Thursday, January 27, 2011

Work Out Your Own Salvation? I Don't Think So!

The Bible Says in Philippians 2:12 (KJV)….

“Wherefore, my beloved, as ye 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.”

The aforementioned text is often used to emphasize the fact that ‘work’ is involved to secure our salvation.  And yes, The Bible Says in James 2:20,“ But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” 

When Seventh-day Adventists present this argument, they are referring to the work of keeping the Ten Commandments and more specifically, the 7th day Sabbath.  But when James makes the statement that faith without works is dead, what ‘works' is he referring to?

I would like to suggest that these ‘works’ have absolutely nothing to do with our salvation.  Why? Because for those who believe, salvation is already theirs NOW!  The Bible Says in John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
 
The latter part of Philippians 2:12 reads, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”Let’s analyze this statement. ‘Work out’ according to the dictionary means ‘to do physical exercise.”  ‘Your’ is a personal possessive pronoun (showing ownership).  ‘Own’ means to have ownership or possession of.  ‘Salvation’ (the act of delivering from sin) is the object of the statement. In brevity, we are to give the salvation we already have (your own salvation) a good work out.  The Bible Says it even plainer in the New Living Translation, “….Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear.”

Obeying God for New Covenant Christians is NOT referring to the Ten Commandments.  The Bible Says in 1 John 3:23-24,  And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

‘Working out’ and ‘Working for’ are two different processes. Working out says we have it but we need to exercise it and become stronger as a result.  Working ‘for’ means we don’t possess it and we have to work to earn it. Whatever effort we put towards earning or ‘working for’ our salvation is done in vain. How can we work for what we already have?

So, what does this work out involve? The Bible Says, “And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” 1 John 4:21(NIV)  Love is an action word, so let's work it!
 
 Work Out Regiment:

1.      Work out your salvation by EXERCISING faith in God.
2.      Work out your salvation by GIVING of your time and talents.
3.      Work out your salvation by SHARING your faith.
4.      Work out your salvation by PULLING away from false doctrine.
5.      Work out your salvation by LEANING on God for power.
6.      Work out your salvation by WALKING in the Spirit.
7.      Work out your salvation by RUNNING for the prize.
8.      Work out your salvation by LOVING God and others.
9.     Work out your salvation by never SKIPPING Bible Study and prayer.
10.  Work out your salvation by SPREADING the Good News of the Gospel.
11.  Work out your salvation by allowing the Holy Spirit to PULL UP all malice, envy and unforgiveness in your heart.
12.  Work out your salvation by PRAISING God from Whom all blessings flow.
13. Work out your salvation by RESTING in Him every day!
14. Work out your salvation by FORGETTING your past and walking in a newness of life.

If we believe the Good News of the Gospel and allow God, the Holy Spirit, to dwell in us, He does the work and His commands are not burdensome.  The Bible Says, “This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome,” 1 John 5:3 (NIV)

Reader, please note that this regiment has everything to do with relationship and not the written letter of the law.

The Bible Says in 1 John 2:27 “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true—it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ. Says, “ (NLT)

If the Spirit dwells within us, there’s no need for the written law because The Bible Says, But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16:13 (NIV)
 
With God, the Holy Spirit, in our hearts and as our guide, why the need for tablets of stone?


 With much Christian love.....


1 comment:

  1. Patricia, I have "seen" you on FAF and Facebook. I found your blog today via Heidi's FB post. I love it!!!! Way to go!

    Your sis in Christ Jesus our Lord,
    Jennifer :)
    Sabbatismos.com

    ReplyDelete