Paul tells us to work out our own salvation with fear and with trembling (Phil 2:12). This tells me that the life of a true believer is not one of continuous sunshine and easiness. Being a Christ follower is a fight to the finish. It is a fight because it goes against our fleshly nature. We no longer belong to ourselves, we belong to Christ and we can’t just do what our flesh desires for us to do. It is war because we have a worthy adversary who is always on the job, working to make us throw in the towel. The ultimate deceiver does not want us to mature in Christ, he wants us to remain as we are – weak, corrupt, and spiritually dead. He wants us to buy into today’s pseudo-christianity, into its form of godlessness.
It is very easy in this day and time to call oneself a Christian, believer, or even a true believer. Many wear “I’m a Christian” on their sleeves. Today there are T-shirts, jewelry, bumper stickers, tattoos, and various other signs that many use to identify with the Christian religion. I believe that is a problem.
Jesus did not ask us to identify with him via trinkets and slogans. We have traded holy living for “identifying with Him” in a fashionable, flesh appeasing way. We no longer desire the Holy Spirit’s empowerment in order to live as we should; we want to get to heaven on our own terms. Our Christianity is a worthless shadow of its original counterpart. No longer a way of life, it has (for many) become a religion from which no one will see God. With being a true believing child of God comes a way of life. It is a lifestyle that encompasses everything to do with us, even those so called “little things” we choose to ignore or excuse away.
We each come to Christ as we are; however, we cannot remain as we are and go to that place He has prepared for those who love Him (John 14:3). Transformation must take place. We MUST allow God make us new. God, however, is not going to force us bend to His will. We have work to do. Those who like the flesh-appealing, bubble gum gospel of today will most likely scoff at my saying we have work to do. To them I say read the Word.
After salvation the work of transformation begins. Are you willing to be transformed, is the question we must ask ourselves. Are we willing to, as Paul says, beat our bodies into subjection? As a matter of fact, Paul explains this life in Christ as a race, and he tells us to run as one who will receive the prize. Just as athletes in training practice SELF-CONTROL in ALL things, we who run this Christian race must do the same! (2 Corinthians 9:24-27)
People like to justify their behavior; Christian people are often no different. If we are to exhibit self-control, discipline, in every area – then it must it must be in our behavior and speech as well. If my fuse is longer than yours it may take me a little longer to pop off at the mouth than you. However, if I give in to my flesh and we go at it, I am no better than you; we both need to repent. A lack of self-control is a lack of self-control. It is evidence that,
- we do not have the Holy Spirit of God or
- we just ignore and grieve the Holy Spirit of God.
Two wrongs do not make a right, no matter how much we try to excuse our own behavior.
Many professing Christians today seem to think we have no responsibility in the life we live. It takes more than repeating a prayer and signing your name to a church role to be a true believer in Christ. It takes more than good Christian conversation and church attendance. It takes obedience to the Lord, even when it hurts. Over the next few weeks we will examine closely the characteristics of true saints of God; the noticeable difference the Bible teaches must be between the wicked and the righteous.
Think About It: The reason the true saints from days gone by were so different is because they obediently yielded to the Holy Spirit and allowed personal transformation to take place; they did not make excuses for their un-Christlike ways. They also realized their own depravity.
Get an understanding of your own depravity and you won’t be so hard other people. Get an understanding of your own depravity, without Christ, and your salvation will be to you, more precious than gold!
Look it up: Depravity
Jer 17:9; Jer 13:23; Ecc 9:3; Eph 2:1-3; Psalm 58:3; Isaiah 64:6; 1 Cor 2:14; Rom 7:18; Rom 8:7-8
Until next time,
2 thoughts on ““Work Out Your Own Salvation”; It’s More Than Just a Notion”
There are many problems with these “new age” christians of today and there are many problems with those old school Christians as well. The problem with both – is and was – what they don’t know!! Like God said, “My people perish for lack of knowledge”. Then God said, the reason they lacked knowledge was because they rejected knowledge!!
* These “new age” saints need to stop thinking that their goal is to get to heaven! That’s why they only want to do the minimum!! They’re trying to do as little as they possibly can and still make it to heaven. NEWS-FLASH…. our goal is to please God ~ Eternal life is our reward for doing so ~ and Heaven is where we’ll spend it, if we do!!
The old school saints were deceived the same way. They were only trying to make it to heaven too! Most of them believed strongly in living free from “open sin” while they didn’t actually realize the depths of sin. Whatsoever Is Not Of Faith, Is Sin ~~~ If their goal was only to please God . . . They would have fought hard for Faith because we can’t please God without it. If they had reached faith to please God, which IS righteousness, they wouldn’t have settled for their poor lives of poverty while only having hopes for heaven.
The bible is clear about there being FEW that find “the way” to life!!! The way!!! The way!!! The way!!! The importance is not getting to heaven ~ The importance is finding “The way” that leads to Life!!! That’s why Jesus said ~ if we don’t enter in by the door, but we climb up some other way, we are thieves and robbers!! The ONLY way to pleasing God, eternal life, and heaven, is by Faith!!!
We were never meant to spend a lifetime finding “the way”. We’re supposed to seek and find “the way” as early as possible, so we can spend our lifetime pleasing God!!!
Hello again Rodney!
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you. That “what can I do and STILL be saved/make to heaven” mentality is trick that satan has gotten a lot of us with. It is futile because we cannot half-step our way into the kingdom. It’s really all or nothing. Many would love to be able to literally jump from earth to glory, bypass transformation, renewing of the mind, becoming Christlike, etc… but it doesn’t work that way. And with the life many nominal christians are accustomed to living, they wouldn’t like heaven anyway; they’d be uncomfortable and out of place. Pleasing God in every aspect of our lives is supposed to be our goal. In these modern times though, that has been painted over with the idea that God is supposed to please us; however, the Word of God does not support this view. The saints of old knew this; and by saints of old I mean the Apostles, those people of the early church and during the time of the Puritans. They would not go along with what “christianity” has become. One reason we can’t please God without faith is that if we do not believe God we will never seek to please God. Why do we say we love Him and do not the things that He says? Because we don’t really believe/trust Him.
Blessings to you!