(12) Subsequently, my beloved, as you’ve got all the time obeyed, not as in my presence solely, however now way more in my absence, work out your individual salvation with concern and trembling; (13) for it’s God who works in you each to will and to do for His good pleasure.
New King James Model📷
It’s God who saves! God saved Israel from Egyptian slavery. Israel didn’t overcome Pharaoh and Egypt by both warfare or by dint of superior intelligence. Jesus Christ is our Savior, and we can not save ourselves from sin’s energy. Once we settle for Him as Savior, it obligates us as His servants to obey Him.
In like method, when God broke Egypt’s energy, enabling the Israelites to be free, it obligated them to stroll out of Egypt in the event that they wished their liberty. If the Israelites wished to save lots of their skins and be completely freed from Egypt when God parted the Purple Sea, it obligated them to stroll the trail God made for them between the partitions of water. When God stated, “I’m going to carry you into the land and supply for you alongside the way in which,” if Israel wished these items, they have been obligated to stroll all the way in which to Canaan. It is vitally clear that if Israel wished what God stated He would give, then Israel needed to additionally cooperate by working within the type of strolling to the place God stated He would lead or take them. “Stroll” is a code phrase for dwelling.
With this as a background, when Paul says to “work out your individual salvation,” it can not presumably imply we’re going to save ourselves. Slightly, like what confronted the Israelites when God opened the way in which to their bodily salvation from slavery in Egypt, we must be able to make God’s religious salvation sensible and operational. Paul doesn’t say we should work for salvation, however somewhat carry our salvation out to its conclusion. He makes use of “work out” in a lot the identical sense as when a pupil is informed to work out an arithmetic downside—to carry it to its conclusion. For us, the conclusion, the purpose, to work towards is Christ-likeness. The salvation right here is sanctification, victory over sin unto holiness.
To make it very plain, if we wish to be one with Him, we should get transferring within the path He’s pointing, and He factors towards His requirements of conduct and angle. Every individual’s stroll will not be precisely the identical as a result of every individual’s expertise and make-up are considerably completely different. There’s sufficient similarity amongst people, although, to make the Bible all the time related.
One of many stunning issues about that is that every individual’s stroll towards the picture of God is strictly proper for him. What’s extra, Philippians 2:13 additionally says God provides us each the need and energy or power to do it! The New Testomony in Fashionable Speechrenders it, “For it’s God Himself whose energy creates inside you each the will and the facility to execute His gracious will.” This work of God in us is one other facet of His grace, and with out it, we may by no means be one with Him.
God Himself produces in us each the will to reside righteously and the efficient power to take action. He doesn’t demand what we can not do (I Corinthians 10:13). We see in Philippians 2:12 our duty and in verse 13 assist to perform it.
We will see this working along with God in easy illustrations from bodily life. We might launch a sailboat upon the water, but it surely takes what God provides, wind, to make it transfer. We might plant vegetable seeds, however it’s the energy of God in nature that makes the plant develop and produce meals. We might generate gigawatts of electrical energy in energy vegetation, however God offers the wind, water, daylight, coal, oil, or fuel to show the generators. In every case, we add one thing to what God already equipped.
Our salvation is one thing already given as a result of it’s God’s will, and He’s sovereign. We, although, should do one thing to make it sensible by making use of ourselves to salvation’s calls for. Even on this, God permits us to do it!
We are going to by no means know the place the dividing line is between what God provides and what we’re accountable to do as a result of it’s completely different for every based on God’s objective. This proportion have to be completely different as a result of every individual is completely different, and He’s getting ready us for various duties inside His Household. That is certain, nevertheless: Our stroll towards salvation will all the time be tough sufficient to be difficult and edifying.
Even right here the analogy of Israel within the wilderness involves our assist. The place did Israel get the power to stroll throughout the wilderness to the Promised Land? Did it not come from the manna and water God equipped, in addition to the imaginative and prescient and hope of the inheritance which He additionally supplied? Nonetheless, Israel walked! They needed to work, to cooperate.
The verb “work” in Philippians 2:12 is in a tense that signifies steady working. Simply as Israel didn’t depart Egypt and arrive within the Promised Land in a single step, neither are our salvation and oneness with God achieved without delay. It, too, is a course of; it’s our life’s work.
— John W. Ritenbaugh