Let’s workout our salvation together

Good morning everyone,
Our theme for this month: “Christian community”
Our Bible verse for today: “Therefore, my friends, just as you have always obeyed, so now, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Philippians 2:12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Let’s work out our salvation together”
What a strange statement Paul writes in Philippians 2:12 that we are to “work out” our salvation. We’ve all been taught that we don’t have to work for our salvation. Salvation is a gift of grace, not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9), so what could Paul possibly mean by “working out” our salvation?
In this case, Paul was referring to salvation as it pertains to sanctification. Sanctification is a theological term which means “to set apart and make holy.” When something is set apart and made holy for the Lord, it is sanctified. As a believer in Christ, you have been set aside and made holy for God through His Son Jesus Christ.
However, sanctification (and therefore salvation as Paul means it here), is a multi-phase process. You are sanctified initially in the moment you place your faith in Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. At that moment you are set apart for God and made holy through your relationship with His Son Jesus. But sanctification is also an ongoing lifelong process. As the Holy Spirit works in our lives, moment-by-moment and day-by-day, He is progressively transforming us from the person we used to be and into the person God wants us to be. That’s the ongoing process of sanctification and it is the part of salvation that Paul was encouraging us to “work out.” Then, on the day you reach heaven, you will experience final sanctification. You will then be the person you are going to be for all eternity.
So, what does this have to do with our theme of Christian community? Just that as brothers and sisters in Christ we are to help each other work out our salvation – in the sense of the ongoing process of sanctification that we are all involved in. We are to help each other along, encouraging one another, challenging one another, holding each other accountable, and spurring each other on to greater degrees of spiritual growth.
That’s what Paul was doing for the Philippians when he wrote this letter to them, and it’s what they needed to be doing for each other. It’s also what you and I need to be doing for each other. As the writer of the letter to the Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on to love and good deeds …”
This is how we grow in Christian community – we help each other to work out our salvation. I encourage you to do that for someone today.
God bless,
Pastor Jim  
(Join us at Oak Hill Baptist Church every Sunday at 10:00. Join us in-person if you are nearby or, if you are geographically distant or if you are a shut-in, join us online at www.YouTube.com/oakhillbaptistcrossville)
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