Philippians 2:12 – 13 “..my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you for His good pleasure.”
This scripture encourages us to WORK OUT our own salvation. Our OUTWARD lives are produced from an INNER condition. Our outward deeds, (which is what we do,) are produced from a motive of WHY we do! God does not look on the outward appearance as man does but on the inner motive of the man. Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh, but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
1 Samuel 16:7 “…..for the Lord sees not as man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
Romans 8:5-9 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh, but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.”
When my heart is carnally minded it produces death and cannot please God. When it is spiritually minded it produces life and peace. Verse 7 tells us that the carnal mind is enmity against God, is not subject to God, neither “IN DEED” can be! “IN DEED” is what I DO outwardly. For my outward life to be in order,(that which I do,) my inner life must be in order where my heart is right with God.
Many of us have the privilege of owning and driving our own vehicles. When our cars are running smoothly we do not pay too much attention or thought to our engines, but when mechanical problems arise, engine repair and maintenance is imperative for safety and reliability. Responsibility accompanies privilege in all walks of life.
So very often we do not understand the MECHANICS of our salvation. The gulf through sin between man and God was bridged at Calvary. Jesus Christ paid the ultimate price with His sacrificial, substitutionary death for the sin of all mankind, “once for all,” Hebrews 10:10 and Hebrews 10:14 – “For by one offering He hath perfected FOREVER them that are sanctified.” Calvary is a finished work regarding the sin problem but Paul instructs us in Philippians 2:12-13 “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” i.e. the only acceptable fear – Godly fear – for “It is God who works in you for His good pleasure,” – a joyous work!
How often we misunderstand the workings of God in our lives and the “mechanics” of our salvation and makeup, resulting in confusion, but “God is not the author of confusion,” my misunderstanding produces it.
There is a vast difference between circumstances permitted by God in my life for the “trial of my faith” to produce a further measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ to be formed in me, as opposed to adverse circumstances I am experiencing because of wrong choices I have made only to discover I am stuck in the consequences of that choice! God, in His mercy, works in all of it but if I understand the mechanics of my spiritual being, I do not have to continue making wrong choices and living in the consequences of such. Embracing truth in humility before God brings revelation.
When our “spiritual engine” is misfiring we need our divine mechanic, the Holy Spirit, to reveal to us where our fault lies. He directs us to where we went wrong and instructs how to correct it. If we humble ourselves and confess, “It is just not working!”, embrace the truth He shows us and walk in humility, He will restore us – but if we refuse the truth He brings, stumble on with no change because our pride hates others to know we are struggling, we will remain the same – STUCK! We may fool people some of the time but we will never fool God. He sees!
We can never add to the finished work of Christ but balance is worked into our lives as the dross, (“wood, hay and stubble,”) is discarded as we journey along life’s highway with our Guide.
Romans 8:5-9 (previously quoted) We must walk in “deed” and in “truth.” My outward deed (the things that I do) proceed from my inward condition. Let us understand the mechanics of our being:
The heart is the place of all responsibility – Proverbs 23:7, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” It is the seat of my pride, it is the place where I humble before God and man. My spirit cannot rise with a right attitude to the Lord (and others) when my heart is “out of order,” murmuring and ruling my body. When I insist on having my own way instead of God’s, I am a usurper! I take the throne of my heart which belongs to Him. “As a man thinks in His heart, so is he.” My outward deed is a consequence of my inner condition. If my heart is out of order, it is unruly, my wires are crossed and the order is wrong producing adverse cosequences from my wrong actions:
1 As I think in my heart,
2 My mind decides and
3 My body acts out it’s deeds.
1, 2, 3, – this is the mechanics and function of my being. If my heart is Christ ruled in humility and truth, my thoughts and deeds will manifest the love, joy and peace of the Indwelling Christ.
God will provide the place for my unruly heart to humble when it is out of order. Only there as I buy and embrace truth in humility will He restore me to His pathway, and I find again the delight and joy of my salvation as my heart is right with His.
Proverbs 23:23, “Buy the truth and sell it not…” How do I buy truth? I humble myself under the mighty hand of God, (that is the price for truth), and in so doing deal with my pride. This is the inner function of the heart.
God’s redemptive love is continually at work in my life to renew and restore as He is ever watchful to bring a further measure of the fullness of the stature of His beloved Son in my life for His glory. Ephesians 4:13 “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”