Scripture Reading: Philippians 2:12,13

“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, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to HIs good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12,13)

Paul is referring to sanctification in this passage. We have a responsibility to work out our salvation (sanctification) — “Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” While this is certainly true, we must also realize that the Holy Spirit is vital and essential for our sanctification as well — “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to His good pleasure.”

In the first chapter of Philippians we read — “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (1:6). The Holy Spirit began His work in us when He effectually called us and caused us to be born again. He continues His work in us by giving us the gift of faith through which we have been justified.

Once we have been justified, the Holy Spirit is vitally involved in our growth as Christians (our sanctification). He illuminates our hearts and minds to grasp the truths God has revealed in His Word. He prompts us to be obedient to the teachings of Scripture. He convicts us of sin and encourages us to live our lives in a manner worthy of the gospel. He produces spiritual fruit in us (Galatians 5:21,22). He gives us spiritual gifts which are to be used in ministry (I Corinthians 12). He enables us to rejoice even in our sufferings. He perseveres with us and will not let us go. He continues His work until we are taken to glory.

We are responsible to work out our salvation by using the means God has provided for us — His Word, prayer, worship and the Sacraments, Christian fellowship, etc. But without the enabling work of the Holy Spirit none of these things will be effectual for our spiritual growth.

O Holy Spirit, thank You for Your presence in my life. Thank you for working in me. You enable me to grow in my faith. You empower me to live a godly life. You produce spiritual fruit in me and You have given me gifts for ministry. Enable me to work out my salvation. Keep me ever close to my Savior Jesus.


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