Philippians 2:12-13 — 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 (NIV).
A lot of people act as if they’re allergic to work. There are many definitions and interpretations of the word work, but I want to offer you my personal definition. To work means to put forth the appropriate amount of effort needed in order to be productive.
Many believers offer minimal effort and expect to produce optimum results. Others give nothing of themselves and assume everything will work itself out. This is a delusional mindset. Most things worth having require work, or maximum effort, in order to achieve them. This includes working out our salvation.
What does it mean to work out your salvation? I’m glad you asked. Salvation does not begin and end with a “sinner’s prayer.” When you prayed and received Christ as your Lord and Savior, a form of conception took place. With that prayer, you made a commitment to go to work.
All believers have the responsibility to put forth the appropriate effort needed to produce godly fruit in their lives. To work out your salvation means to strive daily to become more like Him and to live in obedience to His word. Paul instructed us to do so with fear and trembling.
Most people fail to work out their salvation because they do not have a holy fear of God. They don’t reverence Him or hold Him in high esteem. Those who honor God work to be more like Jesus, and they do what He says. Their great love for Him compels them to do whatever is necessary to be like Him. Maybe you’re laying down on the job today. If so, get back to work!
1 Corinthians 3:13 — But on judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value (NLT).
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