3 Dec 2014 by Solomon Wiser-
Christians are getting crazy nowadays thinking that they still need to earn their salvation even after believing and accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour; even after professing and believing that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, for He is the life, the truth, and the way, and there is no other way to Father God except through Him; even though He is coming again with His glory and might, and we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye into our glorious body; even after experiencing the baptism of the Holy Spirit and receiving all the spiritual gifts, and believing that only the blood of Jesus that is sinless and His death can lead us back to God.
Even after all these, they still want to strive, not 100 percent sure of their salvation but wanting to earn it instead.
They are crazy because there are some crazy preachers preaching out there and there are some even crazier writers writing about 10 ways to lose your salvation and 20 ways you might not be getting to Heaven.
No wonder so many people are shying away from church and have back-slided, feeling that God do not love them anymore. They feel condemned, unworthy, unneeded. They only understood the part-truths about the Grace and the Law. They are not sure about the meaning of the old covenant and new covenant. Sometimes, they follow the new covenant but at other time, they are convinced by the old. They feel small when they see all these so-called spiritual giants walking around them. They would rather choose to stay away them but they would rather hang out more with unbelievers because unbelievers have nothing to criticize or condemn them.
Do you know about John 3:16? But do you know about John 3:17?
In John 3:16, it speaks about how God the Father sent his son to die for us and how we will have eternal life; where as in John 3:17, it speaks clearly, boldly, and assertively what God did not do! God did not send his Son to condemn the world but the world through Jesus Christ will be saved.
I am not going to shove through your throat a whole load of Bible verses but I have only two for you, so that the battles in your mind will be won. Do you know that your enemy, the devil, loves stealing these precious truths?
In Philippians 2:12, Paul beseech the church to obey his teachings not only when he is around but when he is not around because he was in prison. He wanted them to be even more diligent, discipline, and obedient in his teachings because they are all about faith and grace, of how Jesus came in a form of a servant, and was obedient to death on the cross.
Then he said, “Work out our salvation with fear and trembling”.
This particular sentence is taken so out of context, almost like going through an ‘Interstellar black hole’ to become a stand-alone doctrine, where people were told to ‘earn’ instead of ‘work out.’
To summarise about the Philippians church, it was the first church that Paul established on European soil, Roman province of Macedonia. Paul was in prison and was troubled because there were oppositions by other Christian workers towards himself and was distressed by the false teachings in the church. Yet his letter breathed a joy and confidence that can only be explained by Paul’s deep faith in Jesus Christ.
He reassured them, so that they may have courage and confidence in spite of all his troubles and their own as well. He pleaded with them to have the humble attitude of Jesus, rather than to be controlled by selfish ambition and pride. He assertively reminded them that their life in union with Christ is a gift from God, which they have received only through faith, and not through the obedience of the Jewish law.
Ultimately this letter speaks about joy, confidence, unity, and perseverance in the Christian faith and life.
Therefore, Paul now wants the church to work out their salvation. What is he saying?
He is referring to working out and strengthening that faith that leads to their salvation. He is talking about the teachings and believing that leads to salvation. He is not talking about earning it because you can never earn your salvation. It is done for you already by Jesus.
It is like you going to the gym to work out your muscles. You are not going there to earn your muscles, you already have them. You are born with them when you are a baby. Likewise when you are born again, you are already saved. But you are working out in the gym, recreating those biological activities inside. Likewise, you need to work out to strengthen your faith by hearing and reading the word of God. You need those faith-walking and faith-jogging which is not by sight and if you want to make God happy, work out your faith for it is like a mustard seed that can grow. For without faith, you cannot please God.
So, when you are strong in faith, you can fight your enemy of condemnation. You can fight those lies that you are not righteous enough and that you losing your salvation. Your righteousness did not come from yourself. Your righteousness came from Jesus Christ whose Hebrew name is Yeshua Hamashiach.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8)
Remember that faith is a gift and it is in you already when you accepted Christ. Now, go and work it out!
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