Read Philippians 2:12-18.
One of the greatest lies of the enemy is that we are to work hard to earn our salvation. We must do enough good things to get on God’s good side. He makes us believe our behavior is what matters most in God’s sight.
I know I used to believe that. Which is why the Gospel was so confusing to me at first. And why when I compared myself to others who had done heinous things, I didn’t consider myself so bad.
However, we can never earn our salvation. Not one of us can live a perfect life, even the most goodie-two-shoes of us has still had anger in their heart or told a white lie.
So where does that leave us if we can’t work for our salvation?
Image Credit: Famian, Creative Commons
It leaves us with Jesus who has done the work for us.
We live in light of his death.
Which is why Paul is telling us in these verses to “work out our salvation”. We don’t work FOR our salvation, but once we are saved we work OUT our salvation.
In other words, if we have truly come to understand the meaning behind the verses we read yesterday, and have truly come to understand Jesus and the Gospel good news that he has saved, our lives should look different. We should live differently after coming into right relationship with God. We should care about our morality, we should care about our work on Earth, we should care about the broken, the poor, the hurting, the lost, because Christ cared enough to die for all of these things.
Our good works don’t earn us salvation, but our good works matter. We can’t be any more approved by God in Christ Jesus, and because of that approval our lives should be full of compassion, love, and good work. So much so, that like Paul says in verse 17 we are to be poured out like a drink offering.
When we truly grasp the Gospel, our lives will be forever changed.
We can work out our salvation because of the work God has already done.
We can work out our salvation because it is God who works in us and through us.
We can live our life poured out as a drink offering because Christ’s blood has been poured out as a sacrifice.
With fear and trembling, let’s work out our salvation and point others to the One who saves.
1. What does God to for us according to verse 13?
2. Why is this significant when considering the good works we may do on earth?
3. Are you still trying to earn God’s approval? How can you rest in the finished work of Christ today?