According to Philippians 2:12,
We are told to work out our own salvation with godly reverence. Then we are told in vs 13 that God works in us his desire and purpose.
On first glance this sounds like an oxymoron but when you look at the fact that the word “work” for vs 12 is a different word than vs 13 then you can see there are two different operations at play here.
In vrs 12 we are called to “work out” which uses the word katergazomai which means to accomplish something. To perform an action. To finish a task.
When we “work out” something we may be striving for a goal, working out kinks or finishing up a project.
The emphasis for that working out is on the self or the person. In other words we have to put in some effort to get the job done.
Paul talks about godly exercise. When we work out at a gym for our physical bodies It has some profit or benefit but when we exercise towards godliness the gains are much more beneficial because there are eternal benefits.
What are we working out? The Bible clearly tells us that we are to work out our salvation or sōtēria which means deliverance, health, preservation.
We are called to perform an action, accomplish a task or finish a project in regards to our health, preservation and deliverance.
There are some Christians who won’t like to hear this because they think because God is sovereign he just drops everything in our plate at his whim but it doesn’t work that way according to the Bible
The good news however is that God has given us a helper. He is called the Holy Spirit. He is our teacher and coach. Like a spotter when we are working out. The one who helps us lift the weight, carry the burden, and trains us to run the race.
Vrs 13 says that it is God who is at work in us to perform all his good pleasure. That word for work is energeō.
Translated it means activating power, effectual energy.
So in other words we are performing an action and the Holy Spirit is giving us his power to perform that action.
God is working in us by his Holy Spirit power releasing his energy in order for us to work out our salvation.
In order to be saved from our old sinful selves (sanctification)it is an on going process. The Bible tells us that we have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.
Jesus died once for our sin. He took our sins and also destroyed the power of sin. By doing that he saved us from eternal death and has given us eternal life.
Automatically when we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord we become a child of God born of his Holy Spirit and a joint heir with Jesus Christ but we still have to by the power of the Holy Spirit work out our salvation with reverence while we are living in this world.
Let me put it this way. When we give life to children they become our family. It is a natural birth and heritage. The children have our DNA. However as they grow their responsibility as our children become greater.
Let’s put it this way, just because you are my child does not mean that you don’t clean your room!
You will have to pick up your toys, make your bed and brush your teeth too!
It’s the same way in God’s kingdom. He expects us to pray, exercise our faith, read our bible, fast and clean our house!
He expects us to take the garbage out too. That means get rid of the sin stinking up his house.
As a parent we help our children along. Give encouragement, help rearrange furniture, put new sheets on the bed. It is the same with the Lord. He will give us his energeō to get the job done.
Do you need deliverance or healing today? Then get ready for your work out! Take up that bed and walk!
Believe God’s word. That’s your part. Exercise your faith and rely on Holy Spirit power to perform his part.
Do you need salvation? Need to be saved out of debt or discouragement? Need to be free from a bad habit?
Then work out your salvation with the Holy Spirit. Call on your coach to help you lift that weight, give you a word of wisdom, and lead you in the right direction.
If you try to work in your own power you will fall on your face but if through the power of the Holy Spirit that is in you, you “work out” your salvation then you will achieve your goal! You will get the victory! Accomplish the task and finish the race!