In Philippians 2:12-18 there is a great passage of Scripture that looks at working out our salvation as Christians. It talks about a number of things we should think about as Christians and a number of things we should do. It also gives us some reassurance.
Here are a few reflections from the passage…
1. Paul tells them to be obedient – In verse 12 Paul tells them to keep being obedient to God’s commands. He stresses this is important whether he is with them or not. Obedience is not about someone watching over us to keep a check on us, but doing the right thing regardless. It is about being faithful and obedient wherever we are, with others or alone.
2. Work out your own salvation – Verse 12 also says to work your own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul is telling them to stay the course of faith and take responsibility for your own faith and growth. He is not saying to work for you salvation, that is done by Christ. He is saying to work on the things that you should do to keep you moving forward.
3. Stand out like the stars – Verse 15 tells us to shine like the stars in this depraved generation. Verse 14 says to do everything without arguing of complaining so that we will be blameless and pure children of God. People should see we are living differently if we are being obedient to God. We should be like a light as Matthew 5:13-15 talks about.
4. Both God and us do the work – Verses 12 & 14 talk about us doing the work of being obedient, being blameless, not complaining or arguing, being pure children of God. However, we must remember that God is also at work within us too. Verse 13 says, “for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”. He is working in us to bring about His purpose for our lives.
So working out your own salvation is about being obedient to God, taking responsibility for you own faith and growth, living blamelessly before God and man and being a light to the world. However, we also get some assurance that while we play our part, God is also playing His part to bring His plans to pass in our lives.
PS. This is available in MP3 for free here