Works of Salvation
This is help for all those who have wrestled to understand teachings about works versus grace for salvation.
The verse that seems contradictory to grace is verse twelve. The part that says “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” seems to be saying that to obtain complete salvation Christians must do certain works.
To see that grace does not need works to make it complete you need to ask yourself whether the verse is saying that you already have salvation. The answer is yes. If you own something it means that it belongs to you. The verse talks about “YOUR OWN SALVATION”. It belongs to you now, not when you become dead, otherwise you would be told to work out your salvation after you die. That is what some do teach and they call it purgatory. Those who believe in purgatory are not wise in the truth about grace. Those who believe that certain amount of works must be accomplished to obtain salvation are also not wise in the truth about grace.
I will try to show you a little of what is going on here. This is not a detailed study but just enough to get you on stable ground if you have been tossed by false teachings.
King James Version (KJV)
2 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
These two verses are appealing to people who are “IN Christ”. Within Christ are CONSOLATION, COMFORT, FRIENDSHIP WITH THE HOLY Spirit, TONS OF MERCY and a likeminded LOVE that results in UNITY. The appeal is for the Christians to have unity with the things that are Christ like.
3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
The perfect example of the Lord Jesus’ way of obedience to the Father is the ideal standard for us to follow. That is shown from verses three to eight. We are to avoid things that are vain and that will cause strife among the members of the Church (Body
of Christ). Humility is the KEY! Humble servants will be rewarded. Obedience by one that has obtained salvation already is a way of a PROSPEROUS LIFE IN THIS WORLD.
This is one of the WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION REQUIREMENT FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. The way of obedience here is for rewards and to escape chastening because of disobedience. It will also result in producing GOOD FRUIT.
9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:
10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;
11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
From verses nine to eleven you can see the great rewards that the Lord Jesus received. That is saying to you Christians (Heirs of Salvation) that you will get great and sure rewards if you follow your Master’s example.
12 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.
Here is the hard verse. This is how I see it now. Maybe some of you will correct me if I have missed an important point. I welcome your input.
So the Philippians, who were BELOVED (as ALL IN Christ are), were counselled to follow the example of the Lord Jesus always, whether Paul was present or absent. Do so with fear and trembling NOT BECAUSE YOU HAVE TO COMPLETE YOUR SALVATION BY YOUR WORKS but rather to fulfill your calling in giving humble service to the Church and your neighbours who are without, when led of God to do so. Now if you pause here and think back you will find that you have fallen short many times, especially when
you were just learning about your heavenly Father’s way of living. So you would have QUALIFIED YOURSELF TO LOSE YOUR SALVATION JUST AT THE START OF THE RACE! That is, IF your salvation depended on your good works to be complete.
13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Verse thirteen gives the answer for success in a life of service to those who you have to serve according to the will and good pleasure of your God. He is in you and is living your life. If you yield to Him as much as you are able and LIVE to bring forth fruit,
some thirty fold, some sixty fold and some a hundred fold, you will do well.You will obtain great rewards not only in this lifetime but also in the life to come.
Did you recently meet a brother or sister who has just started out the new life in Jesus and you expect to see thirty fold fruit or maybe a hundred fold but you are having trouble to see any? Don’t judge that one Christian like the Kingdom Hall followers, that they don’t have Jesus just because they are not going door to door to preach yet. You put on patience, for it is God who is at work in that one to do His good pleasure, NOT YOUR GOOD PLEASURE: And Certainly NOT THE KINGDOM HALL PEOPLE’S PLEASURE.
14 Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15 That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
AHA! Look at verse fifteen and see what Paul calls you. You would certainly not be called “THE SONS OF God” IF YOUR SALVATION WAS INCOMPLETE.
16 Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.
17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.
This one is for those who are teaching an unbalanced LIFE in Jesus. Look at verse seventeen and consider the word, SACRIFICE. The Lord will reward sacrifices in this life time and also in the life to come. I have shown you by the best example above how the Father rewarded His Son’s obedience that was done with many sacrifices. Sacrificial services are not in vain WHEN IT IS God AT WORK IN YOU TO DO His GOOD PLEASURE. However, when it is not His will and you offer up your body to be burned you will not get a reward. So if you think OUR FAITH IS ONLY ABOUT BELIEVING FOR A COSTLY NEW CAR, just because you are a son, but you don’t believe in making any sacrifices when your heavenly Father wills it, then you are unbalanced in your walk.
18 For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me.
19 But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state.
20 For I have no man likeminded, who will naturally care for your state.
21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.
22 But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel.
23 Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me.
24 But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly.
25 Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellowsoldier, but your messenger, and he that ministered to my wants.
26 For he longed after you all, and was full of heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick.
27 For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.
28 I sent him therefore the more carefully, that, when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful.
29 Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation:
30 Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.
I will not go on more except to say that Paul gave other examples of those who were SAVED already and were giving faithful service unto the Lord Jesus. YOUR SALVATION IS COMPLETE IN Christ the MOMENT YOU BELIEVED. He lives in you NOW. YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE NOW. YOU ARE AWATING THE DAY WHEN YOU WILL PUT ON IMMORTALITY. YOU MUST NOT DOUBT THAT. YOU MUST HOLD THE PROFESSION OF YOUR FAITH FIRM UNTO THE END.
All scriptures are from the King James Bible, Public Domain, courtesy of BibleGateway.com
With Love and Peace to You.
About: I am an East Indian, native of Guyana. My adopted country is Canada. I am a sixty-six year old married man with three children and three grandchildren. I was made a new creation spiritually in Christ Jesus in October 1979. I serve my master as a prophet and pastor.Back to Blog | Add to Buddy List
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