In our Sunday school class we are studying the book of Philippians. Mike, our wonderful teacher, was asking for people to share what they thought ‘working out your salvation’ meant. As different people shared the Holy Spirit brought this instance to my mind.
A couple of weeks ago someone very dear and close to me verbally attacked me, spewing all kinds of angry hateful words of condemnation. They ended by calling me a hypocrite. I was so shocked by that person’s accusation that I was speechless. I did not even know how to respond.
I was so hurt and crushed that I sobbed for a long while. My very patient husband let me cry until I was done and then he very calmly said “honey, God’s got this.” He was so right. I chose to forgive them right then so that there would be no opportunity for bitterness in my heart.
Once I calmed enough for Holy Spirit to comfort me, He reminded me that I was not fighting that person but the real enemy was satan. He used their hurts to lash out at me.
Eph. 6:12 KNJV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
What the enemy thought would bring me to my knees and crush me did. However, it brought me closer to God and what was meant for my harm is turning for my good. This event caused me to re-evaluate my life and walk with God. God is using this experience to crush and press out new wine in me and it is all for His Glory.
In John 3:17 the word says that Jesus did not come to condemn but that the world would be saved through Him. The Holy Spirit does not condemn but convicts us of sin.
Phil. 2:12-13 NKJV Therefore, 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 who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
In this passage Paul is exhorting the believers in the church at Philippi, and us (believers today), to work out your own salvation. The word “sōtēria” means rescue or safety (physically or morally):—deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Through Christ and His sacrifice on the cross we can experience deliverance from wrath and the power of sin. However, we must continue to keep working at living holy and consecrated lives. According to Peter we must be diligent about it.
2 Pet. 1:10 NKJV Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Holy Spirit has been showing me attitudes and actions that may be considered unholy or unlovely. As He reveals these things to me, I have the choice to change and keep myself from stumbling or I can ignore His correction and allow myself to become the hypocrite I was accused of being. A hypocrite is defined as ‘somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise’.
My behaviors must line up with the Word of God that I confess. And if I continue to work diligently at my salvation, I will be able to make my election sure and not stumble at this but be conformed to His image. I am not perfect, but praise God through His grace and mercy, I am forgiven! I will continue working out my own personal salvation, looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith. He will perfect and accomplish His plan in my life. And He will do the same for you if you allow Him to!
Lynn Jones, Co-Founder of HHMI enjoys reading, studying and sharing God's Word. She believes that every Word in the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired and profitable for daily living. Her prayer is that as you read the newsletters and blogs, that you will be enriched and equipped for every good work of the Lord's.