TOPIC: WHAT IT MEANS TO WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION
BIBLE TEXT: PHIL. 2:12
*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*
Salvation is a gift. You can’t earn it by good works. You can’t increase or decrease salvation itself. It’s settled once and for all. It does not take the process of time to have salvation. It happens instantaneously as a man confess and believe in Jesus Christ. You can grow in the Lord with it but can’t grow to have it. If salvation comes by good works, Paul wouldn’t have needed it. He was already a Pharisee, a sect considered most perfect in words and actions during his days.
No amount of good works or moral uprightness can give you salvation. Salvation, however, PRODUCES GOOD WORKS IN YOU. It’s a free gift of God that is void of your effort except that you receive it by faith.
In Rom. 6:23, the Bible says:
*For the wages of sin is death: but THE GIFT of God is ETERNAL LIFE through Jesus Christ our Lord*
Eternal life is the main reward of salvation. Notice in the verse above that It is a gift. You will not have eternal life in heaven If you don’t have it on earth. When you receive it on earth, it transcends till eternity.
In Eph. 2:8-9, the Bible says:
*For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:*
*9. Not of works, lest any man should boast.*
Can you see? Salvation is a gift. We can’t boast that we are saved because we are more righteous than others. It is a spiritual pride to think we are saved because we are worth more to God than others. To be saved, surrender your heart to Christ in simple prayer and there you go. He will accept you immediately.
Having said that, my main focus in this piece is that, you are not told in that verse to work for your own salvation. No. Salvation is settled ones but rededicating and enforcing our commitment, again and again, is possible.
Paul admonishes us to *Work out our salvation …………….*
What does Paul mean by this phrase?
The word “work out” is from the Greek word *katergazomai*
It Occurs 26 times & in 23 verses throughout the Bible.
According to Amplified Version the word *work out* simply means *to cultivate, carry out to the goal*
You see, the word cultivate gave us a deeper meaning into what Paul meant by that statement. Just like a farmer plants a seed and it brings forth fruit. So also, God planted the word of God in us which brought forth salvation. The Bible says we are saved by the incorruptible word of God in 1 Pet. 2:24
*Being Born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, BY THE WORD OF GOD, which liveth and abides forever* -1Pet. 2:24
Can you see? It is the word of God planted that brought forth salvation.
Now after a farmer has planted his maize and the maize sprouts out with green leaves. Do you know it has to be taken off are before it could bring forth bountiful seeds during harvest? So also, you must work on your spiritual life after salvation if you want to make a meaningful impact with what you receive freely from God.
You see, the maize plant will compete with weeds and insects. It’s the responsibility of the farmer to weed his farmland to avoid bad and stunted growth. So also, Paul was telling Christians to work on their already owned salvation so that they will not be entangled with the affairs of this world. They can do it through discipline and avoiding all weight and sins that easily beset them (Heb. 12:1).
The insects and representants demons and forces of darkness we are going to war against. They can destroy a plant and stop its growth. So also Paul was saying, be disciplined and live right so the hat devil will not use those loopholes to ruin your Christian testimonies.
A farmer applies all wisdom and mechanism to ensure the successful growth of their crops, so also, Christians must study and meditate on the word of God to have the full spiritual understanding to be able to know what belongs to them and claim their rightful inheritance in this world.
So Paul was actually saying *work on your salvation until you see the full manifestations of the blessings of God embedded in it.*
Listen, it’s not saying to work to be saved. No. You are already saved by grace because it’s the gift of God. But even if you are saved and you refuse to develop yourself spiritually, the blessedness of salvation will be far from you. You will only hear about many blessings in the New Creation but you will not really enjoy the full benefits.
Oluwaseun Isaac Agbenla
Oracle of God