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3/9/16 – God’s purpose should always be on our minds

Published: Wednesday, 09 March 2016 Written by Carlton L. Arnold

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.   Philippians 2:12-13

This is a clear statement concerning the work of Believers after accepting Christ.  Many times I have read these verses and the wording, “work out your salvation” would cause me to stop and wonder how does work become part of our salvation. 

Most Christians know that their salvation is not based on their works.  You only receive salvation through the death of Christ on the cross.  Jesus took His blood shed on the cross to the perfect altar that is in heaven.  He spread His blood on that altar just like the Old Testament practice of spreading the blood of an unblemished lamb on the earthly altar located in the Temple.  When Jesus presented His blood, salvation was now available to anyone who believes that Jesus took on the judgment from God for all of our sins. 

 

The Bible is clear in numerous places that human beings cannot receive salvation through their own efforts.  This is stating the controversial issue of “faith versus works”.  It is a common misconception that human beings must do something to earn their salvation.   Probably the most common “work” is to confess your sins.  1 John 1:9 is the basis for this belief.  However, the Greek word that is translated “to confess” actually has a more accurate interpretation as “to agree with”.  In other words, God wants you to agree with Him that you have sinned.  Also, the verse is not discussing salvation.  It is referring to the situation where you want to restore your relationship with God – not start your relationship.

The other interesting aspect of your salvation is that it will take place in the future.  I would agree with you if you said, “I have salvation now.”  However, you receive your salvation from God when you die.  As a result, God does not see you as a sinner, because the blood of Christ has covered over all of your sins.  This enables you to live a holy eternal life before a Holy God while on this earth, and He expects that. 

What is this work?  This is what you do while you remain on earth for God and for others.  Basically, it is you allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you into random acts of kindness.  You seek to put God’s Kingdom into your life as a number one priority.  You listen and prepare yourself to know God’s will in all aspects of your life.  This is working out your salvation. 

The “fear and trembling” is not frequently associated with Christian work.  However, it is time that Christians view this from God’s perspective.  He expects you to be His “slave”.  Before salvation, you were a slave to sin and free from God.  As a Believer, you are now a slave to God and free from sin. See Romans, Chapter 6. 

God wants to work in your life 24x7 so that His purpose is carried out on this earth.   That purpose is for everyone to receive Christ as his or her Lord and Savior.  God works in us in many and varied ways for this purpose to occur.  As Christians, this spiritual purpose of God is why we should be practicing unconditional love for others and always be ready to share what God has done in our lives.  We are the only instruments that God has to carry out this purpose.  It should always be on our minds at a high priority that we are here to do God’s work.

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