Philippians 2:12-13, “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; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
In reading a few writings by Paul, I find it fascinating how he encourages believers to do something and then he says that it’s God who works in you to do it, then tells you again to do it. Galatians 2:20 is a great example, another one is Philippians 4:11-13.And the reason is simple, he mentions himself as the one who lives but then he shows us the One by the reason he lives. In other words, Paul always wanted to bring to light whose he was so that all glory and honor may be of Christ alone. He says in 1Corinthians 4:7, “we have this treasure oin the earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us”, the fact that we have the treasure in us is the reason we can stand, it’s the driving factor.
We now come to the verse above when he says, vs. “12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, …”. Even though it’s the Lord who keeps us from falling and present us faultless in His presence with exceeding joy (Jude 1:24), this does not mean that we have no part to play. Paul says the Philippians obeyed and should continue even in Paul’s absence, Paul knowing that only through Christ they could obey.
But then he adds this element which is mind boggling, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”. Of course this does not mean to work to be saved which is justification but rather be open to God’s work in us for sanctification, day by day being made Christ like. This is not human achievable, it’s only through the power of the Holy Ghost can a man live a sanctified life, daily going deeper and deeper in the things of God. This is about employing ourselves to the things which accompany salvation, bearing fruit, more fruit, and much fruit because you are abiding in the true vine, (John 15). Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4 that those who worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth. The spirit here is not the Holy Spirit but rather, the human spirit, the desire, the passion, the zeal but the outcome of truth is of God. All our working depends upon His working in us. While Christ is our Savior, and the author of our salvation, we must accept Him and work together with Him.
Vs. “13 for it is God who works in you both to will ….” works in the converted person by His word and Spirit. His Spirit is a helper. He does not destroy our free will, for we may resist it (1Thessalonians 5:19). The will (desire) and the how to is His doing. God shows His will by His Word and Spirit and work in us. We ought to heed it. We can work in harmony with the divine will, or we may reject to our damnation. “…and to do for His good pleasure”, which means as seem best to Him, “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith…”, Hebrews 12:2
For, “ being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;..” Philippians 1:6, …Ephesians 2:10, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”, …2Timothy 2:20-21,”20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work” …2Timothy 3:16-17, “16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”
We are unable to bear good works on our own strength, that is why God is at work in us. In your prayer time, what is your biggest cry? For God’s blessings or for Him to work in you…, blessings Ev