God’s Working People
Salvation’s Work – Part III
Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-18
Key Verse: 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,
Let’s study the wording of today’s Key Verse.
The Apostle Paul ties two concepts together in this verse: obedience and work. Paul told the Philippian Christ-followers to continue to obey, like they always had when he was with them. It was this obedience that was the working out their salvation with fear and trembling.
Let’s return to my previous parable of the CEO’s offer of a position in his company. The CEO’s job offer was wildly generous, but he did expect that they would listen, learn, and work hard to fulfill the job’s expectations.
The Apostle Paul is saying, “you’ve received a wildly generous position in God’s family, therefore with great reverence and respect, work diligently to be obedient in all your ways.”
Though obedience to God deserves our best efforts, it does not demand anything beyond what the Lord has made clear to us. We need not worry that, somehow, we will miss what God wants us to do. Look what the Apostle Paul told the Philippians:
All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently that too God will make clear to you. (Philippians 3:15, my underline for emphasis)
The bottom line of the work for which we are responsible is to be obedient to all that God has made clear to us. When Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light, it includes not worrying about any misunderstandings.
This discussion about obedience also includes the disobedience that all of us have had, at times, in our walk with God.
After many years of dealing with people in the church, I have learned that most of our disobedience is the result of human weakness rather than rebellion.
God can strengthen our weaknesses with His grace as we work out our salvation with “fear and trembling”. This means we pray, seek counsel, and do anything else we can think of so that we become obedient in the weak areas of our lives.
Do not forget that God knows about your weaknesses long before He offers you a position in His family. He is merciful and patient in “schooling” you in the work of obedience. God has far more interest in your heart for Him than your perfection in walking with Him. Never stop trying to give Him your best every day!
Father, I rest in Your love and mercy for me. Make clear what You want me to be and do. I will give my best today. In Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.