Is It Our Work or The Work of God?
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only 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 (ESV)
The message of God’s Word from Genesis to Revelation is centered on God’s plan to deal with man’s sin. The entire Bible teaches that everyone is a sinner and no one can do anything to change the consequence of their sin. Our separation from God due to sin can only be rectified by God Himself. God has done that through His Son Jesus. So salvation is entirely the work of God and that message is clearly given throughout all of His Word. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “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.”
The message of “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” is explained in the next verse. This verse is not talking about a person’s own work. Paul the apostle is writing this letter to believers who by faith have personally accepted Jesus for salvation. The next verse says that it is not one’s own work but the work of God that has been done. God does the work for the believer and gives both the desire and the ability to please Him.
That is why the gospel is called the good news because God has removed all of our own efforts to change our situation. What God is offering is not a religion based on works, but a relationship based on the work of His Son Jesus.
This week, if you are a Christian take time to thank God and praise Him for His marvelous gift and spend time with Him in His Word and in prayer. If you do not have a relationship with God, you can become His child by accepting His gift by faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.