Philippians 2:12-13 Study

[Working Out Our Salvation]

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but 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 work for his good pleasure.

Philippians 2:12-13

We are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

What does this mean?

The term ‘work out’ in Greek means to work to bring something to completion or to fulfill it. Meaning there is a part we play in the completion of our salvation.

We don’t do anything to receive the gift of salvation, it is completely free.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

But once we receive the gift we have to work it out in our lives.

We work it out with fear and trembling.

This is not said to give us a sense of anxiety where our salvation is concerned , but fear and trembling here has a connotation of ‘reverence’ and ‘honor’.

We don’t take the gift God has given to us lightly. We don’t jest with what cost God His only begotten Son, and what cost the Son His life. We give God the honor worthy of His gift of grace and faith bestowed upon us.

How do we work out our salvation?

We live a life worthy of the calling

As a prisoner for serving the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Ephesians 4:2

There is a life we can live that is unworthy of the call we have received, and there is a way to live in line with the calling we have received.

Our gift to God for the gift of salvation is by living a life worthy of the call we have received.

So that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:10

Colossians explains to us how we live a life worthy of Him and the calling we have received. We do our best to please Him in every way. We bear fruit in good works and ensure we grow in our knowledge of God.

We make sure we are bearing fruit

I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, he [ repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit[ even richer and finer fruit]. John 15:1-2 AMP

There is an expectation of fruitfulness in salvation. God looks at whether our lives are bearing fruit in Him or not. The branch that doesn’t bear any fruit, He cuts off, and the branch that is bearing fruit he continuously prunes to make it more fruitful.

Pruning (the painful process of God’s chastisement in our lives) is a sign that we are bearing fruit in God.

But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [ unselfish concern for others], joy, [ inner] peace, patience [ not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control. Against such, there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 AMP

This is the fruit that God expects us to bear in Him. Through the power of the Holy Spirit in us, we begin to walk in love. We become joyful even under challenging circumstances. We become peacemakers. We learn to wait patiently on God, we walk in kindness, we become faithful stewards and we learn to live self-controlled lives.

We make every effort to bear fruit in Him

For this reason, applying your diligence [ to the divine promises, make every effort] in [ exercising ] your faith to develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge( insight, understanding), and in your knowledge, self control, and in your self control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, { develop Christian} love [ that is, learn to unselfishly see the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 2 peter 1:5-7 AMP

He says, “apply all diligence… make every effort” meaning there is work required to produce these things in our faith.

We develop moral excellence-this has to do with outworking our character in God. We also grow in knowledge, which means we go deeper in our understanding of God, His will, and His word. Self-control means we learn to exercise self-restraint in all things. Steadfastness means becoming rooted and sound or stable in our faith and walk in God. Godliness has a sense of learning to walk in holiness and purity before God. Brotherly affection is being affectionate to all people. Christian love is a step above brotherly affection- it is making an effort to love those we do life with unselfishly.

For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [ in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless or unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 peter 1:8 AMP

When our faith doesn’t grow beyond the gift we received at the onset of salvation; we are in danger of becoming unproductive in our knowledge of Jesus Christ.

Some translations say… They will keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful.

Bearing fruit in God is how we become effective and productive in our knowledge of Him.

It is God who works in us

For it is [ not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [ that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:13 AMP

We are reminded to relax even though we have the responsibility of individually working out our salvation. We don’t do it in our own strength but in our working out, it’s really God effectively at work in us. He gives us the ability and desire to will and to work in fulfilling the purpose He has for us.

Net Bible says…For the one bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort.

GOD’S WORD says…It is God who produces in you the desires and actions that please him.

So we work out our salvation with fear and trembling knowing it is Him who works in us both to will and to do, according to His good pleasure.

Have a blessed weekend WP fam!

2 thoughts on “Philippians 2:12-13 Study

  1. We live a certain way in response to the grace granted to us. We do not earn our salvation, it is a gift indeed but neither are we to take God’s live and forgiveness for granted. As Paul wrote, his grace should have an effect on me.
    A good post Lucy.
    God bless you my friend 💙💐

    Liked by 1 person

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