Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12-18
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12,13)
This passage is tell us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. Obviously this is not referring to our justification. Justification is a one time act of God’s grace when our sins are forgiven and the perfect righteousness of Christ is imputed to us. We cannot work out our justification because God alone can justify a sinner.
The instructions are for us to work out our sanctification. Sanctification is a life long process in which we learn to die more and more to self and to live more and more for Christ. God has provided means of grace that enable us to grow in our faith. Some of them are: Scripture reading and meditation, prayer, worship, Bible study, fellowship with other believers, etc. If we are not regularly reading God’s Word and praying, we will not grow spiritually. We are responsible to work out our sanctification by using the means of grace to help us mature in our faith.
But, our sanctification is not just our responsibility; it is also the work of the Holy Spirit — “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” The Holy Spirit is vital and essential for our sanctification. It is God who works supernaturally in us. He gives us the ability and the desire to follow Him and He provides what we need to work out our salvation.
O Holy Spirit, work in me, transform me from the inside out. Enable me to take advantage of the means of grace that You have provided so that I can work out my salvation. Thank You for the work You are doing in me. Let me be faithful in fulfilling my part in the work of sanctification.
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