message by Graham. One student said that he thought Graham went too far when he told students that anyone who did not accept Christ as his personal Savior was condemned to hell.
There can be no salvation apart from the Lord Jesus. A person is condemned to hell if Christ is not their Savior. Salvation cannot be achieved but must be received from the Lord Jesus that has done all that is needed to be saved. It is the gift of God.