Philippians 2:12 is on my list of “Do and Do Not” today in trying to find out how God expects us to conduct ourselves during this life on earth.
I believe that the Book of Philippians is a God inspired guideline for our walk and being in this world. And just as a reminder, the Book of Philippians is not the only book in the Bible to give advice for life. We have to take the whole of Scripture into consideration and it’s important to keep all of it in context.
Philippians 2:12 (NKJV)
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;
What does it mean to work out your own salvation; and then do it with fear and trembling?
Working out our salvation does not mean that we have to work to be saved because God says:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV)
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
Romans 11:6 (NLT)
And since it is through God’s kindness, then it is not by their [our] good works. For in that case, God’s grace would not be what it really is—free and undeserved.
Ephesians 2 verse 10 (NKJV)
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
From this verse we understand that once we are saved – have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour – we will want to do good works to show our salvation. We want to try to be obedient to God’s commands. Like mentioned before every now and then we will get tripped up, and have to repent, but we know that our heavenly Father will forgive us when we ask Him. What can we learn from Jesus about obedience?
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:8 NKJV)
Is it too much to ask of us to be obedient?
Jesus also said:
“If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15 NKJV)
He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NKJV)
Now, what about with fear and trembling?
Does it mean that we should obey God from now on or otherwise we might lose our salvation?
NO, definitely not!
I believe that once you have accepted the “Gift of Eternal Life” from God our Father through Jesus Christ we cannot lose our salvation = no one will snatch them out of my hand (John10:28b NIV). I think that it’s understood that this doesn’t give us a free pass to do whatever we want including intentional sinning.
Could fear and trembling mean that we are to look at God with reverence because He is the Truth?
I have a hard time explaining it. Do I fear God? Yes, but I just can’t explain what kind of fear it is. I don’t fear God in a sense that He is my enemy. I know I can come to Him with anything any time of the day, that He loves me, and that I am special to Him (like everyone is special in God’s eyes since He created us individually and in His image).
I still can’t explain it but just came across
Proverbs 16:6 (NKJV)
And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil.
Proverbs 9:10 (NKJV)
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
So the fear of the Lord keeps us from sinning which further helps us to make the right decision.
What is your explanation for “with fear and trembling”?
Feel free to leave me a comment; I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
I hope this post is an encouragement to you in your walk with the Lord.
Philippians 1:9-11 (NKJV)
And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
To God be the Glory!
My next post will still continue with Philippians 2:14-16a.