Some Christians are saved and satisfied. They have eternity’s golden ticket, they are invited to the wedding feast, and yet its almost as though they do not plan to eat of it. Many Christians should be on the solid food of Scripture and yet they still require the milk of immaturity. Why is this? They have yet to be obedient to the call of their salvation:
“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; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13)
As a Christian, do you not only agree that Scripture is inerrant and infallible, but can you explain that belief? You no doubt believe in the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity, but since the word “trinity” is not used can you scripturally explain the topic? What about the Immaculate Conception? The Resurrection?
Beloved, atheists and agnostics many times know more of what we believe than we do and that is why they can easily dispute our beliefs. In other words, they’ve done their homework…have you?
So what did Paul mean when he wrote for us to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”? Did he mean we have to work for our salvation? No, if so he would have written “work IN” our salvation. And what about the “fear and trembling”? Are we supposed to be afraid of God? No, he’s talking about the joy of obedience because of the fact that we are saved. So we should be working hard to make the best of our salvation. Dr. Jerry Vines explains it thusly:
“This program of obedience is to be actively pursued in ‘fear and trembling’. God is not interested in your simply being afraid of Him. Instead it is a desire to be what God wants us to be lest we fail to be what God saved us to be. Nor does God leave us to ourselves but involves Himself in our lives making sure we are equipped to go the distance with Him.”
The wonderful part of working out our salvation is that we do not have to do it alone. Paul says it is God who will help us. Why? Because Jesus is the author of our eternal salvation; He was obedient to the cross and He is the One who brought us our salvation. The writer of Hebrews, whom I believe was Paul, writes this about our Eternal Priest Jesus:
“… who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him…” (Hebrews 5:7-9)
Beloved, we have begun the Christmas season and my prayer for each of you is that you would reflect on the significance of Jesus’ coming in the flesh. And I mean to remember more than “the reason for the season”, which has become a stale and overused cliché. Do you truly understand the eternal significance of your salvation? Has your mind been renewed by the Holy Spirit or do you still have some of that old stinking thinking?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Romans 12:1-2)
This is an important question: has your worldview changed because of your salvation in Christ Jesus or do you still hold on to your old ways of thinking? This is not good! We must be renewed, transformed, and have “put on the new man”:
“This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:17-24)
One more question before we go. It is the question the Lord has already asked me and I had to answer, “No I am not Lord.”
Are you living up to your salvation?
If you need something to reflect on during the Christmas season and to consider as a New Year’s Resolution, why not that?
The only question I can think of more important than that is…
…have I even received this salvation?
If you’re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use “Please add to Devotional List” as the subject.
Copyright © 2011 David Jeffers