Hardin County Church of Christ

Working Out Your Salvation with Fear and Trembling

Working Out Your Own Salvation

          We teach our children from birth to do their best in whatever it is that they are doing. We put an emphasis upon their education, pushing them to excel in academics so that they will be able to get a good job in the future. Once they achieve this great job the emphasis is now upon doing their best in their job so that in the future they will have enough to live upon in their retirement. They spend their entire lives trying to achieve success in this life, but fail to achieve salvation. Matthew 16:26 KJV 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

          The soul is one's most valuable possession. All the things of this life are vain if not in the Lord, Ecclesiastes 1:1-11, and the things of this earth will perish in the end(2 Peter 3:10). Peter says: 2Peter 3:11 KJV 11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness. The question for us today is the same, "Are you working out your own salvation with fear and trembling?"

          Paul addresses the church in Philippi in Philippians 2 concerning how they were to work out their salvation with fear and trembling. Verses 1-4 instruct us to empty ourselves in humility towards God and our fellow man. We expect to have mercy, compassion, and comfort from the Lord, and Paul says that we too ought to show the same to our brethren. We are not to promote strife or vainglory, but we should esteem others greater than ourselves and look to their best interest before our own. Paul said it brought him great joy when brethren had like-mindedness and being in one accord in love.

          In verses 5-8 Paul shows us how Jesus emptied Himself from His place of Heaven and came to this earth to take on the form of a servant. This type of humility of mind was to be in us as well, following His great example. Jesus emptied Himself to the point of death, even the death of the cross, for our welfare. In verses 9-11 Paul tells us that because of Jesus' actions, God has exalted Him above every name in heaven or upon the earth. Wherefore we must work out our own salvation with the proper fear and trembling due towards Jesus Christ our Lord.

          We need to have a due diligence to do the right things whether we be in the presence of others or alone. Our faith should be a constant working faith that is pleasing unto God. For it is not of our own merits that we have salvation, but by the power and operation of God through His Son Jesus, versus 10-12. Versus 13-16 instruct us on that very way by which we as Christians should carry ourselves in the conversation of life. We are to do all things without murmurings and disputes, to be harmless and blameless as the sons of God, without rebuke in order that the light of Christ might shine before those of this crooked and perverse nation.

          God has given unto us everything that pertains unto life and godliness, 2 Peter 1:3. We are to put for the due diligence in adding to our faith virtue, and to virtue knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience godliness, and to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things be in you and abound you will not be unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. By putting forth that diligence to make your calling and election sure you are guaranteed an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, 2 Peter 1:5-11.

Mike Parks
May 6, 2021
Hardin County Church of Christ