The Partnership of Salvation: Owning Your Part of the Work

Today’s selected reading continues in the New Testament epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Phiippian congregation. More specifically, today’s passage is found in verses twelve through eighteen of the second chapter. When this passage of Scripture opens up it does so with the apostle Paul using the word “wherefore,” thus directly linking and connecting the previous verses together with what he is about to write unto this particular congregation. IN the twelfth verse of this chapter the apostle Paul writes unto the Philippian congregation—not only writing unto them as His beloved, but also speaking of their continued obedience. Within this particular verse the apostle Paul not only speaks of their obedience in his presence when he was among them, but he also speaks of their obedience in his absence. What’s more, is that directly connected to the apostle Paul speaking of their obedience, he goes on to instruct them to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling. What’s actually quite interesting about this particular passage is that immediately following the words of the apostle Paul unto the Philippians to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling he then goes on to declare unto them that it is God which worked in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure. I can’t help but find the words which the apostle Paul wrote in this second chapter to be absolutely remarkable—particularly and especially when you remember that which he wrote in the previous chapter. If you turn and direct your attention to the previous chapter—specifically the sixth verse—you will find the apostle Paul declaring and proclaiming his confidence that He which did begin a good work in them will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. What marks the words which the apostle Paul writes in the sixth verse of the first chapter, as well as the words he writes in the twelfth and thirteenth verses of the second chapter is that on the one hand he instructs his audience and readers to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, and on the other hand he declares unto them his confidence that He who began a good work in them will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. What’s more, is the apostle actually goes on to declare that it is God which works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Please don’t miss or lose sight of the tremendous significance and importance of the words which Thea pestle Paul is writing in these verses, for the apostle Paul not only emphasizes and describes the responsibility we as the saints of God have in our salvation, but He also emphasizes the work of the Father in heaven in that process.

THE PARTNERSHIP OF SALVATION! THE PARTNERSHIP OF SANCTIFICATION! There is a serious and gross misconception among the saints of God that the work and responsibility of our salvation rests solely on the Lord of hosts and that we ourselves have absolutely no role or responsibility in the process whatsoever. I am convinced and would like to emphatically declare unto you that nothing could be further from the truth. I feel compelled to emphasize to you that you are not removed from the process of salvation that has taken place, and continues to take place within your life. The more I read and consider the words which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Philippian congregation, the more I find them to be absolutely intriguing, for more often than not we think that the work of salvation is completed the moment we believe in our heart and confess with our mouth that Jesus is in fact the Christ and the Son of the living God. We tend to think that the work of salvation is completed the minute we say “the sinner’s prayer,” and the minute we rise from the altar after we have “given our heart(s) to Jesus.” There is a growing deception and misconception among the saints of God within our churches that the work of salvation was completed as a direct result of the work which Jesus performed on the cross two-thousand years ago when He died, when His body was buried in a tomb for three days, and then He was raised from death to life. This is actually a gross and severe misconception and illusion that has been perpetuated and propagated within the house of the Lord among the saints of God. There are certain saints among us who have bought into and bought the lie that the work of their salvation was completed two thousand years ago with the work Jesus Christ performed on the cross, and when we believed with our heart, and confessed with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord. It is true when the apostle Paul wrote that “if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10:9). It is true when the apostle Paul wrote and declared that “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). It is also true when the apostle Peter declared on the day of Pentecost that “whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Acts 2:21). We dare not diminish or minimize this reality within our hearts and lives, for to do so would be incredibly errant and misguided on our parts.

With that being said, however, I feel the tremendous need to direct your attention back to the Old Testament books of Exodus and Joshua, for it is within these Old Testament books that we experience and encounter the work of the Lord when it comes to our salvation, as well as the responsibility we ourselves have to partner together in that work. What’s more, is that I feel it necessary to turn and direct our attention to the eighteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of the Psalms, for within this Old Testament psalm we find David speaking of two distinct realities—the first reality which was the work of the Lord within his life and on his behalf, and the second reality which was the work and responsibility David had within his own life. IN order to understand the reality of what we read in the first and second chapters of the epistle which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Philippian congregation we must first turn and direct our attention to the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus. It is in the twelfth chapter of this Old Testament book where we read of the deliverance of the children of Israel from their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression. Consider if you will that which is recorded in this passage of Scripture beginning with the twelfth verse you will find the account of the children of Israel rising up and departing from the land of Egypt after the Lord had delivered them out from under the hand of their oppressors:

“And it came to pass, that at midnight the Lord smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sat on his throne unto the firstborn of the captive that was in the dungeon; and all the firstborn of cattle. And Pharaoh rose up in the night, he, and all his servants, and all thE guy-titans; and there was a great cry in Egypt; for there was another a house where there was not one dead. And he called for Moses and Aaron by night, and said, Rise up, and get you forth from among my people, both ye and the children of Israel; and go, serve the Lord, as ye have said. Also take your flocks and your herds, as ye have said, and be gone; and bless me also. And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men. And the people took their drought before it was leavened, their kneeling-troughts being bound up in their clothes upon their shoulders. And the children of Israel did according to the word of Moses; and they borrowed of the Egyptians jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment: and the Lord gave the people favour in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they lent unto them such things as they required. And they spoiled the Egyptians. And the children of Israel journeyed from Ramsey to Succoth, about six hundred thousand on food that were men, beside children. And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, even very much cattle. And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough which they brought forth out of Egypt, for it was not leavened; because they were thrust out of Egypt, and could not tarry, neither had they prepared for themselves any virtual. Now the sojourning of the children of Israel, who dwelt in Egypt, was four hundred and thirty years. And it came to pass at the end of the four hundred and thirty years, even the selfsame day it came to pass, that all the hosts of the Lord went out from the land of Egypt. It is a night to be much observed unto the Lord for bringing them out from the land of Egypt: this is that night of the Lord to bear observed of all the children of Israel in their generations” (Exodus 12:29-42).

What we read in the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book fo Exodus is the final culmination of a work that had begun much earlier with the Lord appearing unto Moses on the backside of the desert in the wilderness. The Lord appeared to Moses and sent him back to the land of Egypt in order to declare unto Pharaoh to let the people of God from their slavery and oppression—a task and responsibility which Moses was reluctant to do. Accompanied by his brother Aaron and with the staff of God in his hand Moss appeared before Pharaoh and demanded that Pharaoh let the people of God go. Scripture records how the Lord told Moses in advance and ahead of time that He was going to harden the heart of Pharaoh, and that through Pharaoh He would show and demonstrate His might, His power and His strength. It would be through Pharaoh the Lord would get glory for and glory unto Himself—a reality which we see when the Lord delivered the children of Israel from their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression. The interesting thing to note is that the children of israel weren’t immediately delivered from their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression, for before there were the ten plagues, there were certain signs which were performed in the presence of Pharaoh and the company of those who were with him. When Pharaoh hardened his heart toward the signs which Moses performed in his presence, the Lord declared unto Moses that He would now see the full demonstration and manifestation of the power, the strength and the might of the living God among the Egyptians. The book of Exodus goes on to describe how the Lord would unleash ten distinct and specific plagues within and upon the land of Egypt that would completely devastate the land of Egypt. It wouldn’t be until the tenth plague which the Lord struck the land of Egypt that Pharaoh would finally demand that Moses take the children of Israel—together with their children, their flocks, their possessions, and everything associated with them—and depart from the land of Egypt. Upon the manifestation of the tenth plague which decimated and devastated the land of Egypt that Pharaoh had finally seen and heard and experienced enough, and it was as a direct result of that tenth plague that Pharaoh ordered their immediate departure from the land of Egypt. In fact, in the fifty-first verse of the twelfth chapter of the book of Exodus we read and find the following words: “And it came to pass the self-same day, that the Lord did bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their armies” (Exodus 12:51).

In the twelfth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus we read of the Lord delivering and bringing the children of Israel out of their slavery, bondage and oppression in the land of Egypt, and how the Lord began leading them through the wilderness. With that being said, however, when we come to the seventeenth verse of the thirteenth chapter of the very same book we find and discover the reality that although they had been delivered from their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression, the work was not complete. When you begin reading with the seventeenth verse of the thirteenth chapter you will find that immediately after Pharaoh had let the people depart form the land of Egypt, his heart was hardened once more against Moses and the children of Israel. Consider if you will the words which are recorded in the thirteenth chapter beginning with the seventeenth verse:

“And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people god, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: but God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took the bones of Joseph with him: for he had straitly sworn the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you; and ye shall carry up my bones away hence with you. And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Ethan, in the edge of the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and but night in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: he took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people” (Exodus 13:17-22).

In the thirteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus we read how the Lord led the children of Israel through the wilderness by night with a pillar of fire, as well as by day with a pillar of cloud. When we come to the fourteenth chapter of this Old Testament book we read of the very first encounter the children of Israel had upon their departure from the land of Egypt. It is in the fourteenth chapter of the book of Exodus that we read of the Lord instructing Moses to have the children of Israel encamp in a specific place between Migdol and the Sea. What’s more, is that it is in this passage of Scripture where we read of the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart toward Moses and the children of Israel, and his pursuit of them in the wilderness. Consider if you will the account as it is recorded in the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book fo Exodus:

“And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, that they turn and encamp before Pi-Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baal-Zephaniah: before it shall ye encamp by the sea. For Pharaoh will say of the children of Israel, They are entangled in the land, the wilderness hath shut them in. And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the Lord. And they did so. And it was told the king of Egypt that the people fled: and the heart of Pharaoh and of his servants was turned against the people, and they said, Why have we done this, that we have let Israel go from serving us? And he made ready his chariot, and took his people with him: and he took six hundred chosen chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, and captains over every one of them. And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand. But the Egyptians pursued after them, all the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen, and his army, and overtook them encamping by the sea, beside Pi-Harhirtoh, before Baal-Zephon. And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord. And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness. And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever. The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:1-14).

It is in these first fourteen verses where we find the Lord’s instruction to Moses and the children of Israel to encamp themselves between the sea and a specific place in the wilderness. It is in this particular passage that we find the Lord hardening Pharaoh’s heart—together with all those with him in the land of Egypt—and his pursuit of the children of Israel in the wilderness in order that he might bring them back into slavery and bondage, and under the oppression of the Egyptians. It is within these fourteen verses where we discover the fear, the terror and dread the children of Israel experienced as a direct result of seeing Pharaoh together with his horses and chariots pursuing them in the wilderness in order to overtake them. When we come to the fifteenth verse of the same chapter, however, we find that although the children of Israel were pursued by the Egyptians, the Lord would deliver them once more out of their hands—this time, however, their deliverance would be permanent. What’s more, is that it must be carefully considered and understood the words which Moses spoke unto the children of Israel, for when speaking unto them he instructed them to fear not, and to stand still and see the salvation of the Lord. Please don’t miss or lose sight of these words, for although the children of Israel had been delivered out of their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression, they would see the salvation of the Lord there at the Red Sea which was before them. It is absolutely necessary and imperative that we recognize and understand that even though we might be delivered from our slavery, bondage and oppression, that doesn’t mean the work of salvation is complete. There is still a further and greater work which needs to be accomplished in our hearts and lives. Consider if you will the words which are found in this particular chapter beginning with the fifteenth verse:

“And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward: but lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divine divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon P haraoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the campe of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: and it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground: and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. And the Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even All Pharaoh’s horses, his chariots, and his horsemen. And it came to pass, that in the morning watch the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians through the pillar of fire and out of the cloud, and troubled the host of the Egyptians. And the Lord said unto Moses, Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horsemen. And Moses stretched forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength when the morning appeared; and the Egyptians fled against it; and the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned, and covered the chariots, and the horsemen, and all the host of Pharaoh that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them. But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea; and the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. Thus the Lord saved Israel that day out of the hand of the Egyptians; and Israel saw the Egyptians dead upon the sea shore. And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses” (Exodus 14:15-31).

In the fourteenth chapter of the Old Testament book of Exodus we find the Lord once more fighting for the children of Israel against their enemies and adversaries, as not only did He cause the children of Israel to pass through the waters of the Red Sea safely, but when the Egyptians tried passing through those same waters the Lord troubled the chariots and caused all of Pharaoh’s army with its horses and chariots to be overtaken by the sea. It was true the Lord delivered the children of Israel from their Egyptian slavery, bondage and oppression with a strong right hand as He devastated and decimated the land of Egypt with ten plagues, and it is also true the Lord wrought a mighty salvation for the children of Israel at the Red Sea when He destroyed their enemies from before them in the waters of the Red Sea. With that being said, however, it is imperative to recognize and understand that as surely as there is and there has been a work which the Lord fulfills and accomplishes on our behalf, there is also a part we must take in the work. The Lord delivered the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt, and the Lord delivered them from their Egyptian pursuers through the waters of the Red Sea, but eventually the children of Israel would have to engage themselves in the conflict, and would have to partner together with the work which the Lord was doing in the earth and on their behalf. This is perhaps best seen in the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua when the Lord emphatically declared unto Joshua that Moses His servant was dead, and then instructed Joshua to lead the children of Israel into the land of promise, across the river Jordan, and against their adversaries and enemies which dwelt within the land. Beginning with the first verse of the first chapter of the Old Testament book of Joshua we find the following words which describe the Lord’s interaction with Joshua. What we must also recognize and understand when reading this particular passage is that there is a vast and fundamental difference between the children of Israel at the Red Sea and the children of Israel at the Jordan River. In the case of the children of Israel at the Red Sea the enemy and adversary was behind them, as well as their slavery, bondage and oppression. In the case of the children of Israel at the Jordan River, however, the enemy and adversary was not behind them, but was before them. What’s more, is that when they came to the Jordan River they weren’t leaving behind their slavery, bondage and oppression, but were preparing to enter into their inheritance which they were to take possession of. Beginning with the first verse of the first chapter of the book of Joshua we find the following words:

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your coast. There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto their fathers to give them. Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest” (Joshua 1:1-9).

It is quite clear when reading the words which the Lord spoke unto Joshua in the first chapter of the Old Testament book which bears his name that the Lord was bringing them into the land of promise and inheritance. Their time in the wilderness over the past forty years had drawn to a close with the death of the final body from the previous rebellious and disobedient generation, and they were now to rise up and cross over the Jordan River to enter into and take possession of the land. With the exception of the battle which took place at the city of Jericho, there was no real supernatural intervention on behalf of the children of Israel aside from the Lord causing the sun to stand still in order that Joshua and the children of Israel might completely destroy the enemy they were facing. It was the Lord who caused the walls of Jericho to collapse and crumble before the children of Israel, and it was the Lord who overthrew the city of Jericho as a direct result of their obedience in walking around the walls of the city once each day in silence before walking around the city seven times on the seventh day and shouting after the seventh time around the city. The entire Old Testament book of Joshua is about the children of Israel marching through the land of Canaan, taking possession of it as they engaged the nations and peoples within the land in conflict and battle. The entire book of Joshua is a book about the conquest of the land of Canaan as Joshua led the children of Israel in battle against the peoples and nations which previously dwelt within the land. The Lord had delivered them out of the land of Egypt, the Lord had destroyed the Egyptians at the Red Sea, and the Lord caused the walls of Jericho to collapse before the children of Israel, but the time had now come for the children of Israel to engage the enemy and enter into the conflict for themselves. Essentially, the time had come for the children of Israel to work out their deliverance and salvation themselves with the Lord working together with them behind the scenes and within them. This reality is seen in additional measure in the Old Testament book of Psalms, for in the eighteenth chapter of the book of Psalms we first find David describing the Lord fighting for Him on His behalf and delivering Him from His adversaries and enemies, but we then notice a marked transition from the Lord delivering David from the hand of His enemies to David fighting in and with the strength of the Lord. Consider if you will the words which are found within the eighteenth chapter of this Old Testament psalm:

“The sorrows of death composed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid. The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me. IN my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: He heard my voice out of His temple, and my cry came before Him, even into his ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because He was wroth. There went upa. Smoke out of His nostrils, and fire out of His mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His secret place; His pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies. At the brightness that was before Him His thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire. The Lord thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave His voice; hail stones and coals of fire. Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and He shot out lightnings and discomfited them. Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at they rebuke, O Lord, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils. He sent from above, He took me, He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me. They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the Lord was my stay. He brought me forth also into a large place; He delivered me, because He delighted in me” (Psalms 18:4-18).

With these words David describes the activity of the Lord within his life, as the Lord rose up for him on his behalf to engage his enemies and adversaries in conflict and battle. While we love reading such words which David wrote in this particular section of the chapter, I would be altogether remiss if I didn’t bring your attention to words which he wrote later on in this same chapter. If you continue reading this chapter you will discover that while it was true that David did in fact enjoy the deliverance and salvation of the Lord from the hand of His enemies with the Lord fighting for Him on His behalf, that doesn’t mean David did not also have a responsibility of his own. We tend to think and believe that the work which is performed within our hearts and lives is performed by the Lord, and that we are somehow excused from engaging ourselves in the work. The truth of the matter is that this simply isn’t the case at all, for were ourselves bare a tremendous responsibility—not only to engage ourselves in the work, but also to partner together with the Lord in the work he desires to accomplish within our hearts and lives. Consider if you will the words which David writes later on in this chapter beginning with the thirty-sixth verse:

“Thou hast enlarged my streps under me, that my feet did not slip. I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed. I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet. For thou hast birdied me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me. Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me. They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the Lord, but He answered them not. Then did I bear them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets. Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me” (Psalms 18:36-43).

In the sixth verse of the first chapter of the epistle which Paul wrote to the Philippians he declared and professed his confidence that He who began a good work in them would perform it until the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. In the twelfth verse of the second chapter the apostle Paul goes on to instruct the Philippian church to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling, while in the thirteenth verse he goes on to write that it was God which worked in them both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Consider if you will the words which the author of the epistle to the Hebrews wrote in the final chapter of that epistle: “Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Hebrews 13:20-21). IT is absolutely imperative that we recognize and understand that when it comes to our salvation there is not only a salvation which has already taken place, but there is also a salvation that continues to take place each and every day. We are incredibly naïve and deceived if we limit salvation to a singular act that takes place when we pray “the sinner’s prayer” at an altar, and rise up from that altar and go about our lives. If salvation was a singular act then the same one who declared that if we confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that Jesus Christ is Lord and that God raised up from the dead wouldn’t have instructed us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. What’s more, is that we must pay careful and close attention to the use of the word “own” in this particular passage, for we have not bee called to work out anyone else’s salvation, but ours alone. We get ourselves into dangerous territory, and we play a dangerous game when we attempt to work out the salvation of another rather than working out our own salvation. What’s more, is that we are instructed to work out our own salvation, which means that there is no one else that can do it, and there is no one else that should do it. You yourself bear the the responsibility to work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, and you dare not look to or expect anyone else to do it. Working out our own salvation is a consistent, daily and regular practice which we must engage ourselves in and not look to or expect anyone else to accomplish it for us. The question I leave you with is whether or not you are willing to work out your own salivation—no one else’s salvation for the matter—with fear and trembling, or whether you are going to ignore the responsibility you have been given, and neglect the partnership you have been invited to partake in with the living God.

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