“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13
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We often have to work out conflicts in our relationships with friends and family. We work out ways to solve problems. And we even work out our bodies at the gym. But all of those things pale in comparison to what the Word of God encourages us to work out for ourselves.
Notice Philippians 2:12: “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
We are commanded to work out our own salvation.
That means each individual has to put forth effort to receive the salvation that Christ has to offer. It’s not the job of your parents, your spouse, or your friends to make sure that you are saved. But each individual must put in the work and the concern for themselves to obtain the salvation that Christ died for us to have.
Verse 13 of that same chapter explains the reason why it is our duty to work out our salvation. It’s because God is working in us to will and to do for His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). God is working, so we must put forth work, too. He is working that we might do His good will. So we must do everything within our power to accomplish His purposes. And God is not willing that any man should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Pet. 3:9).
We are free moral agents – able to choose right from wrong, good over evil. The Lord does not force us to do His will or to work out our salvation while we have the opportunity.
But there will come a time “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on the earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11).
For this reason, also, we should make every effort to be saved, because God has highly exalted Christ and given Him a name above every name (Philippians 2:9). Are you making every effort to be saved? Have you laid aside the sins and pleasures of this world for the glory of Christ? No one can be more concerned than you for your own soul’s salvation.
You can be saved today, if you will obey Christ’s words. He commands that all people believe that He is the Son of God (John 8:24). He commands that all people repent (Luke 13:3). He commands that all confess that He is Lord (Matthew 10:32-33). Jesus commands that all people be baptized in order to be saved (Mark 16:16).
Let’s not sit around and wait on someone else to do something for us but work out our own salvation, with fear and trembling, knowing that the day of the Lord is upon us.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Pet 3:9
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