Philippians 2:12, 13 Work Out Your Salvation

by | Mar 25, 2023 | New Testament, Philippians

I. The Christian’s Responsibility V. 12

A. Work Out Your Salvation

      1. What it doesn’t say: It doesn’t say work for your salvation.

a. Salvation is a gift given to men and women who recognize their need for forgiveness.
b. A person asks for forgiveness and receives it, believing that Jesus paid for their sins by dying on the cross. Their sins are not swept aside but paid for by a willing substitute: Jesus.
c. Ephesians 2:8, 9  For by grace (God’s favor, God’s gift, God’s kindness) you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
d. Therefore, salvation is something that is received by faith as a gift from God.
e. It is not something we work for.

2. Work out- literally- “To carry to the goal, to carry it to its ultimate conclusion.”

a. Work out- To achieve the goal that has been set by you or by someone for you.
b. If we have received salvation, then God has goals for us.  He has a design for us.
c. He wants to bring about a desired result. To make us more like Jesus.
d. Romans 8:29 “…conformed to the image of His Son…”.

3. The person going to the gym has a goal in mind, and suggestions from their doctor.

a. They buy a gym membership and the appropriate clothing.
b. They sign up for a personal trainer and learn how to exercise safely and effectively.
c. They like the idea of being healthy and exercising.
d. They have everything they need to succeed, but they still need to “work out”.
e. Unless they “work out”, no changes will occur, and the goal will not be achieved.
f.  Unless the Christian works out their own salvation, they will be stunted and undeveloped in certain parts of their Christian life.  Saved, but undeveloped.

4. Work out your own salvation-Start with yourself and focus on yourself.

a. There are times that we help others work out their salvation.
b. But we shouldn’t do that and neglect our own salvation.

5. Deliberate effort is needed, coupled by discipline, faith, prayer, and surrender.

6. Titus 2:11, 12 “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.  It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”

7. There are certain aspects of the Christian life that come easier than others.

8. We need to focus on the entirety of our lives. Pay more attention to the “hard things”.

9. Salvation- Not justification, but sanctification. Setting every area of your life apart to God

a. Victory over sin and living a life pleasing to God.
b. Not an expectation of perfection, but a continual progress in Christlikeness.
c. Not being held back by habitual and ingrained sins and wrong thinking.
d. Are you making progress in all areas of your Christian life?

B. With Fear And Trembling

      1. Not a slavish terror of eternal judgment, but of the potential for sin that we all carry.
      2. Vincent- “This fear is self-distrust; it is tenderness of conscience; it is vigilance against temptation…It is taking heed lest we fall; it is a constant apprehension of the deceitfulness of the heart, and of the insidiousness and power of inward corruption. It is the caution and circumspection which timidly shrinks from whatever would offend and dishonor God…This is human responsibility.

II. God’s Divine Enabling V. 13

A. God Is Working In You

1. for it is God who works in you…

a. Works- energeo, en-erg-eh’-o: to be active, efficient, effective, powerful.
b. To produce effect, to work, to be active.
c. We get the word energetic from this word.
d. No Christian should ever wonder if God is going to change them for good.
e. He is energetically doing His part to re-shape your desires, thoughts, and actions.

2. We need to “work out” that which God has energetically “worked in”.
3. God is the initiator, the source, the designer, & the power supply for godliness.
4. We cannot create the “Christian life” within ourselves.
5. We can only respond to what God is doing in us.  Surrender & obedience.
6. He causes us “to will and to do”.  He gives the desire & ability to live godly lives.
7. By faith, we need to believe that and act upon it, and not be led by emotions or fear.
8. God doesn’t force us or compel us but exerts His influence upon our hearts.
9. That which He places in us brings Him great pleasure.  The “what” is good.
10. As we “work out” what God has “worked in”, it gives Him pleasure.  It’s a process.
11. That we want to live godly gives Him pleasure, as well as when we do it.
12. NOTE- When we fail to live godly lives, & we grieve over it, we can still rejoice.

a. The fact that we grieve over a lack of godliness proves that God is working in us.
b. We may grieve too much over our lack of “working it out”.
c. Instead, may we be encouraged that God has “worked it in”.
d. We need to confess our sins, pick up, & start over in His grace & love.
e. That you want to “work it out” proves your relationship with God.
f. Romans 8:14-16 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” 16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God…

B. To Will And To Do According To His Good Pleasure

      1. To Will-to have in mind, to intend, to be determined, to purpose, to desire or wish, to take delight in, to have pleasure over.

a. God puts it in our hearts to forgive that which seems unforgivable.
b. To have faith when we want to run and hide.
c. To speak when we want to be quiet; to be quiet when we want to speak.
d. To be disciplined and deliberate in our pursuit of God.

2. To Do-to put forth power, to effect, to be operative.

a. God helps us to follow through with forgiveness, faith, godly words, godly silence.
b. God helps us to do those things we don’t want to do or believe we could never do.

3. According To His Good Pleasure

a. God actually prompts us to want and to do those things that are pleasing to Him.
b. When our hearts change, and our actions change, it brings God much pleasure.

4. What the Philippians needed…

a. They needed to humble themselves in the way that Jesus did.  Verses 1-11.
b. They needed to stop complaining and hold on to God’s word.  Verses 14-16.
c. There are many aspects to the Christian life.  Don’t neglect the difficult ones.

5. Ray Stedman-Work out your own solution…work through the problems and trials and difficulties presented in ordinary daily life…use your mind and your will to solve your problems yourself, in the confident expectation that in doing so God is also at work in you to make you both will and do of his good pleasure. That is a marvelous statement of the Christian’s experience of being led by God.