work out your salvation with fear & trembling

Ok, this is from the last part of Philip 2:12.  Need your thoughts, wisdom, insights, whatever.  I’m going to study this as well as I can, but I’d REALLY like your input – so would you kindly leave a comment & let me know what you think Paul meant when he said this?  If you want to bring any application into your comment, as well, don’t fight the urge.  🙂


4 thoughts on “work out your salvation with fear & trembling

  1. Perhaps the fear and trembling come as we recognize the extreme cost Jesus paid for us to even know Him. There is a serious mindset that comes when we live in awareness that every move we make can take us closer to or farther from Christ and the life He died to give us. Fear can also motivate us not to take our salvation for granted. For example, we may not think twice about our teenage drivers…until we hear of a horrendous accident near us that leaves someone dead. Suddenly there is a new awareness of the reality and the risk that is out there. We pray harder or “nag” more as a result of that fear. Maybe that’s a bad example, but whatever we take for granted, we risk losing—including our relationships with God. It doesn’t happen overnight, but gradually. We should maintain a healthy fear of going backwards and not fulfilling what God has called us to…and handle our relationship with Him with trembling and awe as if it were the most important thing we’ve ever held in our hands…
    As far as application, maybe doing inventory of how far we’ve come in Christ and where we are still “lacking” would keep us grounded and not let us get too puffed up in our own spirituality…

  2. Work out your own salvation:
    What Paul does mean is he calls the Philippians to put forth real effort into their Christians lives. This is not to work their salvation in the sense of accomplishing it, but to work out their salvation – to see it evident in every area of their lives, to activate this salvation God freely gave them.
    We know that Paul does not mean “work so as to earn your own salvation.” Such a statement would contradict the whole of Paul’s gospel.

    With fear and trembling:
    Paul’s idea is not that we should live our Christian lives with a constant sense of fear and terror, but that we should live with a fear of failing to work out your own salvation.

  3. Reading the whole chapter, I wonder if this verse is about attitude and unity.
    What could be harder and bring forth more fear and trembling than a bunch of Christians trying to walk in love?
    Walking in humility when your first impulse is to judge and condemn…
    caring about others when you mostly want to say “it’s all about me”.
    Can it be that He gave His life for us and our greatest challenge is to really know each other, loving each other instead of avoiding eye contact, having the hard conversation face to face instead of telling everyone else?
    I know it means a lot more than this but sometimes it seems like this is the hardest part of our salvation to work out.

  4. Don’t just read the verse; read the whole chapter. Paul starts by talking about humility and unity of the brethren, but his real focus is on action! His point here is that we must “maintain the same love”, not by cultivating wishy-washy feelings of love or brotherhood, but by being “intent on the same purpose” and “taking the form of a bond-servant” (he was talking of Christ there, but it still applies) and “by becoming obedient even to the point of death.”

    His point here is two fold. The first is don’t just feel love for each other, DO love for each other. Don’t just feel love for your brother, take him a meal, write him a card, encourage him in the faith, pray for him.

    The second point is that we shouldn’t get caught in the great heresy of our day and Paul’s. When we have completed the born again experience (Hebrews 6:1-2), our work is not over! Sanctification, regeneration, renewing of the mind, and sonship have just begun! Don’t just get saved and do what you want, submit to the will of God and work out your salvation, changing, dying to self, and praying always to become more like Him.

    I recommend a book called “The Christian Life Series.”

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