Thursday, February 18, 2016
Divine Work Out.....Divine Work In
Dear friends, you always followed my instructions when I was with you. And now that I am away, it is even more important. Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.
In the KJV version of Scripture, Paul writes that we are to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling." Been a lot of discussion over that little term "work out our salvation". Lot of disputes over what Paul really meant by that phrase. Some camps fall under the flag of "I'm saved by grace, I don't need to do anything." Other camps come down hard on the side of "Doing for Christ is the evidence of your salvation". I kind of find myself in the middle of the whole shebang. I think maybe the word in question, in my mind, is the word "doing".
Doing, to me, implies effort on our part.
Doing implies carrying out a deed or command that had been given to us.
I've said this before, on several occasions......
"We are called human beings..."
"Not human doings."
There is a work that takes place in us when we come to Christ.
The verse in Philippians tells us plainly that God is "Working in each of us".
The Holy Spirit is changing not only our hearts and affections, but also our character. As these changes take place, I find myself wanting to "do"...not doing because I think I'm earning something.
I truly am a work in progress. Evidence of such a work is seen through my actions and behaviors. I find that I have a hunger to not just read scripture, but to study it. I am aware that I want to talk to my heavenly Father. I don't go to church because I have to...or it is expected of me....
I go to church because I want to!
I love hanging out with God's people that He has placed around me, and has placed me with.
I love praying for others, watching as God comes over them and heals and restores them to a new place in their life. I do such because I want to, not because I have to, thinking I'm earning some kind of celestial points that can be redeemed at my arrival in heaven.
The last part of the Philippians passage is the kicker for me.
"For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him." How cool is that? God not only gives us the "Want to" but also the "Can do" when we are saved. In other words I am empowered by the Grace of God to carry out His mission here on earth.
Grace: The empowering presence of God in my life to be who He has created me to be, and to do what He has called me to do." That pretty much sums up Philippians 2:12-13.
You don't have to be churchy...
You don't have to be a Bible scholar/theologian.
You just have to fall in love with Jesus.
A love that grows to the point that you don't want or desire anything from your old life..your old way of thinking and doing. You only want what Jesus wants for you.
So let's not complicate this thing. It must work since this Philippians passage is applied to every culture and country. To every ethnic group on the face of this planet.....all have been called into a divine co-op with God's Holy Spirit, and our job is to "Become" the person that pleases God.
How cool is that?
Now, I have a real problem with this whole working out your salvation thing....
Either it's true...
or it is isn't.
Either it's real...
or we've been lied to.
I just happen to fall on the side that we can take the truth to the bank. God spoke it...Paul wrote it....I read it. End of story.
Now I must be about the business of letting God work in me.
What about you?
God on you....
This is a reprint from August 2013. Why this one? Because we need not ever forget the character and love that this man possessed. What h...