Work out your own salvation

Some folks have a problem with obedience.

Actually, we all have a problem with obedience.

It seems that we’re hard-wired with an inclination toward doing what we shouldn’t, or not doing what we should.

It’s easy to see in kids, of course.

It’s not a good parenting technique, but sometimes the quickest way to get a toddler to do something is to tell him not to do it.

Unfortunately, that little rebellious streak never leaves us.

Not even when we’re saved.

After telling his readers all that Jesus gave up for them, Paul gives them this pointed imperative:

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

Salvation is of grace, of course, but it’s not cheap grace.

God never saves people and leaves them where they are. He saves us so that we might live for him.

There’s a hint of a warning here: Jesus expects obedience.

And so we obey.

We obey to thank him for what he’s done.

We obey to show our love for the one who saved us.

We “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” because we realize he paid a debt we could never pay.

Today, let’s practice the disicipline of obedience.

Let’s obey him even when–especially when–it’s hard.

Let’s offer him radical obedience–obedience that follows Christ wherever it leads.

Being a Christian has never been merely trusting in Christ or submitting to the act of baptism.

It’s about accepting God’s gift of salvation and spending the rest of our lives saying “thank you” by the way we live.

Today, just obey him, in everything, no matter what, and see what happens.

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